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 listening to Pascendi read by Fr. Thwaite, S.J 
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New post listening to Pascendi read by Fr. Thwaite, S.J
It was great listening to Pascendi read by the late Fr. Thwaite, S.J.; it's been at least 4 years since I've read, in its entirety, this extremely important 20th century encyclical by saintly Pope Pius X.

Some parts that I didn't notice on my first reading of Pascendi Dominici Gregis:

Modernists have a threefold understanding of immanence:
Pascendi wrote:
Concerning immanence it is not easy to determine what Modernists mean by it, for their own opinions on the subject vary.
  • Some understand it in the sense that God working in man is more intimately present in him than man is in even himself, and this conception, if properly understood, is free from reproach.
  • Others hold that the divine action is one with the action of nature, as the action of the first cause is one with the action of the secondary cause, and this would destroy the supernatural order.
  • Others, finally, explain it in a way which savours of pantheism and this, in truth, is the sense which tallies best with the rest of their doctrines.
In the section "The Evolution of Doctrine", this "pernicious doctrine" reminds me of Vatican II's Apostolicam Actuositatem and the abolition of the Index:
Pascendi wrote:
Note here, Venerable Brethren, the appearance already of that most pernicious doctrine which would make of the laity a factor of progress in the Church.

Ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic parts. Its spirit with the public conscience, which is not wholly for democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy, and even to the laity, and authority should be decentralised. The Roman Congregations, and especially the index and the Holy Office, are to be reformed.
Wow, this is exactly what Vatican II did, far beyond just renaming the congregations!
Pascendi wrote:
The dogmas brim over with flagrant contradictions, but what matter that since, apart from the fact that vital logic accepts them, they are not repugnant to symbolical truth. Are we not dealing with the infinite, and has not the infinite an infinite variety of aspects? In short, to maintain and defend these theories they do not hesitate to declare that the noblest homage that can be paid to the Infinite is to make it the object of contradictory propositions! [sounds like Muslim's Allah…]But when they justify even contradiction, what is it that they will refuse to justify?
Denial of the law of non-contradiction is the basis of relativism.
No more contemplation:
Pascendi wrote:
With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, both in the estimation in which they must be held and in the exercise of them.
And a bit humorous part I totally glossed over on my first reading of Pascendi years ago:
Pascendi wrote:
Let us for a moment put the question: if experiences have so much value in their eyes, why do they not attach equal weight to the experience that thousands upon thousands of Catholics have that the Modernists are on the wrong road? It is, perchance, that all experiences except those felt by the Modernists are false and deceptive?
The "dogma" of Modernism and "dogma of relativism" are certainly similar. Someone told me that Benedict XVI was fighting Modernism because he fought relativism, but I don't really see how that's so because he still eschews St. Thomas and adopts Kantian a priori philosophy: "From beginning to end everything in it {i.e., agnostic, idealist philosophy, from which originates the Modernists' history and theology} is a priori, and a priori in a way that reeks of heresy." (Reminds me of Pope St. Pius X's Doctoris Angelici: "we must reject that old opinion which held as irrelevant for the faith what anyone thinks about creatures, if he thinks rightly about God." A priorism disregards creatures.)

Wow! I totally forgot St. Pius X was so explicit here regarding St. Thomas's preeminence!
Pascendi wrote:
certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism*, and there is no surer sign that a man is on the way to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for this system.
*[He clarifies that by scholasticism he means Thomism: "let it be clearly understood above all things that the scholastic philosophy We prescribe is that which the Angelic Doctor has bequeathed to us]
The following is historicism and the "New Theology"!:
Pascendi wrote:
The Modernists pass the same judgment on the most holy Fathers of the Church as they pass on tradition; decreeing, with amazing effrontery that, while personally most worthy of all veneration, they were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived.
Pascendi wrote:
They seize upon chairs in the seminaries and universities, and gradually make of them chairs of pestilence [pestilentiae cathedras].
I wonder if the SSPX thinks this applies to the FSSP and Institute?
Pascendi wrote:
And there is another sight that saddens Us too: that of so many other Catholics, who, while they certainly do not go so far as the former, have yet grown into the habit, as though they had been breathing a poisoned atmosphere, of thinking and speaking and writing with a liberty that ill becomes Catholics. They are to be found among the laity, and in the ranks of the clergy, and they are not wanting even in the last place where one might expect to meet them, in religious institutes.
I certainly remember this part:
Pascendi wrote:
And let it be clearly understood above all things that the scholastic philosophy We prescribe is that which the Angelic Doctor has bequeathed to us … let Professors remember that they cannot set St. Thomas aside, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave detriment.
I love section 47.; which seminaries today study the natural sciences? That's very unfortunate they don't for the reason given by the Doctoris Angelici quote I gave above.
Pascendi wrote:
We ordain, therefore, that the study of natural science in the seminaries be carried on under this law.
And my favorite quote:
Pascendi wrote:
Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hates the proud and obstinate mind.
He's also quite aware of the pestilent chairs in all universities, secular or Catholic:
Pascendi wrote:
For the future the doctorate of theology and canon law must never be conferred on anybody who has not made the regular course of scholastic philosophy; if conferred it shall be held as null and void. The rules laid down in 1896 by the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars for the clerics, both secular and regular, of Italy concerning the frequenting of the Universities, We now decree to be extended to all nations. Clerics and priests inscribed in a Catholic Institute or University must not in the future follow in civil Universities those courses for which there are chairs in the Catholic Institutes to which they belong. If this has been permitted anywhere in the past, We ordain that it be not allowed for the future. Let the Bishops who form the Governing Board of such Catholic Institutes or Universities watch with all care that these Our commands be constantly observed.
In "Episcopal Vigilance Over Publications" (do even SSPX bishops do this enough?), Pope St. Pius X uses a very apt phrase, "prudence of the flesh" to describe a sort of "human respect equivalent" to prudence:
Pascendi wrote:
We will, therefore, that the Bishops, putting aside all fear and the prudence of the flesh [prudentia carnis], despising the outcries of the wicked, gently by all means but constantly, do each his own share of this work [of censuring Modernist publications.]
Pope St. Pius X, pray for us!

«The Essence & Topicality of Thomism»:
by Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

Modernism: modernism.
blog: sententiaedeo.blogspot. com
Aristotelian Thomism: scholastic.

Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:01 pm
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