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Like any Modernist would…

Francis denounces “Decadent Scholasticism”

francis-audience2

One of the many things that “went under”, so to speak, in the flurry of breaking news stories from the Vatican in recent weeks, is the question-and-answer session Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis) gave to his fellow-Jesuits after presenting a speech at their 36th General Congregation on October 24, 2016. The Rome-based Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica has published the full Q&A text online here.

No, don’t worry, we will not slog through the entire thing now. Those who have not yet had enough of Francis’ blather can read the whole piece for themselves. We will confine ourselves to just one portion in particular, namely, this one:

I and those of my generation, perhaps not the youngest here, but my generation and some of the later ones too, were educated in a decadent scholasticism. We studied theology and philosophy with manuals. It was a decadent scholasticism. For example, to explain the «metaphysical continuum» — it makes me laugh every time I remember — we were taught the theory of the «puncta inflata». When the great Scholasticism began to lose force, there arose that decadent scholasticism with which at least my generation and others have studied.

It was this decadent scholasticism that provoked the casuistic attitude. It is curious: the course on the «sacrament of penance,» in the faculty of theology, in general — not everywhere — was presented by teachers of sacramental morality. The whole moral sphere was restricted to «you can», «you cannot», «up to here yes but not there». In an Ad Audiendas examination, a companion of mine, when asked a very intricate question, said very simply: «But Father, please, these things do not happen in reality!» And the examiner replied, «But it’s in the books!»

It was a morality very foreign to discernment. At that time there was the «cuco» [“bogeyman”], the specter of situational morality… I think Bernard Häring [1922-98] was the first to start looking for a new way to help moral theology to flourish again. Obviously, in our day moral theology has made much progress in its reflections and in its maturity; it is no longer a «casuistry.»

In the field of morality we must advance without falling into situationalism: but, rather, it is necessary to bring forward again the great wealth contained in the dimension of discernment; this is characteristic of the great scholasticism. We should note something: St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure affirm that the general principle holds for all but — they say it explicitly — as one moves to the particular, the question becomes diversified and many nuances arise without changing the principle. This scholastic method has its validity. It is the moral method used by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And it is the method that was used in the last apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia, after the discernment made by the whole Church through the two Synods. The morality used in Amoris laetitia is Thomistic, but that of the great St. Thomas himself, not of the author of the «puncta inflata».

It is evident that, in the field of morality, one must proceed with scientific rigor, and with love for the Church and discernment. There are certain points of morality on which only in prayer can one have sufficient light to continue reflecting theologically. And on this, allow me to repeat it, one must do «theology on one’s knees». You cannot do theology without prayer. This is a key point and it must be done this way.

(“‘To Have Courage and Prophetic Audacity’: Dialogue of Pope Francis with the Jesuits gathered in the 36th General Congregation”, La Civiltà Cattolica, pp. 5-6)

This is nothing but garbage, partially dressed up to make it sound respectable.

What we see here is a typical symptom of Modernism: utter disdain for scholasticism, speciously justified by appeal to a vivid example (the puncta inflata), while paying lipservice to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Universal Doctor of the Church and greatest of the scholastics.

Against the anti-scholastic spirit prevalent among some clergy in the 19th century, Pope Pius IX condemned the following proposition: “The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences” (Syllabus of Errors, n. 13). His successor, Pope Leo XIII, called for a resurgence of scholastic Thomism to refute the errors of the modern world in his 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris. This ushered in a veritable Neo-Thomist “revival” that bore excellent fruit in the work of such figures as Fr. Joseph Kleutgen, Fr. Ambrose Gardeil, Fr. Edouard Hugon, Cardinal Louis Billot, Cardinal Johann Franzelin, and many more.

In his landmark encyclical letter against Modernism, Pope St. Pius X exposed hatred and contempt of scholasticism as a typical characteristic of Modernists:

Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, 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 tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method…. They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority.

(Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi, n. 42)

Does this sound familiar? Bergoglio’s hatred and contempt of scholasticism goes hand in hand with his worship of the god of surprises.

But, what’s the deal with that “decadent scholasticism” supposedly found in those fossilized “manuals”?

At the turn of the 19th century, and in the first half of the 20th century, textbooks were utilized by seminaries throughout the world for the education and instruction of candidates studying for the Catholic priesthood. These textbooks were manuals which contained the common teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, and to this extent, they belonged to the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. This is explained very well in the following essay:

Not surprisingly, the theological manuals used scholasticism as their method of presentation. The scholastic method is a highly refined process whose main element is that it seeks to derive theological conclusions from the articles of Faith by means of demonstrative syllogisms. Oftentimes, these conclusions or theses contained within the theological manuals are themselves dogmas of the Faith.

The aim of the manuals was to show, in a scientific fashion, how the conclusions or theses were actually contained within the body of Divine Revelation. The scholasticism found on the pages of the theological manuals of the 19th and 20th centuries displayed logic that was crystalline and precise, something that “Pope” Francis has repeatedly said he abhors. “Pope” Benedict XVI, too, is on record as rejecting it:

…I had difficulties in penetrating the thought of Thomas Aquinas, whose crystal-clear logic seemed to me to be too closed in on itself, too impersonal and ready-made. This may also have had something to do with the fact that Arnold Wilmsen, the philosopher who taught us Thomas, presented us with a rigid, neoscholastic Thomism that was simply too far afield from my own questions.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 [San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1998], p. 44)

If the pages of these manuals were inundated with “decadent scholasticism”, the Magisterium was guilty of presenting its priests with inaccurate and inadequate instruction on Catholic doctrine for nearly two centuries. Such an idea is preposterous to any thinking Catholic, but it is probably exactly what Mr. Bergoglio and his fellow-Modernists believe, because this is precisely how they act. That is, they act as though the Catholicisim of the past was hopelessly inadequate and immature, and in desperate need of being “updated” to make it “relevant” to modern man. This, of course, they think they accomplished at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), where the Church finally rediscovered the “authentic” Catholic religion, supposedly.

As part of his crusade to discredit the true Catholicism in which he was raised, Francis repeats the popular Modernist myth of a “decadent” scholasticism that supposedly afflicted the Church after the high middle ages and reached its pinnacle in the manuals, teaching nothing but casuistry about puncta inflata. But in reality, scholasticism, especially that of the school of St. Thomas Aquinas, never fell into any decadence. When society and academic life swayed away from the Church, secular philosophies and non-scholastic theologies began to emerge. Scholasticism withdrew into the ecclesiastical institutions, and its influence on society and secular academia waned. This was not the fault of the scholastics, which is the narrative that is usually pushed, but must be ascribed to the fascination of novelty that tempted many intellectuals and still does today. Francis in particular is always promoting some novelty or another, although it would be a gross injustice to dignify this apostate muck spout with the label of “intellectual”.

In typical Modernist fashion, Francis likes to scoff at the incredible theological work accomplished by the manualists, who were highly gifted orthodox theologians before Vatican II, as though they had all been a pack of colossal idiots who were unhappily caught up in silly and immature “casuistry”. But have no fear! Francis has come to release us all from our scholastic shackles by introducing us to such profound theological concepts as “accompaniment”, “encounter”, “discernment”, and other tokens of Bergoglian surprise theology.

Casuistry, which Francis sneeringly dismisses as stupid and regressive, is actually a most important part of moral theology and was most famously championed by St. Alphonsus Liguori, the 18th-century Doctor of the Church. The 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia defines “casuistry” as follows:

The application of general principles of morality to definite and concrete cases of human activity, for the purpose, primarily, of determining what one ought to do, or ought not to do, or what one may do or leave undone as one pleases; and for the purpose, secondarily, of deciding whether and to what extent guilt or immunity from guilt follows on an action already posited.

(Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Casuistry”)

In other words, casuistry is a really important discipline in the Catholic Church. As the same entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia goes on to explain:

The necessity of casuistry and its importance are obvious. From the nature of the case, the general principles of any science in their concrete application give rise to problems which trained and expert minds only can solve. This is especially true regarding the application of moral principles and precepts to individual conduct. For, although those principles and precepts are in themselves generally evident, their application calls for the consideration of many complex factors, both objective and subjective. Only those who unite scientific knowledgeof morality with practice in its application may be trusted to solve promptly and safely problems of conscience.

(ibid.)

Francis, of course, has his own way of “solving” problems of conscience: He waves his magic wands of accompaniment, discernment, and mercy, and, voilà, the sin is no longer a sin in your particular case — problem solved!

Bergoglio’s curious claim that his adultery-condoning exhortation Amoris Laetitia is based on “Thomistic” morality is beyond laughable. Even a Novus Ordo Dominican has dismissed the assertion. Francis’ position on adultery has nothing to do with “discerning nuances” at all. Rather, it’s about looking for case-based excuses to overturn the general principle that adultery is intrinsically wrong and thus never permissible, regardless of the circumstances. As we explained at length in an episode of our podcast program (see TRADCAST 013), Francis is not simply trying to say adultery is not a sin — which would be bad enough. No, it is much worse: He is undermining the very foundations of Catholic morality by changing the definition of sin from a voluntary transgression against the divine law to an imperfect or incomplete participation in virtue! Thus adultery becomes an imperfect expression of chastity; stealing becomes a less-than-ideal way of making a purchase; and blasphemy turns into an imperfect instance of the objective ideal of prayer.

Don’t believe it? Then have a look at the facts: Bergoglio is officially on record teaching that there may be excusing factors that justify adultery or minimize its evil, turning the mortally sinful act into simply “the most generous response which can be given to God, [after coming] to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking [!] amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” (Francis, Amoris Laetitia, n. 303). This is frightening blasphemy, for it claims that God Himself could desire a couple to commit adultery! No impressive-sounding talk about the “concrete complexity of one’s limits” can justify this! “Go, and now sin no more” (Jn 8:11), Our Lord commanded.

That Francis would laud Fr. Bernard Haring (1912-1998) is not surprising, considering that Haring was a notorious dissenter even for Novus Ordo standards and the theological mentor of the infamous Fr. Charles Curran (b. 1934). Haring was a bad apple early on. The illustrious Mgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton (1906-1969) had already identified him as “a bad man” during the council (see Giuseppe Alberigo, History of Vatican II, vol. 2, p. 93). No wonder Francis likes him.

When scholastic Thomism, most exceptionally synthesized in the work of the great Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877-1964), was abandoned by the Novus Ordo Sect in the 1960s, the vacuum was filled by the abominable Nouvelle Theologie (“New Theology”), also known as ressourcement theology, whose chief proponents included Marie-Dominique Chenu, Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, Joseph Ratzinger, Yves Congar, Edward Schillebeeckx, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Appearing first in the 1930s, the New Theology was mainly kept in check during the pontificates of Popes Pius XI and Pius XII. Certain books were ordered withdrawn from circulation and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. A number of these characters were tagged “suspect of heresy” by the Holy Office.

All this changed with the Modernist usurpation of the Vatican structures after the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. The new “Pope”, John XXIII, made some of these New Theologians theological experts (periti) at the Second Vatican Council, and thus it is not surprising that Vatican II is the theological product of precisely the Nouvelle Theologie. In fact, the initial preparatory schemas of the conciliar documents, which had been developed by orthodox theologians using traditional Catholic (“scholastic”) theology before the gathering ever convened, were consigned to the trash can in the opening days of the council thanks to the influence of the New Theologians. (Five of the nine original schemas have since been made available online and can be read in English here.) What we have all witnessed since is the Nouvelle Theologie in action.

It is clear that Francis has no understanding of Sacred Theology at all. His denunciation of “decadent scholasticism” is a testimony to his ignorance, his arrogance, and, above all, his Modernism.

Further Resources on Thomistic Scholasticism:

36 Responses to “Francis denounces “Decadent Scholasticism””

  1. James Pridmore

    “The greatest horrors in the history of mankind are not due to the ambition of the
    Napoleons or the vengeance of the Agamemnons, but to the doctrinaire philosophers.”

    “…in the absence of will power, the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.”

    “Every Star has its own Nature, which is “Right” for it. We are not to be missionaries,
    with ideal standards of dress and morals, and such hard-ideas. We are to do what we
    will, and leave others to do what they will. We are infinitely tolerant, save of intolerance.”

    “To knot a sentence up properly, it has to be thought out carefully, and revised. New phrases have to be put in; sudden changes of subject must be introducted; verbs must be shifted to unsuspected localities; short words must be excised with ruthless hand; archaisms must be sprinkled like sugar-plums upon the concoction; the fatal human tendency to say things straightforwardly must be detected and defeated by adroit reversals; and, if a glimmer of meaning yet remain under close scrutiny, it must be removed by replacing all the principal verbs by paraphrases in some dead language.”

    “Roughly speaking, any man with energy and enthusiasm ought to be able to bring at
    least a dozen others round to his opinion in the course of a year no matter how absurd
    that opinion might be. We see every day in politics, in business, in social life, large
    masses of people brought to embrace the most revolutionary ideas, sometimes within a
    few days. It is all a question of getting hold of them in the right way and working on their
    weak points.”

    “Sin is defined as Restriction: that is; the setting of limits, or the desire to set limits, to
    any thing that is, seeing that as above set forth the true Nature of all things is to fulfil
    themselves in all Ways. Yet though all things be thus lawful in themselves, it is often
    Restriction to act, and Freedom to refrain. For that Freedom is worth the other, and each
    case must be judged by its own Nature.”

    “We insist from the beginning on the individual character of the work, and upon the
    necessity of maintaining the objective and sceptical standpoint. You are explicitly warned
    against reliance upon “authority,” even that of the Order itself. Consider my own assets,
    personal, social, educational, experiential and the rest: don’t you see that all I had to do
    was to put out some brightly-coloured and mellifluous lie, and avoid treading on too
    many toes, to have had hundreds of thousands of idiots worshipping me?”

    – All quotes attributed to Aleister Crowley, freemason and occultist

    • James Pridmore

      Five more Crowley quotes are shown below because, regrettably, his philosophies seem to rhyme with those of Bergoglio to a significant extent. Crowley’s end game, in my view, was complete sexual liberty. I have no idea what Bergoglio’s desired end state is but we can see he has essentially erased sin associated with adultery, homosexuality, divorce and abortion.

      “Modern morality and manners suppress all natural instincts, keep people ignorant of the facts of nature and make them fighting drunk on bogey tales.”

      “No event can be fairly judged without background and perspective.”

      “Every one interprets everything in terms of his own experience. If you say anything
      which does not touch a precisely similar spot in another man’s brain, he either
      misunderstands you, or doesn’t understand you at all.”

      “Part of the public horror of sexual irregularity so-called is due to the fact that everyone
      knows himself essentially guilty.”

      “Men and women will never behave worthily as long as current morality interferes with
      the legitimate satisfaction of physiological needs. Nature always avenges herself on
      those who insult her.”

  2. Millan

    Here is what Irish retired modernist, Fr. Gabriel Daly wrote in his book:

    “In spite of Leo XIII’s openness to modern science, neo-scholasticism underwrote the tendency in the church to withdraw from engagement with the modern world and to take refuge in a medieval pre-scientific world. It was a philosophy that rooted itself in pre-ordained essence which gave the church a stability that protected it from what it saw as the ravages of post-Enlightenment thought, and enabled it to take refuge from the challenges presented by scientifically inspired materlialism together with various existential and positivist theories and other kinds of inductive thinking that, in the view of Rome, threatened to destroy the settled world of fixed essences.

    The Modernists at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth challenged that world; and they were wiped out with a ferocity induced by the conviction that they were attacking the very foundations of Catholic orthodoxy. Neo-scholastic culture was still being proclaimed as indispensable to Catholic orthodoxy as late as 1950 by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical, Humani Generis. It was tacitly abandoned at and after Second Vatican Council – a highly significant development.” (…)
    “Neo-scholasticism was at that time considered to be a necessary feature of orthodox Catholicism. Rome taught one all the ‘corect’ answers that were in conformity with verbal orthodoxy, and it issued severe warnings about ‘errors’ that could be a danger to one’s faith and the faith of others. It was theologians from the Roman clerical universities who wrote the first drafts submitted to, and rejected by, the fathers of the Second Vatican Council.” (…)

    “Pope Francis, for commendable though questionable reasons, is attempting to seek a consensus between two mutually opposed wings of the church – which is logically impossible because their convictions contradict one another. Traditionalists are saying that no pope can change ‘the teaching of the Church’. What is this teaching? The Gospel and the creeds, certainly; but papal teaching in recent times? Let’s look at the evidence, by direct quotations from two popes. (1) Pope Pius X: ‘All teachers of philosophy and sacred theology should be warned that if they deviated so much as a step, in methapisics especially, from Aquinas, they exposed themselves to grave risk…This is Our Order, and nothing shall be suffered to gainsay it.’ (2) Pope John Paul II: ‘The Church has no philosophy of her own nor does she canonise any one particular philosophy in preference to others.’ Take your pick! These two positions are mutually exclusive; yet both are papal teaching. Which, then, is ‘church doctrine’ , as traditionalists would understand it?
    On the matter of the Catholic Church’s teaching about the necessity of Thomism, most contemporary theologians would agree with Pope John Paul that the church espouses no particular philosophy. Those who have a fundamentalist view of papal statements have a difficulty explaining the choice of one pope over the other. Neither statement involves fidelity to the Gospel or the creeds, so if one is not a doctrinal fundamentalist, there is no problem. Pius X, however, regarded his words as binding on the entire church, and would have been taken aback by his successor’s remark.” (Gabriel Daly, OSA, “The Church always in need of reform”, Dominican Publications, 2015, p.19-20 and 198-199 )

    • poapratensis

      Excellent post. Has anyone satisfactorily harmonized the idea of Thomistic essences with scientific realism? I’ve read books by Wolfgang Smith, but they approach this matter obliquely. Perhaps a reliable Thomist thinker tackled it? There is some truth it seems to Fr. Daly’s description of the neo-scholastics turning back to pre-scientific times.

        • George

          Feser is not entirely reliable, I’m afraid. True, he does present certain aspects of Thomism in a clear and compelling way, and he does make some excellent arguments against modern scientism, especially against the materialist explanation of the mind. Nevertheless, he also believes, erroneously, that Thomism is compatible with Darwinism, and, still more erroneously, that almost all intelligent-design arguments against Darwinism are a priori invalid. In fact, his complacency toward evolutionism has even sadly led him to embrace the truly preposterous thesis that the human race today is the result of the first humans copulating with sub-human beasts!

          Oh, and did I mention he was Novus Ordo?

          • Novus Ordo Watch

            Oh wow, I had no idea he believes that about the origin of the human race! That’s terrible. I did not mean to give a blanket endorsement to him or anything, I just meant to mention him as someone who defends Thomism pretty well against some of today’s challengers. There aren’t that many who do. Dennis Bonnette is perhaps a better choice, although I am sure he too is Novus Ordo. There is also Scott Sullivan, who is also Novus Ordo but a scholastic Thomist: http://www.scottmsullivan.com

          • George

            NOW, just for the record, I didn’t mean to suggest that someone in the Novus Ordo couldn’t be a competent Thomist, but only that it is not very surprising that someone who defends the thesis that the sons of Adam bred with sub-human beasts is also in the Novus Ordo.

          • Andrew

            Many of the philosophical manuals (Glenn and Greiner are two cases in point) admit the compatibility of Thomism with a limited evolution (I disagree with the claim, but some competent authorities have thought the position tenable). Dr. Feser’s position towards intelligent design is entirely correct. All attempts by the ID camp are a priori invalid. Why? They presuppose the false doctrine of philosophical mechanism (no formal or final causes). There are metaphysical and theological errors implicit in ID theory that Thomism finds unacceptable. Darwinism has nothing to do with the the rejection of ID theory. From the Thomistic perspective, intelligent design doesn’t even leave the starting line because it is metaphysically bankrupt.

          • George

            Andrew, I can tell from your short post that you’ve read a lot of Feser, and also that you’ve drunk his anti-ID Kool Aid right down to the dregs. ID doesn’t deny formal or final causes. It doesn’t even get into all that. What’s more, ID doesn’t concern itself with theology at all. So why is Feser constantly accusing it of bad theology? It’s bizarre. Feser’s arguments against ID, I’m afraid, are nothing but a tissue of sophistries.

          • Andrew

            I’m not going to dignify myself with addressing your first statement. To say, “it doesn’t get into all that” is positive proof you’re out of your depth. Hylomorphism is the general metaphysics of reality; mechanistic models (like ship building) are used by ID to bring one to an inductive grasp of the meaning of intelligent design – there are NO final and formal causes in it. It’s false. Period. You dont decide when or when not “to get into all that”, it’s implicitly present in any inquiry into the material world.
            Feser says it’s “bad theology”, well, because it is. Denying, of necessity, formal and final causes, ID adherents, wittingly or unwittingly, fall into probalistic arguments – it’s the same old god-of-the-gaps argument. These arguments haven’t the slightest resemblance to the God of St. Thomas or St. Augustine and they’ll never get you there. This is all rather basic. Picking up a thomistic manual of natural philosophy may be a good starting point for you to come to terms with this.

          • poapratensis

            Could you recommend a thomistic manual of natural philosophy, please?

          • Andrew

            Hi Poapratensis,

            There are plenty of excellent manuals out there (many are pretty old) on natural philosophy/philosophy of nature. Personally, I would read Vincent Edward Smith’s “The General Science of Nature” before tackling a Fr. Hugon, O.P. (he’s the best in my opinion) or a Fr. Grenier.

            Vincent Edward Smith performs admirably well on fleshing out the presuppositions of the philosophy of nature and spending much needed time on the fundamentals of the science (which is rarely done). I trust you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.

      • Andrew

        The essences of Thomism and so-called modern (special is a more appropriate term) science are the same. The one approaches from common experience raised to a scientific (Aristotelian sense) status while the other fabricates artificial experiences and primarily stays on the level of dialectical logic. Vincent Edward Smith’s “Science and Philosophy” and “The General Science of Nature” are two works that explain the point. Fr. Wallace’s “The Modeling of Nature” is a brilliant piece in the same direction. The erroneous position of distinguishing between so-called philosophical and scientific essences stems from the outlook of Jacques Maritain and Mortimer Adler.

        • poapratensis

          Thanks. I am somewwhat familiar with the thought of Adler, Maritain, and Gilson on the matter…perhaps that’s my problem. LeGrange, to my knowledge, didn’t get into this natural science stuff, but I could be wrong. Thanks!

  3. Pedro

    “our” Francis? You can have him. I do not claim him at all. He is a heretic of the first order. Ergo not a Catholic. Ergo an illegitimate sitter on the Sede. Ergo not a Pope.

  4. Sonia

    ‘New “church”‘, is rife with oxymorons: ‘decadent scholastisim’ (oxymoronic shot at true Catholic teaching). ‘New theology’ ( oxymoronic fantasy of the Novus/New Order when spinning the lie that they are ‘Catholic’).

    May God bless the folks at N.O.W. in the new year, and by Blood of Christ of infinite merit poured out on Golgotha from Our Lord Jesus Christ and offered up by His priests of the Eternal Order of Melchisedech, have mercy on us and those for whom we are bound to pray.

  5. Geremia16

    I think the first time he attacked Thomism/scholasticism as decadent was in his Sep. 2013 Spadaro La Civiltà Cattolica interview:

    Humans are in search of themselves, and, of course, in this search they can also make mistakes. The church has experienced times of brilliance, like that of Thomas Aquinas. But the church has lived also times of decline in its ability to think. For example, we must not confuse the genius of Thomas Aquinas with the age of decadent Thomist commentaries. Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.

    He seems to share the view of McCool, S.J.

    Pope St. Pius X said in Pascendi that Modernists “show such contempt for scholasticism;” in §48, “Practical Application,” all professors “criticising scholasticism” are to be fired.

    • Novus Ordo Watch

      Thank you for this great find. Fr. Gerald McCool was awful. One of his favorite aphorisms was, “God is not found at the end of a syllogism.” But the God who can be known by natural reason is indeed found there, although we must then to turn to Revelation.

      • Geremia16

        What you quote sounds like something “not-quite-ex-Lutheran” Louis Bouyer, who coined the term “John of St Thomist theology” would say. “John of St Thomist theology” seems to be also what Bergoglio is criticizing, too, despite Pope Leo XIII writing in Æterni Patris:

        be ye watchful that the doctrine of Thomas be drawn from his own fountains, or at least from those rivulets [i.e., via the commentators] which, derived from the very fount, have thus far flowed, according to the established agreement of learned men [e.g., John of St. Thomas], pure and clear

  6. Sonia

    Off topic, sort of. Watched the Times Square New Year. Best tweet: ‘Imagine if there was no song named “imagine”.’ Gutfeld.

  7. Michael S

    Wow, the hypocrisy is amazing. They also filter all comments from Sede’s. N.O.W. has been predicting this “schism” in the Frankenchurch for a while now. Typical theological gymnastics to avoid calling Franko a heretic and Vatican II an apostasy from the faith.
    It gets more and more ridiculous. It’s going to get worse. The madness of recognizing public heretics as authorities in the Church leads to what??? MORE MADNESS.

    • poapratensis

      They filter constantly. It’s by closely watching their forums that I noticed it at first. That sort of intellectual dishonesty in no small way let to a fundamental distrust that grew within me for them and resistors in general

      • Michael S

        Yeah, sometimes you see the truth simply by stumbling onto what everyone is trying to hide and/or demonize. Those “crazy” “extremists”, those evil sedevacantists! Liars hate logic and reason, especially when it makes them look stupid, or if they accept the truth, that they’ll actually have to change their comfortable little lives. Oh well, maybe they’re paid by Novus Ordo to keep people in the dark? Maybe they’re just so blinded by self delusion and/or the pseudo-schismatic “theology” of the SSPX that’s been spewed about for the last 40 years, that they just can’t see the truth and are honestly unable to get it?

        Either way, we should pray for them, to wake up and see the light. They’re in a position to do a lot of good if they started reporting the TRUTH.

        • poapratensis

          Agreed. I think the bulk of the confusion fundamentally stems from raw, genuine bewilderment in most folks. The real bad agents in my opinion are those that know the positions and instead of attacking them and defending their own, carry on an endless campain of concealment, subterfuge, excuse making, and make believe. The Remnant folks are most egregious in this regard. They don’t even cite, let’s say Fr. Cekada, if they can avoid it because they don’t want people “going there” I suppose out of fear that reasonable and non prejudicial folks might be convinced.

  8. dustpan33

    Any Novus Ordo member who scratches below the surface will find that their new theology, especially under Francis, is filled with errors and nonsensical ideas. Case in point, I recently reconnected with a high school friend a few months ago. She was a campus minister at a “Catholic college” for several years and currently works for a “Catholic social justice” outfit. She spent a few minutes during our dinner praising same-sex marriage. Afterwards, she spent about a minute looking at some Hindu idol in a storefront and saying how awesome and cool it looked. I guess this is what happens when your sect’s leaders find “praiseworthy elements” in pagan religions and decry things like the “idolatry of immanence” (but never actual idolatry). It’s a time of great confusion.

  9. poapratensis

    I’m not sure Miss White is there yet, or Matt or Ferrara. Notice the slam against “papal positivism” that has grown since the First Vatican council. They are still resistors.

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