Denzinger EN 3474

The False Doctrines of the Modernists *

[From the Encyclical, "Pascendi dominici gregis," Sept. 8, 1907]

Dz 2071 Since it is a very clever artifice on the part of the modernists (for they are rightly so-called in general) not to set forth their doctrines arranged in orderly fashion and collected together, but as if scattered, and separated from one another, so that they seem very vague and, as it were, rambling, although on the contrary they are strong and constant, it is well, Venerable Brothers, first to present these same doctrines here in one view, and to show the nexus by which they coalesce with one another, that we may then examine the causes of the errors and may prescribe the remedies to remove the calamity. . . . But, that we may proceed in orderly fashion in a rather abstruse subject, this must be noted first of all, that every modernist plays several roles, and, as it were, mingles in himself, (1) the philosopher of course, (11) the believer, (111) the theologian, (IV) the historian, (V) the critic, (Vl) the apologist, (VII) the reformer. All these roles he must distinguish one by one, who wishes to understand their system rightly, and to discern the antecedents and the consequences of their doctrines.

3475 Dz 2072 [I] Now, to begin with the philosopher, the modernists place the foundation of their religious philosophy in that doctrine which is commonly called agnosticism. Perforce, then, human reason is entirely restricted to phenomena, namely, things that appear, and that appearance by which they appear; it has neither the right nor the power to transgress the limits of the same. Therefore, it cannot raise itself to God nor recognize His existence, even through things that are seen. Hence, it is inferred that God can by no means be directly an object of science; yet, as far as pertains to history, that He is not to be considered an historical subject.--Moreover, granting all this, everyone will easily see what becomes of Natural Theology, of the motives of credibility, of external revelation. These, of course, the modernists completely spurn, and relegate to intellectualism, an absurd system, they say, and long since dead. Nor does the fact that the Church has very openly condemned such portentous errors restrain them, for the Vatican Synod so decreed: "If anyone, etc.," [see n. 1806 f., 1812].

3476 Dz 2073 But in what way do the Modernists pass from agnosticism, which consists only in nescience, to scientific and historic atheism, which on the other hand is entirely posited in denial; so, by what law of reasoning is the step taken from that state of ignorance as to whether or not God intervened in the history of the human race, to the explanation of the same history, leaving God out altogether, as if He had not really intervened, he who can well knows. Yet, this is fixed and established in their minds, that science as well as history should be atheistic, in whose limits there can be place only for phenomena, God and whatever is divine being utterly thrust aside.--As a result of this most absurd teaching we shall soon see clearly what is to be held regarding the most sacred person of Christ, the mysteries of His life and death, and likewise about His resurrection and ascension into heaven.

3477 Dz 2074 Yet this agnosticism is to be considered only as the negative part of the system of the modernists; the positive consists, as they say, in vital immanence. Naturally, they thus proceed from one to the other of these parts.--Religion, whether this be natural or supernatural, must, just as any fact, admit of some explanation. But the explanation, with natural theology destroyed and the approach to revelation barred by the rejection of the arguments of credibility, with even any external revelation utterly removed, is sought in vain outside man. It is, then, to be sought within man himself; and, since religion is a form of life, it is to be found entirely within the life of man. From this is asserted the principle of religious Immanence. Moreover, of every vital phenomenon, to which it has just been said religion belongs, the first actuation, as it were, is to be sought in a certain need or impulsion; but, if we speak more specifically of life, the beginnings are to be posited in a kind of motion of the heart, which is called a sense. Therefore, since God is the object of religion, it must be concluded absolutely that faith, which is the beginning and the foundation of any religion, must be located in some innermost sense, which has its beginning in a need for the divine. Moreover, this need for the divine, since it is felt only in certain special surroundings, cannot of itself pertain to the realm of consciousness, but it remains hidden at first beneath consciousness, or, as they say with a word borrowed from modern philosophy, in the subconsciousness, where, too, its root remains hidden and undetected.--Someone perhaps will ask in what way does this need of the divine, which man himself perceives within himself, finally evolve into religion? To this the modernists reply: "Science and history are included within a twofold boundary: one external, that is the visible world; the other internal, which is consciousness. When they have reached one or the other, they are unable to proceed further, for beyond these boundaries is the unknowable. In the presence of this unknowable, whether this be outside man and beyond the perceptible world of nature, or lies concealed within the subconsciousness, the need of the divine in a soul prone to religion, according to the tenets of fideism, with no judgment of the mind anticipating, excites a certain peculiar sense; but this sense has the divine reality itself, not only as its object but also as its intrinsic cause implicated within itself, and somehow unites man with God." This sense, moreover, is what the modernists call by the name of faith, and is for them the beginning of religion.

3478 Dz 2075 But this is not the end of their philosophizing, or more correctly of their raving. For in such a sense the modernists find not only faith, but together with faith and in faith itself, as they understand it, they affirm that there is place for revelation. For will anyone ask whether anything more is needed for revelation? Shall we not call that religious sense that appears in the conscience "revelation," or at least the beginning of revelation; why not God himself, although rather confusedly, manifesting Himself to souls in the same religious sense? But they add: Since God is alike both object and cause of faith, that revelation is equally of God and from God, that is, it has God as the Revealer as well as the Revealed. From this, moreover, Venerable Brothers, comes that absurd affirmation of the modernists, according to which any religion according to its various aspects is to be called natural and also supernatural. From this, consciousness and revelation have interchangeable meanings. From this is the law according to which religious consciousness is handed down as a universal rule, to be equated completely with revelation, to which all must submit, even the supreme power in the Church, whether this teaches or legislates on sacred matters or discipline.

3479 Dz 2076 Yet in all this process, from which according to the modernists, faith and revelation come forth, one thing is especially to be noted, indeed of no small moment because of the historico-critical sequences which they pry from it. For the unknowable, of which they speak, does not present itself to faith as something simple or alone, but on the contrary adhering closely to some phenomenon, which, although it pertains to the fields of science and history, yet in some way passes beyond stem, whether this phenomenon be a fact of nature containing some secret within itself, or be any man whose character, actions, and words do not seem possible of being reconciled with the ordinary laws of history. Then faith, attracted by the unknowable which is united with the phenomenon, embraces the whole phenomenon itself and in a manner permeates it with its own life. Now from this two things follow: first, a kind of transfiguration of the phenomenon by elation, that is, above its true conditions, by which its matter becomes more suitable to clothe itself with the form of the divine, which faith is to introduce; second, some sort of disfiguration, (we may call it such) of the same phenomenon, arising from the fact that faith attributes to it, when divested of all adjuncts of place and time, what in fact it does not possess; and this takes place especially when phenomena of times past are concerned, and the more fully as they are the older. From this twofold source the modernists again derive two canons, which, when added to another already borrowed from agnosticism, constitute the foundations of historical criticism.

3480 The subject will be illustrated by an example, and let us take that example from the person of Christ. In the person of Christ, they say, science and history encounter nothing except the human. Therefore, by virtue of the first canon deduced from agnosticism whatever is redolent of the divine must be deleted from His history. Furthermore, by virtue of the second canon the historical person of Christ was transfigured by faith; therefore, whatever raises it above historical conditions must be removed from it. Finally, by virtue of the third canon the same person of Christ is disfigured by faith; therefore, words and deeds must be removed from it, whatever, in a word, does not in the least correspond with His character, state, and education, and with the place and time in which He lived. A wonderful method of reasoning indeed! But this is the criticism of the modernists.

3481 Dz 2077 Therefore, the religious sense, which through vital immanence comes forth from the hiding places of the subconsciousness, is the germ of all religion, and the explanation likewise of everything which has been or is to be in any religion. Such a sense, crude in the beginning and almost unformed, gradually and under the influence of that mysterious principle, whence it had its origin, matured with the progress of human life, of which, as we have said, it is a kind of form. So, we have the origin of any religion, even if supernatural; they are, of course, mere developments of the religious sense. And let no one think that the Catholic religion is excepted; rather, it is entirely like the rest; for it was born in the consciousness of Christ, a man of the choicest nature, whose like no one has ever been or will be, by the process of vital immanence. . . . [adduced by can. 3 of the Vatican Council on revelation; see n. 1808].

3482 Dz 2078 Yet up to this point, Venerable Brethren, we have discovered no place given to the intellect. But it, too, according to the doctrine of the modernists, has its part in the act of faith. It is well to notice next in what way. In that sense, they say, which we have mentioned rather often, since it is sense, not knowledge, God presents himself to man, but so confusedly and disorderly that He is distinguished with difficulty, or not at all, by the subject believer. It is necessary, therefore, that this sense be illuminated by some light, so that God may completely stand out and be separated from it. Now, this pertains to the intellect, whose function it is to ponder and to institute analysis, by which man first brings to light the vital phenomena arising within him, and then makes them known by words. Hence the common expression of the modernists, that the religious man must think his faith.--The mind then, encountering this sense, reflects upon it and works on it, as a painter who brightens up the faded outline of a picture to bring it out more clearly, for essentially thus does one of the teachers of the modernists explain the matter. Moreover, in such a work the mind operates in a twofold way: first, by a natural and spontaneous act it presents the matter in a simple and popular judgment; but then after reflection and deeper consideration, or, as they say, by elaborating the thought, it speaks forth its thoughts in secondary judgmeets, derived, to be sure, from the simple first, but more precise and distinct. These secondary judgments, if they are finally sanctioned by the supreme magisterium of the Church, will constitute dogma.

3483 Dz 2079 Thus, then, in the doctrine of the modernists we have come to an outstanding chapter, namely, the origin of dogma and the inner nature of dogma. For they place the origin of dogma in those primitive simple formulae, which in a certain respect are necessary for faith; for revelation, to actually be such, requires a clear knowledge of God in consciousness. Yet the dogma itself, they seem to affirm, is properly contained in the secondary formulae.--Furthermore, to ascertain its nature we must inquire above all what revelation intervenes between the religious formulae and the religious sense of the soul. But this he will easily understand, who holds that such formulae have no other purpose than to supply the means by which he (the believer) may give himself an account of his faith. Therefore, they are midway between the believer and his faith; but as far as faith is concerned, they are inadequate signs of its object, usually called symbolae; in their relationship to the believer, they are mere instruments. --So by no means can it be maintained that they absolutely contain the truth; for, insofar as they are symbols, they are images of the truth, and so are to be accommodated to the religious sense, according as this refers to man; and as instruments they are the vehicles of truth, and so they are in turn to be adapted to man, insofar as there is reference to the religious sense. But the object of the religious sense, inasmuch as it is contained in the absolute, has infinite aspects of which now one, now another can appear. Likewise, the man who believes can make use of varying conditions. Accordingly, also, the formulae which we call dogma should be subject to the same vicissitudes, and so be liable to change. Thus, then, the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma.--Surely an infinite piling up of sophisms, which ruin and destroy all religion.

Dz 2080 Yet that dogma not only can but ought to be evolved and changed, even the modernists themselves in fragmentary fashion affirm, and this clearly follows from their principles. For among the chief points of doctrine they hold this, which they deduce from the principle of vital immanence, that religious formulae, to be really religious and not only intellectual speculations, should be alive, and should live the life of the religious sense. This is not to be understood thus, as if these formulae, especially if merely imaginative, were invented for the religious sense; for their origin is of no concern, nor is their number or quality, but as follows: that the religious sense, applying some modification, if necessary, should join them to itself vitally. Of course, in other words, it is necessary that the primitive formula be accepted by the heart and sanctioned by it; likewise that the labor by which the secondary formulae are brought forth be under the guidance of the heart. Hence it happens that these formulae, to be vital, should be and should remain adapted alike to the faith and to the believer. Therefore, if for any cause such an adaptation should cease, they lose the original notions and need to be changed.--Furthermore, since this power and the fortune of the dogmatic formulae are so unstable, it is no wonder that they are such an object of ridicule and contempt to modernists, who say nothing to the contrary and extol nothing but the religious sense and religious life. And so they most boldly attack the Church as moving on a path of error, because she does not in the least distinguish the religious and moral force from the superficial significance of the formulae, and by clinging with vain labor and most tenaciously to formulae devoid of meaning, permits religion itself to collapse.-- Surely, "blind and leaders of the blind" (
Mt 15,14) are they who, puffed up by the proud name of science, reach such a point in their raving that they pervert the eternal concept of truth, and the true sense of religion by introducing a new system, "in which from an exaggerated and unbridled desire for novelty, truth is not sought where it certainly exists, and neglecting the holy and apostolic traditions, other doctrines empty, futile, uncertain, and unapproved by the Church are adopted, on which men in their extreme vanity think that truth itself is based and maintained.''* So much, Venerable Brothers, for the modernist as a philosopher.

3484 Dz 2081 [11] Now if, on advancing to the believer, one wishes to know how he is distinguished from the philosopher among the modernists, this must be observed that, although the philosopher admits the reality of the divine as the object of faith, yet this reality is not found by him anywhere except in the heart of the believer, since it is the object of sense and of affirmation, and so does not exceed the confines of phenomena; furthermore, whether that reality exists in itself outside that sense and affirmation, the philosopher passes over and neglects. On the other hand for the modernist believer it is established and certain that the reality of the divine definitely exists in itself, and certainly does not depend on the believer. But if you ask on what then the assertion of the believer rests, they will reply: In the personal experience of every man.--In this affirmation, while they break with the rationalists, to be sure, yet they fall in with the opinion of Protestants and pseudomystics [cf. n. 1273]. For they explain the subject as follows: that in the religious sense a kind of intuition of the heart is to be recognized, by which man directly attains the reality of God, and draws from it such conviction of the existence of God and of the action of God both within and without man, that it surpasses by far all conviction that can be sought from science. They establish, then, a true experience and one superior to any rational experience. If anyone, such as the rationalists, deny this, they say that this arises from the fact that he is unwilling to establish himself in the moral state which is required to produce the experience. Furthermore, this experience, when anyone has attained it, properly and truly makes a believer. -- How far we are here from Catholic teachings.

Dz 2082 We have already seen [cf. n. 2072] such fabrications condemned by the Vatican Council. When these errors have once been admitted, together with others already mentioned, we shall express below how open the way is to atheism. It will be well to note at once that from this doctrine of experience joined with another of symbolism, any religion, not even excepting paganism, must be held as true. For why should not experiences of this kind not occur in any religion? In fact, more than one asserts that they have occurred. By what right will modernists deny the truth of an experience which an Islamite affirms, and claim true experiences for Catholics alone? In fact, modernists do not deny this; on the contrary some rather obscurely, others very openly contend that all religions are true. But it is manifest that they cannot think otherwise. For on what basis, then, should falsity have been attributed to any religion according to their precepts? Surely it would be either because of the falsity of the religious sense or because a false formula was set forth by the intellect. Now the religious sense is always one and the same, although sometimes it is more imperfect; but that the intellectual formula be true, it is enough that it respond to the religious sense and to the human believer, whatever may be the character of the perspicacity of the latter. In the conflict of different religions the modernists might be able to contend for one thing at most, that the Catholic religion, inasmuch as it is the more vivid, has more truth; and likewise that it is more worthy of the name of Christian, inasmuch as it corresponds more fully with the origins of Christianity.

Dz 2083 There is something else besides in this part of their doctrine, which is absolutely inimical to Catholic truth. For the precept regarding experience is applied also to tradition, which the Church has hitherto asserted, and utterly destroys it. For the modernists understand tradition thus: that it is a kind of communication with others of an original experience, through preaching by means of the intellectual formula. To this formula, therefore, besides, as they say, representative force, they ascribe a kind of suggestive power, not only to excite in him who believes the religious sense, which perchance is becoming sluggish, and to restore the experience once acquired, but also to give birth in them who do not yet believe, to a religious sense for the first time, and to produce the experience. Thus, moreover, religious experience is spread widely among the people; and not only among those who are now in existence, but also among posterity, both by books and by oral transmission from one to another.--But this communication of experience sometimes takes root and flourishes; sometimes it grows old suddenly, and dies. Moreover, to flourish is to the modernists an argument for truth; for they hold truth and life to be the same. Therefore, we may infer again: that all religions, as many as exist, are true; for otherwise they would not be alive.

3485 Dz 2084 Now with our discussion brought to this point, Venerable Brethren, we have enough and more to consider accurately what relationship the modernists establish between faith and science; furthermore, history, also, is classed by them under this name of science.--And in the first place, indeed, it is to be held that the object-matter of the one is entirely extraneous to the object-matter of the other and separated from it. For faith looks only to that which science professes to be unknowable to itself. Hence to each is a different duty: science is concerned with phenomena where there is no place for faith; faith, on the other hand, is concerned with the divine, of which science is totally ignorant. Thus, finally, it is settled that there can never be dissension between faith and science; for if each holds its own place, they will never be able to meet each other, and so contradict each other. If any persons by chance object to this, on the ground that certain things occur in visible nature which pertain also to faith, as, for example, the human life of Christ, the modernists will deny it. For, although these things are classified with phenomena, yet, insofar as they are imbued with the life of faith, and in the manner already mentioned have been transfigured and disfigured by faith [cf. n. 2076], they have been snatched away from the sensible world and transferred into material for the divine. Therefore, to him who asks further whether Christ performed true miracles and really divined the future; whether He truly rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, agnostic science will give a denial, faith an affirma- tion; yet as a result of this there will be no conflict between the two. For one, addressing philosophers as a philosopher, namely, contemplating Christ only according to historical reality, will deny; the other, speaking as a believer with believers, viewing the life of Christ as it is lived again by the faith and in the faith, will affirm.

3486 Dz 2085 A great mistake, however, is made as a result of this by anyone who thinks that he can believe that faith and science are subject to each other in no way at all. For, as regards science he does indeed think rightly and truly; but it is otherwise with faith, which must be said to be subject to science not only on one, but on three grounds. For, first, we must observe that in any religious fact, after the divine reality has been taken away, and whatever experience he who believes has of it, all other things, especially religious formulae, do not pass beyond the confines of phenomena, and so fall under science. By all means let it be permitted the believer, if he wills, to go out of the world, yet as long as he remains in it, whether he likes it or not, he will never escape the laws, the observations, the judgments of science and history.--Furthermore, although it is said that God is the object of faith alone, this is to be granted with regard to the divine reality, but not with regard to the idea of God. For this is subject to science, which, while it philosophizes in the logical order, as they say, attains also what is absolute and ideal. Therefore, philosophy or science has the right to learn about the idea of God, and to direct it in its evolution, and, if anything extraneous enters it, to correct it. Hence the axiom of the modernists: Religious evolution should be reconciled with the moral and the intellectual, that is, as one teaches whom they follow as a master, it should be subject to them.--Finally it happens that God does not suffer duality within Himself, and so the believer is urged on by an innermost force so to harmonize faith with science that it never disagrees with the general idea which science sets forth about the entire universe. Thus, then, is it effected that science is entirely freed from faith, that faith on the other hand, however much it is proclaimed to be extraneous to science, is subject to it.--All this, Venerable Brethren, is contrary to what Pius IX, Our predecessor, handed down teaching: "It is the duty of philosophy, in those matters which pertain to religion, not to dominate but to serve, not to prescribe what is to be believed, but to embrace what is to be believed with reasonable obedience, and not to examine the depths of the mysteries of God, but to revere them piously and humbly.* The modernists completely invert the matter; so what Our predecessor, Gregory IX, similarly wrote about certain theologians of his age can be applied to these: "Some among you, distended like bladders by the spirit of vanity, strive by novelty to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers; twisting the meaning of the sacred text . . . to the philosophical teaching of the rationalists, to make a show of science, not for any benefit to their hearers. . . . These men, lead astray by various strange doctrines, reduce the head to the tail, and force the queen to serve the handmaid.''*

Dz 2086 This, surely, will be quite clear to one who observes how the modernists act quite in conformity with what they teach. For much seems to have been written and spoken by them in contrary fashion so that one might easily think them doubtful and uncertain. But this takes place deliberately and advisedly, namely, in accord with the opinion which they hold on the mutual exclusion of faith and science. Thus in their books we find certain things which a Catholic entirely approves, yet on turning the page certain things which one could think were dictated by a rationalist. So, when writing history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when preaching in the churches they profess it most strongly. Likewise, when discussing history they have no place for the Councils and the Fathers, but when teaching catechism, they refer to the former and the latter with respect. Thus, too, they separate theological and pastoral exegesis from the scientific and the historical. Similarly, on the principle that science in- no wise depends on faith, when they are treating of philosophy, history, and criticism, with no special horror about following in the tracks of Luther [cf. n. 769], they display in every way a contempt for Catholic precepts, the Holy Fathers, the Ecumenical Synods, and the ecclesiastical magisterium; and if they are criticized for this, they complain that they are being deprived of their freedom. Finally, professing that faith must be made subject to science, they rebuke the Church generally and openly, because she refuses most resolutely to subject and accommodate her teachings to the opinions of philosophy; but they, repudiating the old theology for this purpose, endeavor to bring in the new, which follows the ravings of the philosophers.

3487 Dz 2087 [III] Here now, Venerable Brethren, we approach the study of the modernists in the theological arena, a rough task indeed, but to be disposed of briefly. It is a question, indeed, of conciliating faith with science, and this in no other way than by subjecting one to the other. In this field the modernist theologian makes use of the same principles that we saw employed by the philosopher, and he adapts them to the believer; we mean the principles of immanence and symbolism. Thus, moreover, he accomplishes the task most easily. It is held as certain by the philosopher that the principle of faith is immanent; it is added by the believer that this principle is God; and he himself (the theologian) concludes: God, then, is immanent in man. From this comes theological immanence. Again, to the philosopher it is certain that the representations of the object of faith are only symbolical; to the believer, likewise, it is certain that the object of faith is God in Himself; so the theologian gathers that the representations of the divine reality are symbolical. From this comes theological symbolism.--Surely the greatest errors, and how pernicious each is will be clear from an examination of the consequences.--For to speak at once about symbolism, since such symbols are symbols with regard to their object, but with regard to the believer are instruments, the believer must first of all be on his guard, they say, lest he cling too much to the formula, as formula, but he must make use of it only that he may fasten upon the absolute truth, which the formula at the same time uncovers and covers, and struggles to express without ever attaining it. Besides, they add, such formulae are to be applied by the believer insofar as they help him; for they are given as a help, not as a hindrance, with full esteem indeed, which out of social respect is due the formulae which the public magisterium has judged suitable for expressing the common consciousness, as long, of course, as the same magisterium shall not declare otherwise. But regarding immanence what the modernists mean really, is difficult to show, for they do not all have the same opinion. There are some who hold on this subject, that God working in man is more intimately present in him than man is even in himself; which, if rightly understood, bears no reproach. Others on this matter lay down that the action of God is one with the action of nature, as the action of the first cause is one with that of the second cause, which really destroys the supernatural order. Finally, others so explain it in a way that causes a suspicion of a pantheistic meaning; yet this fittingly coincides with the rest of their doctrines.

Dz 2088 Now to this axiom of immanence is added another which we can call divine permanence; these two differ from each other in about the same way as private experience does from experience transmitted by tradition. An example will illustrate the point, and let us take it from the Church and the sacraments. The Church, they say, and the sacraments are by no means to be believed as having been instituted by Christ Himself. Agnosticism stipulates this, which recognizes nothing but the human in Christ, whose religious conscience, like that of the rest of men, was formed gradually; the law of immanence stipulates this, which rejects external applications, to use their terms; likewise the law of evolution stipulates this, which demands time and a certain series of circumstances joined with it, that the germs may be evolved; finally, history stipulates this, which shows that such in fact has been the course of the thing. Yet it is to be held that the Church and the sacraments have been mediately established by the Christ. But how? All Christian consciences, they affirm, were in a way virtually included in the conscience of Christ, as the plant in the seed. Moreover, since the germs live the life of the seed, all Christians are to be said to live the life of Christ. But the life of Christ according to faith is divine; thus, also, is the life of Christians. If, then, this life in the course of the ages gave origin to the Church and the sacraments, quite rightly will such an origin be said to be from Christ, and be divine. Thus they effect completely that the Sacred Scriptures also are divine, and that dogmas are divine.--With this, then, the theology of the modernists is essentially completed. Surely a brief provision, but very abundant for him who professes that science must always be obeyed, whatever it orders. Everyone will easily see for himself the application of these principles to the other matters which we shall mention.

3488 Dz 2089 Up to this point we have touched upon the origin of faith and its nature. But since faith has many outgrowths, chiefly the Church, dogma, worship, and devotions, the Books which we call "sacred," we should inquire what the modernists teach about these also. To take dogma as a beginning, it has already been shown above what its origin and nature are [n. 2079 f.]. It arises from a kind of impulse or necessity, by virtue of which he who believes elaborates his own thoughts so that his own conscience and that of others may be the more clarified. This labor consists entirely in investigating and in refining the primitive formula of the mind, not indeed in itself, according to the logical explanation, but according to circumstances, or vitally, as they say, in a manner less easily understood. Hence it happens that around that formula certain secondary formulae, as We have already indicated, gradually come into being [cf. n. 2078]; these afterwards brought together into one body, or into one edifice of faith, as responding to the common consciousness, are called dogma. From this the dissertations of the theologians are to be well distinguished, which, although they do not live the life of dogma, are not at all useless, not only for harmonizing religion with science and for removing disagreements between them, but also for illumining and protecting religion from without, even perchance as a means for preparing material for some new future dogma.

3489 --It would by no means have been necessary to discuss worship at length, did not the sacraments also come under this term, on which the errors of the modernists are most serious. They say that worship arises from a twofold impulse or necessity; for, as we have seen, all things in their system are said to come into existence by innermost impulses or necessities. The first need is to attribute something sensible to religion; the second is to express it, which surely cannot be done without a sensible form, or consecrating acts which we call sacraments. But for the modernists sacraments are mere symbols or signs, although not lacking efficacy. To point out this efficacy, they make use of the example of certain words which are popularly said to have caught on, since they have conceived the power of propagating certain ideas which are vigorous and especially shake the mind. Just as these words are ordered in relation to ideas, so are the sacraments to the religious sense, nothing more. Surely they would speak more clearly if they affirm that the sacraments were instituted solely to nourish faith. But this the Synod of Trent has condemned: "If any one says that these sacraments were instituted solely to nourish the faith, let him be anathema" [n. 848].

3490 Dz 2090 We have already touched somewhat on the nature and origin of the Sacred Books. According to the principles of the modernists one could well describe them as a collection of experiences, not such as come in general to everyone, but extraordinary and distinguished, which have been had in every religion.--Precisely thus do the modernists teach about our books of both the Old and the New Testament. Yet, in accord with their own opinions they note very shrewdly that, although experience belongs to the present, yet one can assume it equally of the past and of the future, inasmuch as naturally he who believes either, lives the past by recollection in the manner of the present, or the future by anticipation. Moreover, this explains how the historical and apocalyptic books can be classified among the Sacred Books. Thus, then, in these Books God certainly speaks through the believer, but as the theology of the modernists puts it, only by immanence and vital permanence.

3491 --We shall ask, what then about inspiration? This, they reply, is by no means distinguished from that impulse, unless perhaps in vehemence, by which the believer is stimulated to reveal his faith by word or writing. What we have in poetic inspiration is similar; wherefore a certain one said: "God is in us, when he stirs we are inflamed." * In this way God should be called the beginning of the inspiration of the Sacred Books.--Furthermore, regarding this inspiration, the modernists add that there is nothing at all in the Sacred Books that lacks such inspiration. When they affirm this one would be inclined to believe them more orthodox than some in more recent times who restrict inspiration somewhat as, for example, when they introduce so-called tacit citations. But this is mere words and pretense on their part. For, if we judge the Bible according to the precepts of agnosticism, namely, as a human work written by men for men, although the theologian is granted the right of calling it divine by immanence, just how can inspiration be forced into it? Now, the modernist assuredly asserts a general inspiration of the Sacred Books, but admits no inspiration in the Catholic sense.

3492 Dz 2091 What the school of modernists imagines about the Church offers a richer field for discussion.--They lay down in the beginning that the Church arose from a twofold necessity: one in any believer, especially in him who has found an original and special experience, to communicate his faith to others; the other, after faith has communicated among many, in collectivity to coalesce into a society and to watch over, increase, and propagate the common good. What, then, is the Church? It is the fruit of the collective conscience, or of the association of individual consciences which, by virtue of vital permanence, depends on some first believer, that is, for Catholics, on Christ. Moreover, any society needs a directing authority, whose duty it is to direct all associates toward the common end, to foster prudently the elements of cohesion, which in a religious society are fulfilled by doctrine and worship. Hence, the triple authority in the Catholic Church: disciplinary, dogmatic, liturgical.--Now the nature of the authority is to be gathered from its origin; from its nature, indeed, its rights and duties are to be sought. In past ages a common error was that authority came to the Church from without, namely, immediately from God; therefore it was rightly held to be autocratic. But this conception has now grown obsolete. Just as the Church is said to have emanated from the collectivity of consciences, so in like manner authority emanates vitally from the Church itself. Authority, then, just as the Church, originates from religious conscience, and so is subject to the same; and if it spurns this subordination, it veers towards tyranny. Moreover, we are now living at a time when the sense of liberty has grown to its highest point. In the civil state public conscience has introduced popular government. But conscience in man, just as life, is only one. Unless, then, ecclesiastical authority wishes to excite and foment an intestine war in the conscience of men, it has an obligation to use democratic forms (of procedure), the more for this reason, because unless it does so, destruction threatens. For, surely, he is mad who thinks that with the sense of liberty as it now flourishes any recession can ever take place. If it were restricted and checked by force, it would break forth the stronger, with the destruction alike of the Church and religion. All this do the modernists think, who as a result are quite occupied with devising ways to reconcile the authority of the Church with the liberty of believers.

Dz 2092 But the Church has not only within the walls of its own household those with whom she should exist on friendly terms, but she has them outside. For the Church does not occupy the world all by herself; other societies occupy it equally, with which communications and contacts necessarily take place. These rights, then, which are the duties of the Church in relation to civil societies, must be determined, and must not be determined otherwise than according to the nature of the Church herself, as the modernists have indeed described to us.--In this, moreover, they clearly use the same rules as were introduced above for science and faith. There discussion centered on objects, here on ends. So, just as by reason of the object we see faith and science extraneous to each other, so the state and Church are extraneous to each other because of the ends which they pursue; the former pursuing a temporal, the latter a spiritual end. Of course it was once permitted to subordinate the temporal to the spiritual; it was permitted to interject discussion on mixed questions, in which the Church was held as mistress and queen, since the Church, of course, was declared to have been instituted by God without intermediary, inasmuch as He is the author of the supernatural order. But all this is repudiated by philosophers and historians. The state, then, must be disassociated from the Church, just as even the Catholic from the citizen. Therefore, any Catholic, since he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty, disregarding the authority of the Church, pushing aside her wishes, counsels, and precepts, yes, spurning her rebukes, of pursuing what he thinks is conducive to the good of the state. To prescribe a way of action for a citizen on any pretext is an abuse of ecclesiastical power, to be rejected by every means.--Of course, Venerable Brothers, the source from which all this flows is indeed the very source which Pius Vl, Our predecessor, solemnly condemned [cf. n. 1502 f.] in the Apostolic Constitution, Auctorem fidei.

Dz 2093 But it is not enough for the school of modernists that the state should be separated from the Church. For, just as faith, as far as phenomenal elements are concerned, as they say, should be subordinated to science, so in temporal affairs should the Church be subject to the state. This, indeed, they do not by chance say openly, but by reason of their thinking are forced to admit. For laying down the principle that the state alone has power in temporal matters, if it happens that the believer, not content with internal acts of religion, proceeds to external acts, as for example, the administration or reception of the sacraments, these will necessarily fall under the dominion of the state. What, then, about the authority of the Church? Since this is not explained except through external acts, it will be entirely responsible to the state. Obviously forced by this conclusion, many of the liberal Protestants entirely reject all external sacred worship, rather, even any external religious association, and strive to introduce individual religion, as they say. But if the modernists do not yet proceed openly to this point, they ask meanwhile that the Church of her own accord tend in the direction in which they themselves impel her, and that she adapt herself to the forms of the state. Now these are their ideas on disciplinary authority.--On the other hand, by far more evil and pernicious are their opinions on doctrinal and dogmatic power. On the magisterium of the Church they comment, for example, as follows: A religious society can never truly coalesce into one unless the conscience of the associates be one, and the formula which they use one. But this twofold unity demands a kind of common mind whose duty it is to find and determine the formula which corresponds best with the common conscience; and this mind must have sufficient authority to impose on the community the formula which it has determined upon Moreover, in this union and fusion, as it were, both of the mind which draws up the formula, and of the power which prescribes it, the modernists place the notion of the magisterium of the Church. Since, then, the magisterium finally arises at some time from the individual consciences and has as a mandate the public duty to the benefit of the same consciences, it necessarily follows that the magisterium depends on these, and so must bend to popular forms. Therefore, to prohibit the consciences of individuals from expressing publicly and openly the impulses which they feel; to obstruct the way of criticism whereby it impels dogma in the path of necessary evolutions, is not the use but the abuse of the power permitted for the public weal. Similarly, in the very use of power, measure and moderation are to be applied. To censure and proscribe any book without the knowledge of the author, without permitting any explanation, without discussion, is surely very close to tyranny.--Thus, here also a middle course must be found to preserve the rights at once of authority and liberty. Meanwhile the Catholic must so conduct himself as to proclaim publicly his strict respect for authority, yet not to fail to obey his own mind.--In general they prescribe as follows for the Church: that, since the end of ecclesiastical power pertains only to the spiritual, all external trappings must be abolished, by which it is adorned most magnificently for the eyes of the onlookers. In this the following is completely overlooked, that religion, although it pertains to souls, is not confined to souls exclusively, and that the honor paid to authority redounds to Christ as its founder.

3493 Dz 2094 Moreover, to complete this whole subject of faith and its various branches, it remains for us, Venerable Brethren, to consider finally the precepts of the modernists on the development of both.--Here is a general principle: in a religion which is living nothing is without change, and so there must be change. From here they make a step to what is essentially the chief point in their doctrines, namely, evolution. Dogma, then, Church, worship, the Books that we revere as sacred, even faith itself, unless we wish all these to be powerless, must be bound by the laws of evolution. This cannot appear surprising to you, if you bear in mind what the modernists have taught on each of these subjects. So, granted the law of evolution, we have the way of evolution described by the modernists themselves. And first, as regards faith. The primitive form of faith, they say, was crude and common to all men, since it had its origin in human nature and human life. Vital evolution contributed progress; to be sure, not by the novelty of forms added to it from the outside, but by the daily increasing pervasion of the religious sense into the conscience. Moreover, this progress was made in two ways: first, in a negative way, by eliminating anything extraneous, as for example, that might come from family or nation; second, in a positive way, by the intellectual and moral refinement of man, whereby the notion of the divine becomes fuller and clearer, and the religious sense more accurate. The same causes for the progress of faith are to be brought forward as were employed to explain its origins. But to these must be added certain extraordinary men (whom we call prophets, and of whom Christ is the most outstanding), not only because they bore before themselves in their lives and works something mysterious which faith attributed to the divinity, but also because they met with new experiences never had before, corresponding to the religious needs of the time of each.--But the progress of dogma arises chiefly from this, that impediments to faith have to be overcome, enemies have to be conquered, objections have to be refuted. Add to this a perpetual struggle to penetrate more deeply the things that are contained in the mysteries of faith. Thus, to pass over other examples, it happened in the case of Christ: in Him that divine something or other, which faith admitted, was slowly and gradually expanded, so that finally He was held to be God.--The necessity of accommodating itself to the customs and traditions of the people especially contributed to the evolution of worship; likewise, the necessity of employing the power of certain acts, which they have acquired by usage.-- Finally, the cause of evolution as regards the Church arose in this, that she needs to be adjusted to contemporary historical conditions, and to the forms of civil government publicly in vogue. This do they think regarding each. But before we proceed we wish that this doctrine of necessities or needs be well noted; for beyond all that we have seen, this is, as it were, the basis and foundation of that famous method which they call historical.

Dz 2095 To linger still on the doctrine of evolution, this is to be noted especially, that, although needs or necessities impel to evolution, yet if driven by this alone, easily trangressing the boundaries of tradition and thus separating itself from the primitive vital principle, it would lead to ruin rather than to progress. Thus, following the mind of the modernists more completely, we shall say that evolution comes out of the conflict of two forces, one of which leads to progress, the other holds back to conservation. The conserving force flourishes in the Church and is contained in tradition. Indeed, religious authority makes use of it; and this it does both by right itself, for it is in the nature of authority to guard tradition, and in fact, for authority remote from the changes of life is pressed on not at all, or very little by the incentives that drive to progress. On the contrary the force which attracts to progress and responds to the inner needs, lies hidden, and works in the consciences of individuals, especially of those who attain life, as they say, more closely and intimately.--Behold here, Venerable Brethren, we perceive that most pernicious doctrine raise its head, which introduces into the Church the members of the laity as elements of progress.--By a kind of covenant and pact between these two forces, the conserver and the promoter of progress, namely, between authority and the consciences of individuals, advances and changes take place. For the consciences of individuals, or certain of them, act on the collective conscience; but this last acts upon those who have authority, and forces them to effect agreements and to abide by the pact.--As a result of this, moreover, it is easy to understand why the modernists marvel so, when they realize that they are caught or are punished. What is held up to them as a fault, they themselves hold as a religious duty to be fulfilled. No one knows the needs of consciences better than they themselves, because they come in closer touch with them than does ecclesiastical authority. Therefore, they gather all these needs, as it were, within themselves; and so they are bound by the duty of speaking and writing publicly. Let authority rebuke them, if it wishes; they themselves are supported by the conscience of duty, and they know by intimate experience that they deserve not criticism but praise. Surely it does not escape them that progress is by no means made without struggles, nor struggles without victims; so let they themselves be victims, just as the prophets and Christ. Because they are held in evil repute, they do not look askance at authority on this account; they even concede that it is carrying out its duty. They complain only that they are not heard; for thus the course of souls is impeded; yet the time to put an end to delays will most certainly come, for the laws of evolution can be halted, but they can by no means be broken. Therefore, they continue on their established road; they continue, although refuted and condemned, concealing their incredible audacity with a veil of feigned humility. Indeed, they bow their heads in pretense, yet with their hands and minds they boldly follow through what they have undertaken. Moreover, thus they act quite willingly and wittingly, both because they hold that authority must be stimulated and not overturned, and because it is a necessity for them to remain within the fold of the Church, that they may gradually change the collective conscience. Yet when they say this, they do not remark that they confess that the collective conscience is apart from them, and thus without right they commend themselves as its interpreters. . . . [Then is adduced and explained what is contained in this Enchiridion n. 1636 1705, 1800].--But after we have observed the philosopher, believer, and theologian among the followers of modernism, it now remains for us to observe the historian, critic, apologist, and reformer in like manner.

3494 Dz 2096 [IV] Certain of the modernists who have given themselves over to composing history, seem especially solicitous lest they be believed to be philosophers; why, they even profess to be entirely without experience of philosophy. This they do with consummate astuteness, lest, for example, anyone think that they are imbued with the prejudiced opinions of philosophy, and for this reason, as they say, are not at all objective. the truth is that their history or criticism bespeaks pure philosophy; and whatever conclusions are arrived at by them, are derived by right reasoning from their philosophic principles. This is indeed easily apparent to one who reflects.--The first three canons of such historians and critics, as we have said, are those same principles which we adduced from the philosophers above: namely, agnosticism, the theorem of the transfiguration of things by faith, and likewise another which it seemed could be called disfiguration. Let us now note the consequences that come from them individually.

3495 --According to agnosticism, history, just as science, is concerned only with phenomena. Therefore, just as God, so any divine intervention in human affairs must be relegated to faith, as belonging to it alone. Thus, if anything occurs consisting of a double element, divine and human, such as are Christ, the Church, the sacraments, and many others of this kind, there will have to be a division and separation, so that what was human may be assigned to history, and what divine to faith. Thus, the distinction common among the modernists between the Christ of history and the Christ of faith, the Church of history and the Church of faith, the sacraments of history and the sacraments of faith, and other similar distinctions in general.

3496 --Then this human element itself, which we see the historian assume for himself, must be mentioned, such as appears in documents, raised above historical conditions by faith through transfiguration. so, the additions made by faith must in turn be dissociated, and relegated to faith itself, and to the history of faith; so when Christ is being discussed, whatever surpasses the natural condition of man, as is shown by psychology, or has been raised out of the place and the time in which He lived, must be dissociated.

3497 --Besides, in accord with the third principle of philosophy those things also which do not pass beyond the field of history, they view through a sieve, as it were, and eliminate all and relegate likewise to faith, which in their judgment, as they say, are not in the logic of facts or suited to the characters. Thus they do not will that Christ said those things which appear to exceed the capacity of the listening multitude. Hence from His real history they delete and transfer to faith all his allegories that occur in His discourses. Perhaps we shall ask by what law these matters are dissociated? From the character of the man, from the condition which He enjoyed in the state; from His education, from the complexus of the incidents of any fact, in a word, if we understand well, from a norm which finally at some time recedes into the merely subjective. They aim, of course, themselves to take on the character of Christ and, as it were, to make it their own; whatever, in like circumstances they would have done, all this they transfer to Christ.--Thus then to conclude, a priori and according to certain principles of philosophy which they in truth hold but profess to ignore, they affirm that Christ, in what they call real history, is not God and never did anything divine; indeed, that He did and said as a man what they themselves attribute to Him the right of doing and saying, taking themselves back to His times.

3498 Dz 2097
[V] Moreover, as history receives its conclusions from philosophy, so criticism takes its conclusions from history. For the critic, following the indications furnished by the historian, divides documents in two ways. Whatever is left after the threefold elimination just mentioned he assigns to real history; the rest he delegates to the history of faith or internal history. For they distinguish sharply between these two histories; the history of faith (and this we wish to be well noted) they oppose to the real history, as it is real. Thus, as we have already said, the two Christs: one real, the other, who never was in fact, but pertains to faith; one who lived in a certain place and in a certain age; another, who is found only in the pious commentaries of faith; such, for example, is the Christ whom the Gospel of John presents, which, according to them is nothing more or less than a meditation.

Dz 2098 But the domination of philosophy over history is not ended with this. After the documents have been distributed in a twofold manner, the philosopher is again on hand with his dogma of vital immanence; and he declares that all things in the history of the Church are to be explained by vital emanation. But either the cause or the condition of vital emanation is to be placed in some need or want; therefore, too, the fact must be conceived after the need, and the one is historically posterior to the other. --Why then the historian? Having scrutinized the documents again, either those that are contained in the Sacred Books or have been introduced from elsewhere, he draws up from them an index of the particular needs which relate not only to dogma but to liturgy, and other matters which have had a place one after the other in the Church. He hands over the index so made to the critic. Now he (the critic) takes in hand the documents which are devoted to the history of faith, and he so arranges them age by age that they correspond one by one with the index submitted, always mindful of the precept that the fact is preceded by the need, and the need by the fact. Surely, it may at times happen that some parts of the Bible, as for example the epistles, are the fact itself created by the need. Yet whatever it is, the law is that the age of any document is not to be determined otherwise than by the age of any need that has arisen in the Church.--Besides, a distinction must be made between the origin of any fact and the development of the same, for what can be born on one day, takes on growth only with the passage of time. For this reason the critic must, as we have said, again divide the documents already distributed through the ages, separating the ones which have to do with the origin of the thing, and those which pertain to its development, and he must in turn arrange them by periods.

Dz 2099 Then again there is place for the philosopher, who enjoins upon the historian so to exercise his zeal as the precepts and laws of evolution prescribe. Thereupon the historian examines the documents again; examines carefully the circumstances and conditions which the Church has experienced for period after period: her conserving power, the needs both internal and external which have stimulated her to progress, the obstacles which have been in her way, in a word, everything whatsoever which helps to determine how the laws of evolution have been kept. Finally, after this he describes the history of the development in broad outlines, as it were. The critic comes in and adapts the rest of the documents. He applies his hand to writing. The history is finished.--Now we ask, to whom is this history to be ascribed? To the historian or to the critic? Surely to neither; but to the philosopher. The whole business is carried on through apriorism; and indeed by an apriorism reeking with heresy. Surely such men are to be pitied, of whom the Apostle would have said: "They become vain in their thoughts . . . professing themselves to be wise they became fools" (
Rm 1,21-22); but yet they move us to anger, when they accuse the Church of so confusing and changing documents that they may testify to her advantage. Surely they charge the Church with that for which they feel that they themselves are openly condemned by their own conscience.

Dz 2100 Furthermore, as a result of this division and arrangement of the documents by ages it naturally follows that the Sacred Books cannot be attributed to those authors to whom in fact they are ascribed. For this reason the modernists generally do not hesitate to assert that those same books, especially the Pentateuch and the first three Gospels, from the brief original account grew gradually by additions, by interpolations, indeed, in the manner of either theological or allegorical interpretations; or even by the interjection of parts solely to join different passages together.--To state it briefly and more clearly, there must certainly be admitted the vital evolution of the Sacred Books, born of the evolution of faith and corresponding to the same.--Indeed, they add that the traces of this evolution are so manifest that its history can almost be described. Nay, rather, they do in fact describe it with no hesitation, so that you would believe that they saw the very writers with their own eyes as they applied their hand in every age to amplifying the Sacred Books. Moreover, to support these actions they call to their aid a criticism which they call textual; and they strive to convince us that this or that fact or expression is not in its own place, and they bring forward other such arguments.--You would indeed say that they had prescribed for themselves certain types, as it were, of narrations and discourses, as a result of which they decide with certainty what stands in its own place or in a strange place.--Let him who wishes judge how skilled they can be to make decisions in this way. Moreover, he who gives heed to them as they talk about their studies on the Sacred Books, as a result of which it was granted them to discover so many things improperly stated, would almost believe that no man before them had turned the pages of these same books; and that an almost infinite number of doctors had not examined them from every point of view, a group clearly far superior to them in mind, and erudition, and sanctity of life. These very wise doctors indeed, far from finding fault with the Sacred Scriptures in any part, rather, the more thoroughly they investigated them, the more they gave thanks to divine authority for having deigned so to speak with men. But alas, our doctors with respect to the Sacred Books did not rely upon those aids on which the modernists did; thus they did not have philosophy as a master and guide, nor did they choose themselves as their own authority in making decisions. Now, then, we think that it is clear of what sort the method of the modernists is in the field of history. The philosopher goes ahead; the historian succeeds him; right behind, in order, works criticism, both internal and textual. And since it is characteristic of the first cause to communicate its power to its consequences, it becomes evident that such criticism is not criticism at all; that it is rightly called agnostic, immanentist, and evolutionist; and that so, he who professes it and uses it, professes the errors implicit in the same and opposes Catholic doctrine.--For this reason it can seem most strange that criticism of this kind has such weight today among Catholics. This obviously has a twofold cause: first of all the pact by which the historians and the critics of this kind are so closely joined, the differences of nationality and the dissension of religions being placed in the background; then the endless effrontery by which all with one voice extol whatever each of them prattles, and attribute it to the progress of science; by which in close array they attack him who wishes to examine the new marvel or his own; by which they accuse him who denies it of ignorance, adorn him with praises who embraces and defends it. Thus no small number are deceived who, if they should examine the matter more closely, would be horrified.--From this powerful domineering on the part of those in error, and this heedless compliance on the part of fickle souls, a corruption in the surrounding atmosphere results which penetrates everywhere and diffuses its pestilence.

3499 Dz 2101 [VI] But let us pass on to the apologist. He, too, among the modernists depends in a twofold manner upon the philosopher. First, indirectly, taking history as his subject matter, written at the dictation of the philosopher, as we have seen; then directly, having obtained his doctrines and judgments from him. Hence that precept widespread in the school of the modernists that the new apologetics should resolve controversies over religion by historical and psychological investigations. Therefore, the modernist apologist approaches his task by advising the rationalists that they defend religion not by means of the Sacred Books, nor by history as widely employed in the Church which is written in the old way, but by real history composed of modern principles and the modern method. And this they assert not as if using an argumentum ad hominem, but because in very fact they think that only such history hands down the truth. They are indeed unconcerned about asserting their sincerity in what they write; they are already known among the nationalists; they are already praised for doing service under the same banner; and on this praise, which a real Catholic would reject, they congratulate themselves, and, hold it up against the reprimands of the Church.--But now let us see how one of them proceeds in his apologies.

3500 The end which he places before himself for accomplishment, is this: to win a person thus far inexperienced in the faith over to it, that he may attain this experience of the Catholic religion, which according to the modernists is the only basis of faith. A twofold way is open to this: one objective, the other subjective. The first proceeds from agnosticism, and it strives to show that that vital virtue is in religion, especially the Catholic religion, which persuades every psychologist and likewise historian of good mind that in its history something of the unknown must be concealed. To this end it is necessary to show that the Catholic religion, as it exists today, is exactly that which Christ founded, or that it is nothing other than the progressive development of that germ which Christ introduced. First, then, it must be determined of what nature the germ is. This, furthermore, they wish to prove by the following formula: The Christ announced the coming of the kingdom of God, which was to be established shortly; and that He Himself would be its Messias, that is, the divinely given founder and ordainer. Then it must be shown in what way this germ, always immanent and permanent in the Catholic religion, has evolved gradually, and according to history, and has adapted itself to succeeding circumstances, taking to itself from these vitally whatever of the doctrinal, cultural, and ecclesiastical forms was useful to it, but meanwhile overcoming such obstacles as met it, scattering its enemies, and surviving all attacks and combats. Yet after it has been shown that all these, namely, obstacles, enemies, attacks, combats, and likewise the vitality and fecundity of Church have been of such nature that, although the laws of evolution appear unimpaired in the history of the Church, yet they are not alike to be fully developed by the same history; the unknown will stand before it, and will present itself of its own accord.--Thus do they argue. In all this reasoning, however, they fail to notice one thing, that that determination of the primitive germ is due solely to the apriorism of the agnostic and evolutionist philosopher, and the germ itself is so gratuitously defined by them as to fit in with their case.

Dz 2102 Yet while by reciting arguments the new apologists struggle to proclaim and bring conviction to the Catholic religion, of their own accord they grant and concede that there is much in it which offends. With a kind of ill-concealed pleasure they even declare repeatedly and openly that they find errors and contradictions also in the field of dogma; yet they add that these not only admit of an excuse, but, which should be an object of wonder, that these have been produced rightly and lawfully. Thus, even according to themselves much in the Sacred Books within the field of science and history is affected by error. But they say that here it is not a question of science or history, but only of religion and morals. There science and history are a kind of covering with which the religious and moral experiences are bound, so that they may be more easily spread among the masses; since, indeed, the masses would not understand this otherwise, a more perfect kind of science and history would not have been a help but a harm to them. But, they add, the Sacred Books, because they are religious by nature, necessarily possess life; now, life also has its own truth and logic, quite different from rational truth and rational logic, rather of an entirely different order, namely, the truth of comparison and proportion not only with reference to the medium (so they themselves call it) in which it is lived, but also with reference to the end for which it is lived. Finally, they proceed to such a point that, abandoning all restraint, they assert that whatever is evolved through life, is entirely true and legitimate.--Now We, Venerable Brethren, for whom there is one, unique truth, and who regard the Sacred Books thus, "that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author" [see n. 1787], declare that this is the same as giving the lie of utility, or the officious lie to God Himself, and We assert in the words of St. Augustine: "Once some officious lie is admitted against so high an authority, there will remain not a clause in those books which, according as it will appear to anyone difficult to practice or incredible of belief, is not referred according to this same pernicious rule to the plan and purpose of a lying author." * Therefore it will happen, as the same Holy Doctor adds: "In these, namely the Scriptures, everyone will believe what he wishes; what he does not wish, he will not believe."--But the modernist apologists move forward rapidly. They also concede that in the Sacred Books such reasonings are frequently discovered which attempt to prove a certain doctrine without rational foundation; such kind are those which rest upon the prophecies. And they defend these as a kind of artifice for preaching, which are made legitimate by life. What more? They admit, rather, they assert that Christ Himself manifestly erred in indicating the time of the coming of the kingdom of God; and this should not seem strange, they say, for He, too, was bound by the laws of life! Again, what about the dogmas of the Church? These also abound in open contradictions; but in addition to the fact that they are admitted by vital logic, they are not opposed to symbolic truth; for in these it is a question of the infinite, to which belong infinite considerations. Finally, they so prove and defend all this that they do not hesitate to profess that no more noble honor is shown the Infinite than the affirming of contradictions about Him.--But when a contradiction is approved, what will not be approved?

Dz 2103 He who does not yet believe can be disposed toward faith not only by objective but also by subjective arguments. To this end the modernist apologists return to the doctrine of immanence. They labor in fact to persuade man that in him, and in the innermost recesses of his nature and life are concealed a desire and need for some religion; not for any religion, but for such a one as is the Catholic religion; for this, they say, is ab- absolutely postulated by the perfect development of life.--Here, moreover, we should again complain vigorously that there are not lacking among Catholics those who, although they reject the doctrine of immanence as a doctrine, yet employ it as a method of apology; and they do this so heedlessly that they seem to admit in human nature not only a capacity and a suitability for the supernatural order, as certain Catholic apologists have always demonstrated within proper bounds, but a genuine need in the true sense of the word.--To speak more accurately, this need of the Catholic religion is introduced by modernists who wish to be known as the more moderate. For, those who can be called integralists wish that the germ be demonstrated to the man who does not yet believe, as being hidden in him, the very germ which was in the consciousness of Christ and was transmitted to men by Him.--Thus then, Venerable Brethren, we recognize the apologetic method of the modernists, summarily described, as quite in keeping with their doctrine; a method indeed, as also the doctrines, full of errors, not suited for edifying, but for destroying, not for making Catholics, but for dragging Catholics into heresy, yes, even for the complete subversion of every religion.

Dz 2104 [VII] Finally, a few words must be said about the modernist as a reformer. What we have said thus far shows abundantly with how great and keen a zeal for innovating these men are carried away. Moreover, this zeal extends to absolutely everything which exists among Catholics. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in ecclesiastical seminaries, so that, after relegating scholastic philosophy to the history of philosophy along with the other obsolete systems, youth may be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and in accord with our age.--To reform theology, they wish that that which we call rational have modern philosophy as a basis, but they demand that positive theology be based especially upon the history of dogma.--They also demand that history be written and be taught according to their method and modern prescriptions. Dogmas and the evolution of the same, they declare, must be brought into harmony with science and history.--As regards catechesis, they demand that only those dogmas be noted in catechism, which have been reformed, and are within the capacity of the masses. As for worship they say that external devotions are to be reduced in number, and that steps be taken to prevent their increase, although some who are more favorable toward symbolism show themselves more indulgent on this score.--They cry out that the government of the Church must be reformed in every respect, but especially on the disciplinary and dogmatic side. Thus, both within and without it is to be brought in harmony with the modern conscience, as they say, which tends entirely towards democracy; so to the lower clergy and to laity itself appropriate parts in the government should be assigned, and when authority has been unified too much and too centralized, it is to be dispersed.--The Roman congregations they likewise wish to be modified in the performance of their holy duties, but especially that which is known as the Holy Office and is also called the Index. Likewise, they contend that the action of ecclesiastical authority must be changed in the political and social fields, so that it may at the same time live apart from civil affairs, yet adapt itself to them in order to imbue them with its spirit.--In the field of morals they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are to be placed before the passive, and should be put ahead of them in practice.--They desire that the clergy be prepared to practice the ancient humility and poverty; moreover, that in thought and deed they conform with the precepts of modernism.--Finally, there are some who, giving heed to the words of their Protestant masters, desire the removal of holy celibacy itself from the priesthood--What, then, do they leave untouched in the Church, that is not to be reformed by them or according to their pronouncements?

Dz 2105 In explaining all this doctrine of the modernists, Venerable Brethren, We shall seem to some, by chance, to have delayed too long. Yet it was quite necessary to do so, both that, as is customary, We might not be charged by them with ignorance of their tenets, and that it might be clear that when it is a question of modernism we are dealing not with scattered teachings in no way connected with one another, but with a single and compact body, as it were, in which, if you admit one thing, the rest necessarily follows. Thus we have made use of what amounts to didactic reasoning, and sometimes we have not rejected the atrocious words which the modernists have employed.

Now as we look back upon the whole system in one glance, as it were, no one will be surprised when we define it as the synthesis of all heresies. Surely, if anyone had proposed this to himself, to bring together into one the sap and blood of all the errors that have ever existed about the faith, no one would have performed the task more completely than the modernists have done it. Rather they have gone so much beyond this as not only to destroy completely the Catholic religion, but all religion, as We have already intimated. Hence, the applause of the rationalists; for this reason do those among the rationalists who speak more freely and openly congratulate themselves on having found no more efficacious allies than the modernists.

Dz 2106 Now let us return for a moment, Venerable Brothers, to that most pernicious doctrine of agnosticism. By it evidently, as far as the intellect is concerned, every way to God is barred to man, while a more fitting approach is supposed to be open through a certain sense of the soul and action. Who does not see how wrong this is? For the sense of the soul is the response to the action of the thing which the intellect and the external senses have proposed. Take away the intellect and man will be prone to follow the external senses, in which direction he is already proceeding. Again this is bad; for any phantasies of the religious sense will not destroy common sense; moreover, by common sense we are taught that any disturbance or occupation of the soul is not a help but rather a hindrance to the search for truth, for truth, we say, as it is in itself; for that other subjective truth, the fruit of the internal sense and action, if indeed it is adapted to play, contributes nothing at all to man whose chief concern it is to learn whether outside himself there is a God into whose hands he will one day fall.--But the modernists do introduce experience as an aid to so great a task. Yet, what will this add to that sense of the soul? Nothing at all, except to make it more vehement; and as a result of this vehemence to make its conviction of the truth of the object proportionately stronger. Now these two certainly never make the sense of the soul cease to be sense, nor do they change its nature which is always liable to deception, unless it is directed by the intellect; but rather they confirm and assist it, for the more intense the sense, by that greater right it is sense.

Dz 2107 Now since we are here dealing with religious sense and the experience contained in it, you know well, Venerable Brethren, how much there is need of prudence in this matter; likewise how much doctrine to guide prudence itself. You know this from your own experience with souls, especially certain ones in whom the sense is pre-eminent; you know it from your habit of reading books which treat of asceticism, which works, although they are of little worth in the estimation of the modernists, yet present a doctrine far more solid and more profound for observing wisdom than that which they arrogate to themselves. Indeed, it seems to Us the part of madness, or at least consummate imprudence, to hold as true without investigation the intimate experiences which the modernists recommend. But why, to speak cursorily, if there is so much force and value in these experiences, should not the same value be attributed to that experience which many thousands of Catholics assert that they have regarding the erroneous path on which the modernists tread? Is not all this false and fallacious? But the great majority of men firmly hold this, and will hold this: that through sense alone and experience, with no guidance and light of the mind, man can never attain God. And so we again have atheism, and no religion.

Dz 2108 The modernists promise themselves nothing better by proclaiming the doctrine of symbolism. For if all intellectual elements, as they say, are merely symbols of God, will not the very name of God, or of the divine personality be a symbol. And if this is so, then there will be a possibility of doubt about the divine personality and the way is open to pantheism. Moreover, in the same way the other doctrine of divine immanence leads to pure and unmixed pantheism. For we ask this: Does such immanence distinguish God from man or not? If it does so distinguish, in what then does it differ from Catholic doctrine, or why does it reject the doctrine of external revelation? If it does not so distinguish, we have pantheism. But this immanence of the modernists holds and grants that every phenomenon of conscience proceeds from man as man. Thus good reasoning infers from this that God and man are one and the same; and so we have pantheism.

Dz 2109 Indeed, the distinction which they proclaim between science and faith admits no other conclusion. For, they place the object of science in the reality of the knowable; the object of faith, on the contrary, in the reality of the unknowable. Now, the unknowable is fully established from this, that between the material object and the intellect there is no proportion, and this defect of proportion can never be removed, not even in the doctrine of the modernists. Therefore, the unknowable will always remain unknowable, to the believer as well as to the philosopher. Therefore, if we will possess any religion, it will be of an unknowable reality. Why this cannot also be the soul of the universe, as certain rationalists admit, we certainly do not see. But let these words suffice now to show fully how the doctrine of the modernists leads by manifold routes to atheism, and to the destruction of all religion. Indeed, the error of the Protestants was the first to take the step down this road; the error of the modernists follows; atheism will be the next step. [After fixing the causes of these errors-- curiosity, pride, ignorance of true philosophy--certain rules are laid down for the support and organization of philosophical, theological, and profane studies, and for the cautious selection of teachers, etc.]

Denzinger EN 3474