Heresy Organized

107 years ago, Pius X wrote Pascendi, an encyclical condemning Modernism. It is an astoundingly penetrating encyclical.

In fact, the account of Modernism is so coherently put together that some looked around for its counterpart in the “real world” of scholarship and couldn’t find anything like it. Thus, the charge that Pius made up this heresy. It was a “phantom heresy”.

But Pius was neither a Don Quixote nor naive about the world. That he was not naive is evident. That he was not a conspiracy nutcase should be evident from the subsequent unmasked forms of Modernism that arose later. But we also find testimony, rare but precious (and unsurprising), from one of the chief targets at the time, Alfred Loisy.

Loisy writes,

“The avowed Modernists form a fairly definite group of thinking men united in the common desire to adapt Catholicism to the intellectual, moral, and social needs of today” (Simples réflexions, p. 13). “

It is naive to think that heretics, especially those that are occult, do not organize. They do organize; they have organized; they are organizing.

We need a prayer such as that of Bp Alexander of Constantinople, that God would topple heresies. Our Lady, Crusher of Heresies, Pray for us.

Crusher of heresies

2 thoughts on “Heresy Organized

  1. How familiar are you with the work of Alfred Loisy? A quick perusal in the old Catholic Encyclopedia shows him going so far as to deny the historicity of the Gospel according to St. John. Looks like he was fairly modern in his opinions.

    Perhaps my judgement is rash. I am claiming no expertise on the matter, just asking.

    It would be an interesting study to assemble brief biographies of the players from the time leading up to the condemnation of modernism and just after to see who begat who and so on.

    Perhaps the interest would be fairly narrow. Perhaps it has already been done. Any recommendations?

    1. Loisy and Tyrrell are the two big names immediately associated with this error. Of greater interest for me are recent and contemporary instances of modernism. After all, these are more proximately affecting things now. A decent book along those lines, though its translation is not so good, is Cardinal Siri’s Gethsemane. More needs to be written and uncovered, though.

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