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.
“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.