Q. Thus far We have considered the Modernist as a philosopher. Now, if We proceed to consider him as a believer, and seek to know how the believer, according to Modernism, is marked off from the philosopher, what must be done?

A. ‘It must be observed that, although the philosopher recognizes the reality of the divine as the object of faith, still, this reality is not to be found by him but in the heart of the believer, as an object of feeling and affirmation, and therefore confined within the sphere of phenomena; but the question as to whether in itself it exists outside that feeling and affirmation is one which the philosopher passes over and neglects. For the Modernist believer, on the contrary, it is an established and certain fact that the reality of the divine does really exist in itself and quite independently of the person who believes in it.’

Q. And now we ask on what foundation this assertion of the believer rests.

A. ‘He answers: In the personal experience of the individual.’

Q. Is it in that, then, that the Modernists differ from the Rationalists?

A. ‘On this head the Modernists differ from the Rationalists, only to fall into the views of the Protestants and pseudo-Mystics.’

Q. How do they explain that, through individual experience, they arrive at the certitude of the existence of God in Himself?

A. ‘The following is their manner of stating the question: In the religious sense one must recognize a kind of intuition of the heart which puts man in immediate contact with the reality of God.’

Q. They attain to God without any intermediary. But what kind of certitude do they pretend to have through this intuition of the heart?

A. ‘Such a persuasion of God’s existence and His action both within and without man as far to exceed any scientific conviction. They assert, therefore, the existence of a real experience, and one of a kind that surpasses all rational experience.’

Q. If that is the case, whence comes it that there are men who deny the existence of God ?

A. ‘If this experience is denied by some, like the Rationalists, they say that this arises from the fact that such persons are unwilling to put themselves in the moral state necessary to produce it.’

Q. Is it, then, this individual experience which makes the believer?

A. ‘It is this experience which makes the person who acquires it to be properly and truly a believer.’

Q. But is not all that contrary to the Catholic faith?

A. ‘How far this position is removed from that of Catholic teaching! We have already seen how its fallacies have been condemned by the Vatican Council.
Later on we shall see how these errors, combined with those which we have already mentioned, open wide the way to Atheism.’

Q. According to such principles, does it not seem that the Modernists must conclude that all religions are true?

A. ‘Evidently; given this doctrine of experience united with that of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true. What is to prevent such experiences from being found in any religion? In fact, that they are so is maintained by not a few. On what grounds can Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam?’

Q. Do they claim a monopoly of true experiences for Catholics alone?

A. ‘Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true.’

Q. In fact, is not that an absolutely rigorous conclusion in their system?

A. ‘That they cannot feel otherwise is obvious. For on what ground, according to their theories, could falsity be predicated of any religion whatsoever? Certainly it would either be on account of the falsity of the religious sense, or on account of the falsity of the formula pronounced by the mind. Now, the religious sense, although it may be more perfect or less perfect, is always one and the same; and the intellectual formula, in order to be true, has but to respond to the religions sense and to the believer, what ever be the intellectual capacity of the latter.

Q. But do the Modernists not maintain the superiority of the Catholic religion?

A. ‘In the conflict between different religions the most that Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic has more truth because it is more vivid, and that it
deserves with more reason the name of Christian because it corresponds more fully with the origins of Christianity. No one will find it unreasonable that these consequences flow from the premisses.’

Q. Do not Catholics, and even priests, act as though they admitted such enormities?

A. ‘What is most amazing is that there are Catholics and priests who, We would fain believe, abhor such enormities, and yet act as if they fully approved of them. For they lavish such praise and bestow such public honour on the teachers of these errors, as to convey the belief that their admiration is not meant merely for the persons, who are perhaps not devoid of a certain merit, but rather for the sake of the errors which these persons openly profess, and which they do all in their power to propagate.