THE ERRORS OF THE MODERNISTS
THE RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY OF THE MODERNISTS
(Continued) BRANCHES OF THE FAITH
III. SACRED SCRIPTURE INSPIRATION
IV. THE CHURCH: HER ORIGIN, HER NATURE, AND HER RIGHTS
V. CHURCH AND STATE
Q. Is not the Church in relation with civil societies?
A. It is not only within her own household that the Church must come to terms. Besides her relations with those within, she has others with those who are outside. The Church does not occupy the world all by herself ; there are other societies in the world, with which she must necessarily have dealings and contact.
Q. How, according to the Modernist theologians, are these relations to be determined ?
A. The rights and duties of the Church towards civil societies must be determined, and determined, of course, by her own nature that, to wit, which the Modernists have already described to us.
Q. What rules do they apply to the relations between Church and State ?
A. The rules to be applied in this matter are clearly those which have been laid down for science and faith, though in the latter case the question turned upon the object, while in the present case we have one of ends. In the same way, then, as faith and science are alien to each other by reason of the diversity of their objects, Church and State are strangers by reason of the diversity of their ends, that of the Church being spiritual, while that of the State is temporal.
Q. How is it, according to the Modernists, that power was formerly attributed to the Church which is refused her to-day ?
A. Formerly it was possible to subordinate the temporal to the spiritual, and to speak of some questions as mixed, conceding to the Church the posit, of queen and mistress in all such, because the Church was then regarded as having been instituted immediately by God as the author of the supernatural order. But this doctrine is to-day repudiated alike by philosophers and historians.
Q. Do they, then, demand the separation of Church and State ?
A. Yes. The State must be separated from the Church, and the Catholic from the citizen.
Q. In practice what, according to them, ought to be the attitude of the Catholic as a citizen ?
A. Every Catholic, from the fact that he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty to work for the common good in the way he thinks best, without troubling himself about the authority of the Church, without g paying any heed to its wishes, its counsels, its orders-nay, even in spite of its rebukes.
Q. Has the Church, then, no right to prescribe to the Catholic citizen any line of action ?
A. For the Church to trace out and prescribe for the citizen any line of action, on any pretext what so ever, is to be guilty of an abuse of authority.
Q. If the Church attempts to intervene, and, consequently, according to the Modernist doctrine, commits an abuse, what is to be done?
A. One is bound to protest with all one s might.
Q. Have, these principles not been already condemned by the Church ?
A. The principles from which these doctrines spring have been solemnly condemned by Our Predecessor, Pius VI., in his Apostolic Constitution, Auctorem Fidei*
Q. Is it enough for the Modernists to demand the separation of Church and State?
A. It is not enough for the Modernist school that the State should be separated from the Church. For as faith is to be subordinated to science as far as phenomenal elements are concerned, so, too, in temporal matters the Church must be subject to the State.
Q. Have they really the audacity to teach this ?
A. This, indeed, Modernists may not say openly, but they are forced by the logic of their position to admit it.
Q. How does such an enormity follow from the principles of the Modernists?
A. Granted the principle that in temporal matters
*PROP. 2. The proposition which maintains that power was given by God to the Church to be communicated to the Pastors who are her ministers for the salvation of souls understood in the sense that the Church s power of ministry and government is derived by the Pastors from the faithful in general-is heretical.
PROP. 3. Further, that which maintains that the Roman Pontiff is the ministerial Head- explained in the sense that the Roman Pontiff receives, not from Christ in the person of Blessed Peter, but from the Church, the ministerial power with which, as successor of Peter, true Vicar of Christ, and Head over the whole Church is invested throughout the Universal Church is heretical.
the State possesses the sole power, it will follow that when the believer, not satisfied with merely internal acts of religion, proceeds to external acts such, for instance, as the reception or administration of the Sacraments these will fall under the control of the State. What will then become of ecclesiastical authority, which can only be exercised by external acts ? Obviously it will be completely under the dominion of the State.
Q. But, then, does it not seem that to be free from this yoke of the State, there would be, if Modernists had their way, no longer any possibility of having external worship, or even any sort of religious fellowship ?
A. It is this inevitable consequence which urges many among liberal Protestants to reject all external worship nay, all external religious fellowship and leads them to advocate what they call individual religion.
Q. The Modernists have not yet got to that point; but how are they preparing men s minds for it, and what do they say about the Church s disciplinary authority?
A. If the Modernists have not yet openly proceeded so far, they ask the Church in the meanwhile to follow of her own accord in the direction in which they urge her, and to adapt herself to the forms of the State. Such are their ideas about disciplinary authority.
Q. And of what kind are their opinions on doctrinal authority ?
A. Much more evil and pernicious are their opinions on doctrinal and dogmatic authority.
Q. What is their conception of the magisterium of the Church ?
A. The following is their conception of the magisterium of the Church : No religious society, they say, can be a real unit unless the religious conscience of its members be one, and also the formula which they adopt. But this double unity requires a kind of common mind, whose office is to find and determine the formula that corresponds best with the common conscience ; and it must have, moreover, an authority sufficient to enable it to impose on the community the formula which has been decided upon. From the combination and, as it were, fusion of these two elements, the common mind which draws up the formula and the authority which imposes it, arises, according to the Modernists, the notion of the ecclesiastical magisterium.
Q. That is democracy pure and simple, is it not, and the subordination of the teaching authority to the judgment of the people ?
A. They avow it and say, ‘as this magisterium springs, in its last analysis, from the individual consciences, and possesses its mandate of public utility for their benefit, it necessarily follows that the ecclesiastical magisterium must be dependent upon them, and should therefore be made to bow to the popular ideals.
Q. Do the Modernist theologians, then, accuse the Church of abusing her magisterium ?
A. To prevent individual consciences from expressing freely and openly the impulses they feel, to hinder criticism from urging forward dogma in the path of its necessary evolution, they say, is not a legitimate use but an abuse of a power given for the public weal.
Q. Is the Church supreme in the exercise of the authority which the Modernists do concede to her ?
A. No. A due method and measure must be observed in the exercise of authority. To condemn and prescribe a work without the knowledge of the author, without hearing his explanations, without discussion, is something approaching to tyranny.
Q. In short, what must be done to please these Modernist theologians ?
A. Here again it is a question of finding a way of reconciling the full rights of authority on the one hand and those of liberty on the other.
Q. In the meantime what must the Catholic do, according to them ?
A. In the meantime the proper course for the Catholic will be to proclaim publicly his profound respect for authority, while never ceasing to follow his own judgment.
Q. In revolt as they are against the authority of the Church, do the Modernist theologians at least accord to the Church the right to a certain solemnity of worship and a certain exterior splendour ?
A. Their general direction for the Church is as follows : that the ecclesiastical authority, since its end is entirely spiritual, should strip itself of that external pomp which adorns it in the eyes of the public. In this they forget that, while religion is for the soul, it is not exclusively for the soul, and that the honour paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who instituted it.