St. Francis Xavier Parish
Well, with this installment, we have covered a year’s worth of columns dedicated to Modernism. It has been eye-opening to me as I have done my research for these columns. Truly, we have barely even scratched the surface, but it is time to move on to a new topic. The following is a brief summary review. What is most important to remember is that Modernism is an infection of the thought process—and we have all been exposed to and effected by it.
1.All religions are equal. Modernism proposes that all religions lead to God/happiness/fulfillment. All that matters is that one is “religious” in some way. 2.The purpose/object of Religion is not God, but whatever makes the individual feel fulfilled. Religion is about what makes you feel fulfilled and whatever facilitates a religious experience—not whatever is necessary to lead you to God. There is no binding dogma or doctrine or Truth. If Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Wicca, or any other religion, makes you feel good and more in touch with the Divine, then it is true for you. 3.Since the significant and determining factor of religion is therefore humanity and not the divine, then religious practice, doctrine, and in fact all Truth must evolve with the sensibilities of current human society. Modernism proposes that what was true in the past, may not be true in the present or future (even involving central and essential elements of Faith and Divine Revelation). 4.Ambiguous language is to be used as much as possible. This allows that many people may interpret even direct Divine Revelation (i.e. Scripture) and the teaching of the Faith in their own way while maintaining the outward appearance of unity. Orthodox terminology is maintained, but the definitions of the terms are changed—and there is no standard definition. 5.Religious practices are to evolve and adapt to current sensibilities. Our communal prayer is not about worship of God, but (1) our expression of our unity, and (2) to foster our personal “religious” experiences.
6. Divine Revelation and the Scriptures are also time-conditioned and therefore prone to current irrelevance. This effects the understanding of God’s acting within Time up to and including the Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection. For instance, Modernism teaches that the “actual” historical Jesus is not necessarily the Jesus of the Gospels and other absurdities like “no one was more surprised the morning of the Resurrection than Jesus.”
7. Therefore, our disconnect from God is complete because we can’t even trust the Scriptures. We must all pursue our own personal path to God—a path which only applies to us and to no one else.
8. Innumerable other effects…
Fr. Michael Fitzpatrick
347 South Street, Hyannis, MA - 02601 - Office: 21 Cross Street, Hyannis, MA 02601
Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Fall River, MA