Jul 12, 2006

The Great Catholic Retreat--Chapter 1: Modernism

Modernism began to infect the Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The errors of modernism were condemned in clear documents issued by numerous Popes, especially Pius IX and Pius X. In the 1907 Encyclical "Pascendi", Pius X noted that modernism embraces every heresy. Other writers of that time correctly identified modernism with three spirits:

· Continual movement and change

· Complete personal emancipation

· Uncontrolled feelings of the heart

Detailed Papal condemnations did not destroy Modernism, but caused it to develop an imprecise language of mixed meanings. The new language was used to spread Modernist ideas, yet allowed Modernists to claim orthodox meanings. The most useful short history of Modernism is found in the 1981 edition of Christ Denied by Fr. Paul Wickens.

Modernists had enough influence by the early 1960s that they assumed control of Vatican II and almost all its implementation in local Churches. Consequently, the documents of Vatican II were written in the Modernist language of mixed meanings, and allowed Vatican II to be implemented as a Modernist council.

The Great Catholic Retreat is noted for departures from orthodoxy and Catholic practices, and by a significant loss of priests, religious, and laymen and women. The Retreat began during Vatican II, with the worst effects being felt in a 30-year period from the late 1960’s through the late 1990’s. Historians of today (2098) continue to explore how and why this council and its implementation resulted in severely declining statistics of Church religious members and a drastic weakening in religious belief and practice.

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