The Catechism of a New Age of Man
Trusting in the eloquent reports written by all of the Catholic authors, including friends of Tradition, I opened with ? hope the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. I read it ... I shut it... and this question which haunted the days of little Thomas Aquinas came to my head: Who is God? What is God? Dare I even add that this clamor of indignation, which shook the heavens at the time of Lucifer's revolt, has nearly shaken my soul: Quis ut Deus? Who is like unto God? I was even tempted to reply with the words of Jesus Christ: "et laudavit dominus villicum, iniquitatis quia prudenter fecisset ? and the master praised the dishonest steward for the prudence of his management."
Puzzlement, indignation, admiration: these are the sentiments that fluctuate within me at the end of this reading that I had wanted however, to be benevolent.
Puzzlement because I did not find the dear answers to the great questions that we can ask the Church: What is God? What is the Church? What is grace? What is a sacrament? What is the Mass? What is the priest? I found many descriptions, qualifications, and many considerations - sometimes very beautiful and true ? on these things, but not even one of those good, precise, unambiguous definitions, which the Church has always loved in order to protect Her Faith. For example, not even once will you find for the definition of God the words of St. John, "God is Spirit," whereas the Old Testament is abundantly cited and, of course, these other words of St. John, "God is Love!" The Faith itself is presented to us in the first place as "the response from man to God who reveals Himself" (#26). We must wait until #153 and the following to have a more exact description of God, and the definition is not until #1814.
Indignation, not so much because of the way God is treated, but because of the destiny reserved for the Church. Here lies the mortal sin of this which takes up again and builds on the sins of Vatican II: doctrinal ecumenism, religious liberalism, collegiality and the promotion of the common priesthood of the faithful to the detriment of the ministerial priesthood of priests (#874-933), the disappearance of propitiation which defines the sacrifice of the Mass (#1356-1381), the Judaizing of the Church. (Compare the subtle sliding back and forth between the Jewish Passover and the sacrifice of the Cross?# 1363-1364. The memorial seems to be the same.) We begin to ask ourselves what separates us from the Jews (#839) since we are all awaiting the same thing (#840), and almost all that which is Catholic has come to us from the Jews (even the Our Father! #1096). We must even learn from them in order to be good Catholics (idem). We are apparently more culpable for the death of Our Lord than they are. (#598: "The Church does not hesitate to attribute to Christians the most grave responsibility of the torturing of Jesus"!!!) Above all, do not attempt to find out if our first martyrs were massacred by the Jews! Evidently Protestant sects and like groups are ordinary means of salvation (#819)? As for the Orthodox, one truly asks where the problem lies (#839)? The Muslims believe in God the Creator (and therefore triune?), and even, without a doubt, in Jesus Christ - since they have the faith of Abraham (#841)!!!
In all of this, what constitutes the unity of the Church? You were possibly thinking that it is Faith? Well, no. It says, it is charity. It is also Faith, but that is secondary (#815). Faith, even if declared necessary for salvation (#161), is no longer considered as the beginning of salvation. It is no longer the starting point of justification, and therefore the fundamental link within the Church. What a contrast to the magnificent decree on justification by the Council of Trent, which is so clear and so precise. The new Catechism explains to us that the unique Church of Christ "subsists" (in Latin in the text, as they must keep up an appearance of Tradition) in the Catholic Church, which is not spoken of as the only Church of Christ but simply one of its realizations (#816). This does not prevent the doctrine that "Outside the Church there is no salvation!" from being cited. (Oh, how ultraconservative the authors of this Catechism, would have been if they hadn't changed the meaning of the word "Church.") As for the State, in these conditions it is clear that it must not give preference to any religion whatsoever (#2107, 2244 and the following), especially ours, which cannot pretend to be the only, true master of the truth. We can conserve all of our dogmas ? and the essential is preserved, except for that which pertains to the Church ? but on the condition that we admit and respect all of the "elements of sanctification and truth" contained in the other religions.
Some other questions merit mentioning. The ends of marriage have been inverted (#1601 & 2201). Natural Family Planning seems conformed to this inversion since, to legitimize it, it suffices to have just reasons (which ones??). The human conscience is the first of all of the vicars of Christ (#1178). Charity is always practiced through respect of our neighbor and his conscience (#1789). The human person is the principle, the subject, and the end of all social order (#1881,1907,1929,1930). The respect of man's dignity and rights is the fundamental rule, which governs all moral order as it is expressed in the Ten Commandments. (Example of abortion: #2270-2273).
My final impression
is one of admiration of the cleverness of the authors who are specialists
in the modernist method. This work is well composed and the method
is clever and artful. This is the great dishonesty of this work:
there are, in effect, some very beautiful reminders that one is
happy to read, but the intellectual method is false and perverts
any possible good which is contained therein. What is the starting
point of its analysis? Man; again man; and always man. There where
we expect God, we find man. The following are some examples:
1. The title of the first chapter consecrated to faith is "Man is Capable of God."
2. The first chapter consecrated to morality is entitled "The Dignity of the Human Person."
Besides these, we find this other speciality of modernist thinking: "To hear them, to read them, we would be tempted to believe that they contradict themselves ... Far from that. All is weighed, all is deliberate. One page of their work could be signed by a Catholic. Turn the page and you would think you were reading a rationalist." (St. Pius X, ? Pascendi ? September 8, 1907). One example is #1698. The first and last example of this Catechism will always be Jesus Christ. On the following page the first question is on "the dignity of the human person." Another example is #2105: The Church manifests the kingship of Christ over all of creation and, in particular, over human society. Turn the page (#2108), and we find "the natural right to civil liberty in religious matters."
In conclusion, this catechism illustrates the accuracy of the adage of St. Thomas: "ultimum in executione, primum in intentione." ? "The last thing done is the first thing intended." That which comes last reveals to us the whole intention of the reformers who have been working in the Church for more than thirty years (an intention revealed and denounced by Archbishop Lefebvre since Vatican II): to create through and beyond a Conciliar Church ? of which nobody can say what it is ? a new Catholic Church in which the word universal signifies a church that is collegial, world?wide, and cosmic, a Church for Man, for all of humanity justified by the Incarnation of the Divine Word. All men, no matter what their religion might be, take part in this Church of the New Age of Man if they are faithful to their consciences and respectful of others' consciences. The role of religion in this liberal and cosmic Church is not to transmit a truth of which it is the depository. It is rather to give to men, in accordance with the other religions, a minimal of ethics that permits everyone to live happily in peace with his neighbor. What is this minimum? Gratitude and respect toward man has replaced that toward God. Let Jesus Christ defend Himself as He wishes against the princes of lies who consent to venerate Man with you, if you venerate him. Let Jesus Christ handle as He wishes the Princes of Lies who consent to venerate man with us, if we venerate them.
This Catechism is the conclusion, the fulfillment, the synthesis of thirty years of Conciliar upheavals. It has arrived at the right moment, like Napoleon, in order to put a stopping point on the dissoluteness and the excesses - thereby maintaining its conservative side - and also in order to structure the work of the revolution in a coherent and ordered fashion. Thus, it puts at the disposition of all, like the Summa Theologica, everything that was inaccessible to the common faithful, all that was dispersed in a confused and obscure manner, in a multitude of texts, discourses and actions. It gives to all of this legal and obligatory force. One can no longer ignore the Conciliar law today.
One last remark: scrutinize the list of references. Amongst all of the 20th-century popes cited by this Catechism, there are only three missing. . . Pope John Paul I (that is understandable), Pope Benedict XV (that, too, is plausible), and finally, Pope St. Pius X! This last one was never cited, and neither was Pope St. Pius V (except for once by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Constitution). Without a doubt, doesn't Pope St. Pius X have anything to teach us about the catechism, doctrine, the Mass, the Holy Eucharist, the priesthood? Maybe he has too much to teach us about modernism?