Jean Guitton and the Modernism on II Vatican Council: Reply to the Report from Brescia
(English version from the original in Italian – “Risposta al Parere del’Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia”)
Jean Guitton confesses: the II Vatican Council has proclaimed what Saint Pius X condemned as Modernist heresy, in 1906:
“When I read the documents relative to the Modernism, as it was defined by Saint Pius X, and when I compare them to the documents of the II Vatican Council, I cannot help being bewildered. For what was condemned as heresy in 1906 was proclaimed as what is and should be from now on the doctrine and method of the Church. In other words, the modernists of 1906 were, somewhat, precursors to me. My masters were part of them. My parents taught me Modernism. How could Saint Pius X reject those that now seem to be my precursors?” (Jean Guitton, Portrait du Père Lagrange, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1992, pp. 55-56).
"O voi ch'avete l'intelletti sani,
mirate la dottrina che s'asconde
sotto il velame delli testi strani"
(Dante, Inferno, IX, 61-63).
[“O ye who have undistempered intellects,
observe the doctrine that conceals itself
beneath the veil of the mysterious texts!”]
Most Illustrious Sire Dr. Renato Papetti,
Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia.
Laudetur Jesus Christus.
I - Introduction
First of all, allow me to thank you for your most kind attention regarding the question sent to you by my brother, Marcelo Fedeli, and I apologize for my orthography and grammar mistakes, since I have learnt my Italian at home.
I also want to thank Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia for the concern to answer and to “adequately deepen the delicate matter” submitted, entrusting a theologian to elaborate a learned report about Jean Guitton’s statement on the modernist character of II Vatican Council.
Anyway, my gratitude to your kindness and to the work of Istituto Paolo VI cannot help me saying, with a respectful and Christian sincerity, that your answer, that means, the theological report assumed by Istituto Paolo VI – that so much pleased me by its kind attention actually did not satisfy me intellectually.
My brother has submitted to your judgment, and to others as well, the phrase of Jean Guitton that asserts – with all the letters – that “what was condemned as heresy in 1906, was proclaimed as what is and should be from now on the doctrine and method of the Church”. Therefore, that the condemned doctrine of Modernism was retaken and defended by the II Vatican Council.
Guitton, a very dear and reliable friend of Paul VI, and who was invited by this Pope to take part of the Council, had the authority to confess what is very well understood, but that many want to put “under the veil”: that the Modernist doctrine condemned by Pope Saint Pius X was proposed, sometimes in a very misty, concealed and ambiguous way, as Catholic doctrine in the documents of Vatican II.
You answer, through the theological report that you sent to me: “There is evident ignorance and bad intention in those who see connivance between the doctrine of the Vatican II relative to Revelation and the thesis on which the modernism is based, that is the historical-critic theory.” (the underlining is mine).
I’m sorry, but Guitton did not restrict his affirmation to “Revelation” only. He said, generically, that Vatican II “has proclaimed” the Modernist doctrine. But he didn’t mention the Revelation according Modernism and according to Vatican II. Istituto Paolo VI has restricted the matter on its own account.
Otherwise, the theological report itself, that was sent to us, says that: “the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes of exquisitely evangelic style (…) is often accused of modernism”
Who, besides Guitton, has accused Gaudium et Spes of being modernist?
Were there, therefore, others that regarded the Modernism triumphant in the doctrines and documents of Vatican II?
Is it attributed to Guitton the “evident ignorance and bad intention”?
Or to whom else?
This unclear accusation does not uphold the famous “dialogue”.
If the author of this learned theological report judged that Guitton had “evident ignorance and bad intention”, he should say it clearly. And how could one say that Guitton ignored the Vatican II, in which he deeply took part of? And how could the confidence and friendship between him and Pope Paul VI be explained, if he had “bad intention”?
And yet: Guitton’s phrase was published in the biography that he wrote about Father Lagrange, by request and order of Pope John Paul II. However, there is no proof that John Paul II denied, or even criticized, Guitton’s terrible statement about Vatican II, that is in this book...
I beg you to forgive me, but there is something puzzling about the indirect attribution of “evident ignorance and bad intention” to Guitton. Case you have referred this judgment to him.
And it is not right to write a report about the opinion expressed by Jean Guitton without mentioning him not even a single time, nor even without quoting, not even a single time, his terrible affirmation: “For what was condemned as heresy in 1906, was proclaimed as what is and should be from now on the doctrine and method of the Church.”
If one did not know the phrase from Guitton, that has moved my brother’s query, by only reading the erudite theological report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia, one would not know what or who we talk about. The author of the theological report has - very skillfully - tried to answer the question about Guitton’s statement without naming him not even a single time, and without analyzing what he said about the Council, that is, that the Vatican II taught the Modernist thesis condemned by Saint Pius X in the Pascendi.
Why such a silence about Guitton’s phrase?
After these first considerations, let me analyze a little more deeply the theological report that Istituto Paolo VI has sent us.
I will do it, following the same method of yours, in two parts:
I - I will analyze its initial and general statements;
II - I will criticize, if you allow such a boldness, the theological notes you pointed out in order to assure that Vatican II did not teach the thesis of the Modernism.
It is true that I am not a theologian, but if you allow me to reason it out a little bit – as a layman, not as an expert – I will tell you why I was not satisfied with your report.
II - Modernity and Modernism
The erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI begins with a distinction between the concept of Modernity and the theory of Modernism, (as “philosophical and theological-biblical theory”). And it evolves as if Modernity concept hadn’t being condemned as much as Modernism. However, the concept of Modernity was condemned by Pius IX in the Syllabus, the doctrinaire document so hated by modernists.
Pius IX condemned in the Syllabus the error of saying that:
“The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization” (80th error condemned in the Syllabus, Denzinger, 1780).
What does Modernity mean?
Modernity is the “civilization” sprung from the principles of Humanism and of Reformation. Modernity produced the world which we live in, as if it was possible to say that today we actually live. Because agonizing is still living, but this is only a way of living…a terminal way of living.
Modernity is contrary and enemy of the Catholic faith, and this has been stated and taught by Pius IX in the Syllabus.
Nevertheless, “according to sociologist Joan Estruch y Gilbert, Director of the Sociology of Religion Investigation Center, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, “by means of the II Vatican Council, the Catholic Church was incorporated to Modernity and made peace with it” (Acc. Paulo Daniel Farah, The Church considers the convocation of the III Vatican Council, article from Folha de São Paulo, December 25, 2002, p. A-9).
In fact, it is possible to tell Modernity and Modernism apart, for they certainly are not the same thing. Modernism has affinities with Modernity, not only in the root of the words, but also, and even more, in the principles of uninterrupted “progress” and of evolution.
The idea of uninterrupted progress is inherent to Modernity. And Modernism has accepted this principle, by defending the uninterrupted progress of the thought that caused the evolution of dogma doctrine, condemned by Saint Pius X in the Encyclical Pascendi.
According to Tyrrel, who also has been condemned by Saint Pius X – and it was a pity that Saint Pius X forgot Tyrrel in the tiny little list of modernists mentioned in his report –, according to the modernist Tyrrel: “Modernist” as opposed to “Modern” means that one insists about Modernity as a principle. This means the recognition, from the part of religion, of the rights of modern thought, the necessity of summarizing, not between what is old and what is new, without distinction, but between that which, after passing through the sieve of criticism, was recognized as good, as on what is old, as well as on what is new.’ (G. Tyrrel, Mediaevalism, p.143, apud. J. Rivière, Le Modernisme dans l’Eglise, Librairie Letouzey et Ané, Paris, 1929, p. 6 – Bolded and underlined mine).
And you see that the concern in respecting “The rights of the modern thought” was assumed by the Vatican II, which is an argument which is favorable to Guitton’s sentence about the Modernism on the Vatican II.
The distinction that one makes between Modernity and Modernism was already made in those times of polemics about the Modernism, in the first decade of the 20th century.
Monsignor Baudrillart, therewith Rector of the Catholic Institute from Paris, made a speech, in November 4, 1907, approaching this very point: Can one say that Modernism has nothing to do with Modernity?
The future Cardinal Baudrillart declared, at the time:
“Modernism comes from modern. Would there be, therefore, something between modern spirit and Christian spirit, between modern man and Christian man, something that would be radically incompatible, something that the Church, in order to be faithful to its mission, should necessarily condemn?” (Monsignor Baudrillart, Discourse for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, November 4, 1907, Apud. Pierre Collin L’Audace et Soupçon – La Crise du Modernism dans le Catolicisme Français, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 1997, p. 45).
The theological report’s answer, dear Dr. Papetti, is that there is nothing in common between Modernism and Modernity.
Cardinal Baudrillart answered yes, there is something in common, and the common point is incompatible with the Catholic Doctrine.
Look at what said Monsignor Baudrillart:
“In essence, the modern man is the ancient man, the man before Christianity, who does not intend to depend on anything but on nature and reason”. “Well then, at the same moment in which Renaissance claimed this sovereignty of the rights of nature and of reason, Protestantism, by its turn, established the principle of free exam of the Sacred Scriptures, and placed it, in matter of doctrine, over the dogma of Church’s authority ” (idem apud op. cit. p. 46).
And commenting these words, Pierre Collin asserts:
“The protestant spirit helped thus to the formation of the modern spirit, characterized by individualism, by religious subjectivism. All those tendencies, by the end of the 18th century found a particularly strong expression in Kant, who deserves to be called ‘the philosopher of the Protestantism and father of the modern spirit’. There is a complete opposition between the modern spirit, thus defined, and the Christian spirit” (Pierre Collin, op. cit. p. 46. Bolded mine).
And Monsignor Baudrillart still says:
“Protestant is the man who does not recognize another religious authority above or outside himself, who draws from his own conscience the religious truth on which he lives: the modern man is the one who understands that he depends only on himself, in other words, that he is a god to his mind. In both situations, you may see that one gets to the doctrine of autonomy and of personal glorification of man. This is the modern spirit, such as it is presented to us nowadays, and it is radically opposite to the Christian spirit” (Monsignor Baudrillart, cited speech, apud. Pierre Collin, op cit., p. 46. The bolded is mine).
Therefore, Modernity has come from Humanism and from Protestantism, both which created the modern, anthropocentric world, contrary to the Christian theocentric cosmovision. In the Modern world, man figures himself as God. Revelation would be something that would rise from man’s inner part. Exactly as it was defined by Modernism, which is son of Protestantism and Kant.
We will see, later, dear Dr, how Revelation is conceived by Vatican II, and according to the report from Istituto Paolo VI.
I have quoted the Syllabus and the Pascendi...
I’m afraid that the name of those papal documents may give you the creeps... and that it would lead you to put my letter away with the definitive comment: “He is an integrist...”
I apologize for thinking and writing this fear of mine that you could reject my text as... “integrist”. But it is so common nowadays, due to Modernity and Modernism, to consider these documents surpassed... Nowadays, so many theologians have the creeps when they read the names of papal documents from other times... they want news… existential and personalistic news. They believe in the Evolution, and everything that comes from the past, that is, from before Vatican II is not supposed to be considered valid anymore. The past should be “aggiornatto”, that is, renewed.
However, the Vatican II is not a little baby anymore: it has already turned 40 years old.
Maybe, because that, there are super-modernists who want to update it in a future Vatican III (Libera nos Domine!).
In Brazil, just yesterday, February 9, 2003, it has been noticed in a big newspaper, that 34 bishops and approximately 2000 priests led by Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, asked the Pope the summoning of the Vatican III, which a benedictine abbot suggested to be taken place in … Africa (sic!).
Why do passionate advocates of the Vatican II reject almost all Church’s old documents as being surpassed, as being of no value? As if truth would be mutable; as if truth would have the need of being “aggiornata” (i.e. updated).
This is also a noticeable Modernist principle that the Vatican II assumed in order to please Modernity and its famous “men of good will”...
Therefore, the distinction between Modernity and Modernism absolutely did not satisfy me. On the contrary...
I ask you, if you allow me: what does this distinction have to do with Jean Guitton’s phrase anyway?
It has nothing to do with it!
The erudite report from your Institute was well written, but allow me to tell you that it does not answer with serious evidences to the problem that came up with Jean Guitton’s frightening sentence.
Has the Vatican II defended and taught – yes or no – the heretic ideas of the Modernist condemned by Saint Pius X in the Pascendi?
I qualified Guitton’s statement as frightening because his statement is a confession that causes fright and fear, which reveals what Modernists do not intend to be known.
According to Guitton, anyone with sane intellect well realizes the doctrine that is hidden under the veil of the texts and strange terms… of the Vatican II.
And this has not been anyhow answered by Istituto Paolo VI’s report.
III - Has Pascendi invented the name ‘Modernism’?
According to the document that Istituto Paolo VI sent to us, the term Modernism was coined by the document of Saint Pius X, the Pascendi.
And this is also not true.
To begin with, one must reject the statement that the term Modernist was invented by the Pascendi, since it opposes the very text of this papal document, which says ipsis litteris:
“It is one of the cleverest devices of the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called...” (Saint Pius X, Pascendi, n.4, cfr. Denzinger, 2071).
The term Modernist was used in first place by Luther, so informs Rivière. (cfr. J. Rivière, op. cit., p. 14, note 1).
Rivière himself verifies that Rousseau has also used the term Modernist as synonym for materialist (cfr. Rivière, op. cit., p. 15). And yet Rivière says that, according to the Littré dictionary, Modernist “is one who considers modern times superior to the antiquity” (J. Rivière, op. cit., p. 16).
What a beautiful and clear definition, and how well it exposes to the light the mentality of certain Vatican II theologians and of those who follow it as if it were the “Super Council”!
The Catholic Encyclopedia says about this problem:
“The Catholic publicist Périn (1815-1905), professor at the University of Louvain, 1844-1889. This writer, while apologizing for the coinage, describes "the humanitarian tendencies of contemporary society" as modernism. The term itself he defines as "the ambition to eliminate God from all social life". With this absolute modernism he associates a more temperate form, which he declares to be nothing less than "liberalism of every degree and shade" ("Le Modernisme dans l'Eglise d'après les lettres inédites de Lamennais", Paris, 1881). (A. Vermeersch, Modernisme, De Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911, ).
And continues the Encyclopedia:
“During the early years of the present century, especially about 1905 and 1906, the tendency to innovation which troubled the Italian dioceses, and especially the ranks of the young clergy, was taxed with modernism. Thus at Christmas, 1905, the bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Turin and Vercelli, in a circular letter of that date, uttered grave warnings against what they called "Modernismo nel clero" (Modernism among the clergy).”
“Several pastoral letters of the year 1906 made use of the same term; among others we may mention the charge of Cardinal Nava, Archbishop of Catania, to his clergy, a letter of Cardinal Bacilieri, Bishop of Verona, dated 22 July, 1906 and a letter of Mgr Rossi, Archbishop of Acerenza and Matera. "Modernismo e Modernisti", a work by Abbate Cavallanti that was published towards the end of 1906, gives long extracts from these letters. The name "modernism" was not to the liking of the reformers. The propriety of the new term was discussed even amongst good Catholics. When the Decree "Lamentabili" appeared, Mgr Baudrillart expressed his pleasure at not finding the word "modernism" mentioned in it (Revue pratique d'apologetique, IV, p. 578). He considered the term "too vague". Besides it seemed to insinuate, "that the Church condemns everything modern". The Encyclical "Pascendi" (8 Sept., 1907) put an end to the discussion. It bore the official title, "De Modernistarum doctrinis". The introduction declared that the name commonly given to the upholders of the new errors was not inapt. Since then the modernists themselves have acquiesced in the use of the name, though they have not admitted its propriety”(Loisy, "Simples réflexions sur le decret 'Lamentabili' et sur l'encyclique 'Pascendi', of September 8th, 1907", p. 14; "Il programma dei modernisti": note at the beginning). (A. Vermeersch, Modernisme, De Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10415a.htm).
Therefore, the term Modernist was not created by Saint Pius X’s document. And, even if it were, how well found this term would be!
The modernists of yesterday and today defend the thesis of modern origin – Hegel expressed it clearly – which asserts that “the actuality, the present time must always be better; therefore, the modern world is absolutely better than the Middle Ages” (cfr. Sthal apud Domenico Lossurdo, Hegel, Marx e a Tradição Liberal, Ed. Unesp, São Paulo, Brazil, 1998, p. 62).
It is the acceptance of the idea of continuous progress that forces modernist theologians to defend the continuous “aggiornamento” of the Church.
Loisy said that:
“The Gospel was not an absolute and abstract doctrine, by its own virtue directly applicable to all times and to all men. It was, instead, a faith engaged by all parts in the time and the environment where it was born. A work of adaptation was made and will be perpetually necessary in order to this faith to preserve itself in the world” (Alfred Loisy, L’Évangile et L’Église, p. 124, apud J. Rivière, Le Modernisme dans l’Église, ed. cit., p. 62).
Perpetual adaptation means the same thing as aggiornamento. And aggiornamento means, so to speak, Modernism.
I am sorry, but it is not me who state it: I simply repeat it. I accept the idea expressed in a modernist book, favorable to the Vatican II:
“The word aggiornamento, which was chosen [by John XXIII] as a consignee for the actualization of the Church cannot prevent us from feeling a certain tickling if we think about how little it differs from the meaning of the taboo word Modernism” (Father T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Católica, Ediciones Caros Lohlé, Buenos Aires, 1971, p. 279. The bold part is mine).
And the aggiornamento that was disgracefully presented by Pope John XXIII in the beginning of the Council was the evil root of all modernisms which Guitton recognized in the Vatican II.
I ask you not to rip your clothes by the enunciation of this fact. Do not forget that the Vatican II orders that all must be tolerated, and that one must always dialogue.
So, let us dialogue then.
And let us move forward.
IV - Who was condemned for Modernism?
In the report from Istituto Paolo VI it is said that:
“The thesis there condemned were Loisy’s, expressed both in the “petit livre rouge”, namely, “The gospel and the Church”, of 1902, and in the second “petit livre rouge”.
I partially agree with you…
It is very true that the Pascendi and the Decree Lamentabili condemned specially Loisy’s thesis. But they did not condemn only his thesis. The “Principle of Immanence”, appreciated by Blondel, one of the mentors of Modernism, was also condemned by the Pascendi, which openly talks about this gnostic-smelling principle. This is so real that Blondel realized that the Pascendi texts aimed him and became very disturbed.
What a great effort was made to avoid Blondel’s condemnation!
Maurice Blondel was involved with the modernist movement, and because of that, he stated the following after reading the Pascendi:
“I suffer. Happy are those who died in the Lord”. “I read the encyclical – [Pascendi] – and I remain astonished. Is it possible? What kind of interior and exterior attitude should I take? Above all, how can I prevent many souls from succumbing and doubting Church’s goodness?” (Maurice Blondel, letter to Mourret, in September 17, 1907, apud René Virgoulay, Blondel et le Modernisme, Cerf, Paris, 1980, p. 230)
And to Father Wehrlé, Blondel wrote a letter to on the very same day of September 17, 1907 where he states:
“I perish under the encyclical [Pascendi]” (Apud Virgoulay, op. cit., p. 231).
On September 20, Blondel wrote to the modernist Laberthonnière, who, later on, will also be condemned by Saint Pius X:
“What was condemned was just the eference thesis, the religion that rises from the deepest of the conscience. By doing this, they wanted to aim at us. Subsequently they really believed that they have stroke us (…)” (M. Blondel, apud Virgoulay, op. cit. p. 232).
By his turn, Virgoulay comments:
“Blondel recognizes that he was “aimed at”. He recognizes that they believed to have stroke him (as well as Laberthonnière), but what he does not recognize is having been in fact stroke” (Virgoulay, op. cit. p. 232).
And Wehrlé, replying to Blondel, wrote him:
“You were aimed at with such a precision that repeals any sort of doubt. There have been some precautions in order not to condemn you [nominally], but you are condemned without remission” (Wehrlé to Blondel, letter of September 18, 1907).
Therefore, there is no doubt that modernist philosopher, who is mentioned in the Pascendi, is Maurice Blondel, although he has not personally been quoted in this encyclical.
In the theological report from Istituto Paolo VI, Most Illustrious Dr. Papetti, it is said that just Loisy’s and Buonaiuti’s doctrines were condemned as modernists. And that is a simplification that distorts the historical truth.
Yet, others were condemned by Saint Pius X as modernists, like Father Laberthonnière, Father Georges Tyrrel, Father Turmel, Edouard Le Roy, Father Romolo Murri, Senator Antonio Fogazzarro for his tedious romance “The Saint”, just to name a few of the famous modernists who were condemned. (And so many others who were so close from being caught and who very cunningly escaped from condemnation…).
V - A little digress: the case Lagrange
In the document from Istituto Paolo VI, afterwards, it is made the defense of Father Lagrange, in order to detach him to Loisy.
Also this detachment oversimplifies reality.
Father Lagrange was friend of all these condemned modernists, as well as of those to whom escaping from condemnation as modernist heretics was a close thing. Guitton wrote a biography of Father Lagrange by John Paul II’s request. By the way, it was in this very book about Father Lagrange that Guitton stated that the doctrines condemned as being modernist by Saint Pius X were approved, taught and proclaimed -- by the II Vatican Council. On top of that, the Pope John Paul II, who had ordered this biography to Guitton, did not criticize this frightening statement about the Modernism in the Vatican II.
Let us see, now, Father Lagrange.
Father Lagrange is considered by many people as one of the leaders of the Modernist movement, although he was a lot more skillful and insinuating than Loisy.
Pierre Collin, speaking about the beginning of the Modernism, says:
“However, the history of the Modernism does not begin in 1902 when Loisy’s book [L’Évangile et L’Église] comes out. One of the goals of our study is to insist on the philosophical causes of the modernist crisis. Now, since its publication in 1893, Maurice Blondel’s thesis about L’Action has already caused passionate controversies. The same has happened with the new biblical exegesis practiced in France by Father Loisy and Father Lagrange” (Pierre Collin, op. cit., p. 12. the bolded is mine).
This author distinguishes Father Lagrange from Loisy, yet he says:
“Lagrange is not Loisy, Blondel is not Hébert, but both ones and the others adopt the same ordinary methods from critic and philosophy” (P. Collin, op. cit., p. 70).
“Monsignor Batiffol [Archbishop of Toulouse] made a certain ‘ideological map’ according to which Monsignor Duchêsne would have caused a division amongst his disciples: a leftist group, that tried to reinterpret Catholicism on the basis of a radical exegesis and of a not less radical philosophy of religion; and another moderate group, rightist, that tried to reconciliate the results of critic and theology, always respecting their own methods” [Exactly as the Vatican II intended to do, according to Cardinal Ratzinger’s reasoning. (Acc Cardinal J. Ratzinger, Problemi Del Fondamento ed Orientamento dell’Esegesi Contemporanea, http://www.ratzinger.it/miscellanea/interbiblconflitto.htm (P. Collin, op. cit., pp. 134-135. The bold is mine)]
“Loisy belonged to the first group [the leftist]; Lagrange and Batiffol himself, to the second” (P. Collin, op. cit., pp. 134-135).
This division into two groups, a more radical one, and another more moderate and consequently more dangerous, because the last can always infiltrate heretical thesis where the radical groups are repealed, such division has always been used by heretic movements.
What would be then the difference between Loisy and Lagrange?
Loisy considered all the histories narrated in the Gospel as myths. Father Lagrange did not accept this conception. For him, the histories told in the Gospel were not myths. They were historical legends:
“Lagrange refuses the term myth, and thus, he refuses the alternative History or Myth. He prefers to talk about ‘Primitive Legendary History’”(acc. P. Collin, op. cit., p. 146).
What a moderation! …
The very report sent by Istituto Paolo VI, illustrious Dr. Papetti, recalls that Father Lagrange, even though Leo XIII had given him support, was suspect of modernism by Saint Pius X.
“Father Lagrange, by his turn, will be placed under suspicion in 1912 by St. Pius X, with a letter from the Consistorial Congregation because of his position about the mosaic origin of the Pentateuch, by him expressed and kept in the IV Scientific Congress of Catholics at Fribourg, on August, 1897.” (Document from Istituto Paolo VI).
Since 1897, because of the conference which Father Lagrange made in the International Scientific Congress, in Fribourg, about the historical value of the Pentateuch, a dossier had been opened in the Saint Office, regarding Father Lagrange (P.Collin, op. cit., p.145).
Later on, Cardinal Merry del Val will forbid the publishing of Lagrange’s book about the Genesis (P. Collin, op. cit., p. 145). The Saint Office had already decided that Moses was the real author of the Pentateuch (Acc. Denzinger, 1997, ss.) and yet in 1909 the statement about the legendary character of Pentateuch was condemned (Acc. Denzinger, 2122).
In 1912, Father Lagrange, due to a Rome's decision, had to depart from Jerusalem. (Acc. P. Collin, op. cit., p. 495).
VI - Preliminary problems concerning Vatican II
Finally, the erudite theological report that you sent us, Most Illustrious Dr. Papetti, aims at showing that the Vatican II – unlike what Jean Guitton stated without John Paul II’s correction – would not have been Modernist.
It is written in Istituto Paolo VI's document:
“Sure the II Vatican Council has taken care, like it could not make it, of the serious and great problems of humanity that impoverish and threaten the straight conscience which allows people to recognize good from evil, and to act consequently, according to the dictates of faith and of the dignity of man, image and likeness of God, by identity and vocation.” (The underlines are of my responsibility).
Therefore, you assure us that “the II Vatican Council has taken care, like it could not make it, of the serious and great problems of humanity”.
But do you – really – believe that: “the II Vatican Council has taken care, like it could not make it, of the serious and great problems of humanity”?
Why, then, did not the Vatican II condemn the communism and the Marxism that caused – and still causes – so much harm to mankind?
The II Vatican Council consciously did not even want to name the biggest problem of mankind in the 20th century: Communism. The Vatican II has not condemned the biggest error of History. This most serious omission will be forever a burden over the Pastoral Vatican II and over the shoulders of its responsibles.
Why has not the Vatican II said a single word against the most serious threat to the Church in all History?
Because it had been signed an agreement between the Vatican and the USSR, in Metz, in which the Pope John XXIII pledged not to condemn the Communism nor the USSR, in the Vatican II, as long as the Soviet Union allowed the coming of representatives of the Schismatic Russian Church to watch the Council. It was the famous Metz Pact, signed by Cardinal Tisserand in the name of the Vatican, and by Nikodin, a so-called Bolshevik Secret Service Colonel, in the name of the USSR.
How can one say that: “the II Vatican Council has taken care, like it could not make it, of the serious and great problems of humanity”?
This is also not true.
And how can one still say that the Vatican II tried to “recognize good from evil” in the modern world, if the Vatican II documents do not point out any error in our times and in Nostra Aetate?
How can one tell good from evil, if the Vatican II sees the world with Gadium et Spes?
How could the Vatican II ever be able to distinguish the good from evil, if the Vatican II, following John XXIII’s orientation, has refused to listen to the “prophets of calamities”, which include the prophecies in Fatima?
No. The Vatican II did not help the conscience to distinguish between good and evil, because the Council refused to condemn the evil. It refused to condemn whoever it be. There were no anathemas in Vatican II. Pope John XXIII did not want them. Paul VI did not do them. The Vatican II was just “pastoral”, as Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI have decided. The Vatican II decided to speak with mercy, without condemning anything or anyone. As if mercy did not imply in condemning the errors and those who practice them.
In Istituto Paolo VI's sentence, which we are analyzing, there is another point that we would like to focus.
What does it mean to say that man is “image and likeness of God, by identity and vocation”?
That which is an image is not identical.
What sort of identity is there between God and man?
The creature cannot be identical to the Creator.
To admit identity between God and man is Gnosis or Pantheism.
Admitting it implies in admitting a Modernist thesis: Blondel's esoteric Panchristism, or Teilhard de Chardin’s explicit pantheism.
And also this identity between man and God, admitted in Istituto Paolo VI’s document, is neither truthful nor acceptable.
As you can see, dear Doctor Papetti, that I talk to you with truthfulness, because without trustworthiness every dialogue is simply… “ecumenical”, that is, relativist. Which is also unacceptable, since it would mean to base oneself on the equivocal.
And this issue lead us to the famous “dignity of the man”, which is exhaustively spoken in a slippery way by philo-modernists or modernist Christian democrats.
VII - The Religion of Man in the Modernism and in the Vatican II
And yet, you Doctor say on the report you have sent us that Vatican II decided "to act consequently, according to the dictates of faith and of the dignity of man".
It was absolutely necessary that the Council acted according the dictates of faith. It would be absurd if it did not do so!
But that the Council wanted to act according to the dictates of the "dignity of man", this is a principle of Modernity, which is in the heart of the Modernist heresy.
The famous dignity of the man, which is so slippery mentioned, consists, as the Holy Church teaches by means of Leo XIII, on the fact that man was created as image and likeness of God, and that he was called to be adoptive son of God through Baptism. Not on any other humanistic or modernist reason regarding the dignity of man, or yet, and even less, on a pseudo identity with God. Image, I repeat, is not identity. But, to Modernity and to the Modernism, dignity of man means that man is God.
The Humanism, which is one of the foundations of this anti-Christian Modernity, the Idealism and the historical Materialism have placed man in God’s place.
Also the Modernism has endeavored to put Man in God’s place.
You certainly remember what Loisy said:
"In Christ, Humanity elevates itself to Divinity. One could say, if one wants, that humanity adores itself in Jesus, but it must be believed that, by doing this, humanity does not forget its own condition neither that of God" (A. Loisy, L’Évangile et l’Église, p. 253).
By reasoning about the perspectives of the Modernism founded by Loisy, Émile Poulat wrote:
"In fact, [in Loisy’s work] wherever someone turns his look, he would never find a place in which he could detain himself or arrive. Before him, the unlimited future of Catholicism would suppose its transformation, a transformation in respect to which the religion of humanity allows itself to be guessed as a possible prolongation"(Émile Poulat, Histoire, Dogme et Critique dans la Crise Moderniste, Albin, Paris, 1996, p. 98. The highlight is mine).
Well then, Cardinal Montini, when he was still Archbishop of Milan, Montini, Guitton’s friend, wrote a document about The Work and the Christianity, in which he says, with all letters, that tomorrow’s religion will be, perhaps, the religion of man.
"Will not modern man get, one day, as his scientific studies advance and find out the realities hidden behind the dumb face of matter, to pay attention to the wonderful voice of the Spirit that palpitates in it? [Sic!] Will not it be tomorrow’s religion? Has Einstein himself foreseen the spontaneity of a religion of nowadays?..." (Paul VI, March 27, 1960 Speech, apud Documentation Catholique, n. 133, June 19, 1960. The boldface is mine).
And also Maurice Blondel, philosopher very much esteemed by Modernists of today and of yesterday, had said that what man wants, no matter how, is to become God.
Pierre Collin, unsuspected integrist author, wrote:
"According to Blondel, the objective of the will transcends the rights, art, moral, but also metaphysics and religion. In a single word, the first and the last principle of spiritual dynamism is the idea of God, while "we cannot get to know God if we do not wish to become God somehow" (p.338). Definitively, we want to "be God", but man, by acting, sees himself confronted with an alternative that imposes a choice: to be god without God and against God, or to be God by God and with God" (Pierre Colin, L’Audace et le Souçon, Desclée de Brower, Paris, 1997, pp. 193-194).
This phrase could surely make a good sense. But… there is in Blondel’s ideas a certain complacence with the temptation of being God, the temptation that is in the heart of Humanism.
And Blondel, who used to write to the public in "trobar clus", in particular letters, spoke sometimes less mysteriously in "trobar leu", although not so clear yet:
"But all of us must repeatedly persuade ourselves that the assimilated effusion of the divine goodness can only operate and triumph in us through a heavy duty and a crucifying dilatation. It is always the Verbun caro factum est and the caro verbum facta mystery. One is just possible through the other. There is no doubt that the world is deified: we can, and must do everywhere a peregrination to the Holy Places. We breathe the air that He breathed, and there is something of Him that moves in us: everything, however, just makes sense and has efficacy because of the supernatural vocation, from the offered and consented grace, without which all this divine inserted in the creature would be of no use. (Caro nihil proficit), as is private and debit "in the emptiness" and in condemnation (…)" (Maurice Blondel, Letter to Father Valensin, December 5, 1919, in Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin – Correspondência comentada por Henri de Lubac. Moraes Editora, Lisboa, 1988, pp21-22. The boldface is mine).
“There is no doubt the world is deified”?
Is the "divine inserted in the creature"?
The "men of good will" would also interpret optimistically Blondel’s assertion, who leaves on them too thin a veil ...
"Aguzza qui, Dottor, ben li occhi al vero,
chè 'l velo è ora ben tanto sotile,
certo che 'l trapassar dentro è leggero"
(Dante, Purg. VIII, 19-21).
[Here, Doctor, fix thine eyes well on the truth,
For now indeed so subtile is the veil,
Surely to penetrate within is easy]
And, if one takes a closer look at this veil with a little bit more attention, one finds Blondel himself confessing…
"This subject [Panchristism] is one of "the oldest and most esoteric (Sic!!!) subjects of my personal thought and of that which I call my Panchristism".(Letter from Maurice Blondel to Father Auguste Valensin, December 5, 1919, in Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin, correspondência comentada por Henri de Lubac, Moraes Editora, Lisbon – São Paulo, 1968, p, 22. The astonished highlight is mine).
Therefore it is true!
There is something esoteric in Blondel’s misty writings! He said so! Something that he recommended not to be revealed to "Gente grossolana” [People of rough understanding, that is to say, not initiated].
"It is my opinion that we should not offer to its reviewers, and not even to its readers, the unusual and ambiguous expression of panchristism. This word with no preparation and not being explained, we run the risk of, because of its analogy with the word pantheism, suggesting physic or metaphysically etc…" (First note from Maurice Blondel to Father Auguste Valensin, in Blondel e Teilhard de Chirdin, correspondência comentada por Henri de Lubac, Moraes Editora, Lisboa – São Paulo, 1968, p. 57).
Blondel not only confesses that he had an esoteric doctrine, but he demands it not be told to the "gente grossolana ": Valensin and Blondel readers!
In the same book which gives us this precious piece of information, we read a little afterwards:
"No one will ever hinder mankind’s effort of integrating Christ in a Cosmology: otherwise Jesus would not be the Verb"(Acc. Letter from Maurice Blondel to J. Wehrlé, May 9, 1904, in Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin – Correspondência comentada por Henri de Lubac, Moraes Editores, Lisboa – São Paulo, 1968, p. 59).
Teilhard wrote, from Jersey, to his cousin Margareth Teilhard, on April 8, 1919:
"He [Auguste Valensin] told me that, about the universe consistence in Christo, Blondel has so audacious perspectives that he does not dare to follow him so far – however, he told me that Rousselot does not hesitate to do so. I ignored this aspect of Blondel’s thoughts and I will ask someone to explain it to me." (Teilhard de Chardin, Gênesis de um Pensamento, p. 347 in Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin – Correspodência comentada por Henri de Lubac, Moraes Editores, Lisboa – São Paulo, 1968, pp. 59-60).
What were Blondel’s real thoughts, that he did not dare to write, and that he taught esoterically, and because of that, he forbade it to be published?
Maybe he could have said that he had found "in all logical, metaphysical, moral and religious ways" of his thought "that ontogenic and phylogenic Panchristism which we talked many times in common" (Letter from Blondel to Father Auguste Valensin, December 19, 1919, in Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin – Correspondência comentada por Henri de Lubac, Moraes Editores, Lisboa - São Paulo, 1968, p. 38).
And now the veil has almost disappeared, has not it, eminent Doctor Papetti?
Blondel puts in man’s will, that means, in human nature, a desire for the supernatural that will be retaken by Father de Lubac. And modernist Father Auguste Valensin, who was an admirer and disciple of Blondel, graduated Father de Lubac who, in his turn, was one of the major theologians in Vatican II …
What Blondel put under a misty and esoteric veil, Teilhard said clearly:
"As the spirit appears in the Man using, someway, the instincts’ drafts, thus also the Supernatural forms itself continuously by means of creation of our nature" (First note of Father Teilhard de Chardin to Father Auguste Valensin, in Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin -Correspondência comentada por Henri de Lubac, Moraes Editores, Lisboa - São Paulo, 1968, p. 34).
Teilhard de Chardin admitted that the panchristism of Blondel had influenced him:
"With Blondel I had a relationship (through Auguste Valensin) for around one year (right after the First World War, in 1920). Certain points of his thought have acted so much over me: the value of the Action (that became, in my thought, an Energetic almost experimental of the biological potencies of the evolution), and the notion of "panchristism" (to which I had arrived independently from him, but without daring, by that time, to name it so well)"(Teilhard de Chardin, Letter in February 15, 1955, in Claude Cuénot, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Plon, Paris, 1958, pp. 55-56).
Cuénot admits that Teilhard de Chardin’s knowledge was inherited from Blondel’s thoughts, transporting the "cristicism" to the action plan (acc. Claude Cuénot, Aventura e Visão de Teilhard de Chardin, Livraria Moraes Editora, Lisboa, 1966, p.133).
In an article sent to the Assistant Father of the General Supervisor of the Company of Jesus, Father Teilhard de Chardin wrote, in 1948:
"There is an urgent necessity to the Christian faith on that One who is Up-There of incorporating the human Neo-Faith in an Over-There born (already born, and forever...) from the objective apparition of an Ultra-Human before us (releasing of a neo-Humanism that leads automatically to a neo-Cristianism)". (Claude Cuénot , op, cit. pp. 327-328).
In a letter to Leontine Zante, in 1936, Teilhard wrote:
"What increasingly dominates my interest is the effort to establish within myself and to diffuse around me a new religion (let’s call it an improved Christianity if you like) whose personal God is no longer the great neolithic landowner of times gone by, but the Soul of the world..." (Apud Father G.H. Duggan, S. M., The Collapse of the Church in the West - 1960-2000 Bolded mine).
And that Teilhard de Chardin was a gnostic, even the neo-modernists recognized: "... in spite of some critics that are more related to the form than to the content, De Lubac totally agrees with Teilhard. Against him [Teilhard], are not valid [to De Lubac] the accusations of renewing the old Gnosis, accusations formulated by Ëtienne Gilson, Jacques Maritain and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Teilhard is a ‘mystic’ who follows the track of Origen and finds himself entirely in Blondel. All paths lead to Blondel. He is the point of origin and arrival. In fact, the ‘cosmic christology’ [of Teilhard] is already found in Blondel, as well as the eclipse, in Incarnation, regarding the subject of Redemption" (Massimo Borghesi, O Itinerário de Henri de Lubac – A História como Mística, in 30 Giorni, ano VII, n. 1, January, 1993).
Even the gnostic Urs von Balthasar recognizes that Teilhard de Chardin was gnostic! And Father de Lubac, despite all, tries hard to justify him!
Therefore, there is no doubt that this New Religion of Teilhard de Chardin’s is the old Gnosis.
And the II Vatican Council admitted this new humanistic faith, praised by Teilhard de Chardin, when Paul VI proclaimed that the Church has the cult of Man.
Vatican II accepted the anthropocentrism of Modernity and of Modernism –which deifies man. Vatican II, as well, just like the philosophy of Modernity, put Man in God’s place, so that, at the end of the Council, Paul VI declared:
"In this Council [Vatican II] the Church almost made itself slave of mankind".
"Humanists of the 20th century: recognize that We also have the cult of the Man".
I know perfectly well that you, eminent Dr. Papetti, know the speech of Paul VI at the end of the Council. But, if you know it – and you cannot be unfamiliar to it – you must admit that the religion of Man, wished as a goal by the Modernists – in the beginning of the 20th century – it has become praised, and in a certain way, accepted in the Vatican II.
Therefore, Jean Guitton demonstrated neither ignorance, nor bad intentions by saying that the Vatican II proclaimed the thesis that Saint Pius X had condemned in the Modernism.
In this closing Speech of Vatican II, Paul VI declared:
"The Church of the Council [Vatican II] (...) was also much attached with man as he really is today, with living man, with man totally taken up with himself, with man who not only makes himself the centre of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and final cause of all reality... Secular, profane, humanism finally revealed itself in all its terrible stature and, in a certain sense, challenged the Council. The religion of God made man has come up against the religion -- for there is such a one -- of man who makes himself God.”
“And what happened? A clash, a battle, an anathema? That might have taken place, but it did not. It was the old story of the Samaritan that formed the model for the spirituality of the Council. It [the Council] was filled only with an endless sympathy. The discovery of human needs – and these are so much greater now that the son of the earth has made himself greater-absorbed the attention of the Synod. Recognize at least this our merit, you modern humanists who have no place for the transcendence of things supreme, and come to know our new humanism: we also, We, more than anyone else, have the CULT OF MAN" (Paul VI, Closing Speech of the II Vatican Council, 7 de December 7, 1965).
That was a concord declaration, as never heard before, between the Church – the Civitas Dei by excellence – and the Modern World, with its Humanism, foundation of the City of Man.
And this impossible conciliation could only give birth to the submission, the servitude of the Church to man.
"Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching [of the Vatican II] is channeled in one direction, the service of mankind”. (Paul VI, quoted Speech).
“It might be said that all this and everything else we might say about the human values of the council [Vatican II] have diverted the attention of the Church in council to the trend of modern culture, centered on humanity. We would say not diverted but rather directed...”
"In this Council [Vatican II] the Church almost made itself slave of the humanity" (Paul VI, Closing Speech of the II Vatican Council).
In the Sacred Scripture it was proclaimed:
"Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man"(Jer. XVII, 5).
But, disgracefully, Paul VI wrote: "We have faith in the man". (Paul VI, interview in Sidney, December 2nd, 1970).
Finally, after a text that ressembles Rousseau’s, the hymn of glory to the man, made by Paul VI in 1971, by occasion of the first spatial voyage:
"Honor to man! Honor to thinking! Honor to Science! Honor to the synthesis of the scientific and organizational activity of man, man that unlike the all other animals, knows how to give himself achieving tools to his mind and to his hand!"
"Honor to man King of the Earth, and also, from now on, Prince of the sky! Honor to the living being that we are, which mirrors God on itself, and, by dominating things, obeys the biblical ordinance: grow up and dominate"! (Paul VI, Speech in Angelus hour, February 7th, 1971).
It seems like a paraphrase of Gloria in eccelsis Deo!
It seems an exaltation of man, as an idol!
How different was Saint Pius X’s position regarding man:
"It is necessary that, with all means and works, we make disappear radically the huge and detestable evilness proper of our times, that substitutes God by the man" (Saint Pius X, Supremi Apostolatus, 14).
What can we understand, thus, about the dignity of the man?
By dignity of man, should we understand it according to what Leo XIII said about it, that is to say, that man was called to the eminent dignity of adopted son of God or should we understand that man is "identical to God", that man is God, as preached by certain modernists?
VIII - Renewed or New Concept of Revelation?
In the beginning of Istituto Paolo VI’s theological report, dear Dr. Papetti, it is put as a fundamental thesis that the Vatican II established a “renewed concept of revelation”.
The term renewed is underscored.
In the report, one reads:
“In order to comprehend the renewed concept of Revelation of the Vatican II, it is necessary to briefly confront the perspectives of Vatican I and Vatican II, from the historical and theological point of view.” (The boldface and underscore are of my responsibility).
Therefore, it is admitted that Vatican II has a renewed concept of revelation.
Renewed does not mean new. Instead, it means that something, that already existed, was redone, without being fundamentally changed. Well, at the end of your report, it is written that the concept of revelation from Vatican II is “new”. And new stands for diverse from old.
This is the conclusion of your Report:
“Consequently, the new concept of Revelation unblocks the indifference of the theology for the various sights of culture and communicates an interest that is as much passionate, almost anxious, as what has been inert the previous indifference by way of the manualistic and neo-scholastic theology” (Bold and underscore are mine).
So, is the concept of revelation from Vatican II different from the one which was accepted previously by the Church?
What has changed?
If the revelation concept is new, why was it said, then, that it was just a renewal?
It seems to me that, at this point, there is a contradiction on your theological report.
Am I wrong?
Father Shoof himself also admits that Vatican II abandoned the old scholastic concept of revelation to adopt a new concept of revelation based on the New Theology doctrines.
“The water drops over the rock managed to do something. However, also in this case, the changing derived from the ecclesiastic teaching, by finally sustaining the orientation of the reformist theologians, and by renouncing, during the II Vatican Council, to its exclusive contract with Scholastic”(Father T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires, 1971, p. 185).
Afterwards, a parallel is made between the circumstances of the I Vatican Council, in 1870, and the II Vatican Council in 1962-1965.
It is stated that “Under the historical-cultural profile, (…) The historical-cultural context in which the formulation of the doctrine of Revelation in the Vatican I gushes is determined by a deep fracture between Christian and modern thought”.
Hence, Vatican I has put in first plane the relation between faith and reason, intending to condemn the newborn errors, be them Rationalism or traditionalist Fideism.
Secondly, the diversity would arise from the fact that, in 1870, “Church felt besieged by its adversaries”.
From where it follows the concern of defending the faith crystallized in theological forms, in the dogma.
In Vatican II, the Church wanted to get out to the uncovered, not to condemn errors, but to introduce faith “in an accessible way to contemporary civilization as to intervene effectively the existential condition of the man of today”. “The Vatican II is born in a period of theological Reflection and of a calmer and, above all, more creative ecclesial rethinking and proposes not much to defend, but to expose the doctrine of the Church, showing its organicity, existential importance and up-to-date pastoral.”
Thus, there would be two main points of diversity between Vatican I and Vatican II:
- A concept of faith and of revelation founded over truths from which appears “an intellectualistic concept” regarding faith and revelation (Vatican I); and “a personalistic historic-salvific conception of Revelation”, in Vatican II.
- A historical situation where the Church was under siege in the times of Vatican I, and an opening situation in the Vatican II times.
Starting by the historical context, allow me to refuse this presentation.
It is not true that it was only in 1870 that the Holy Church was besieged by its adversaries. In the time of Vatican II the situation was far worse.
At the time of Vatican I, the Church was suffering the attack of secret forces, mainly in France and Germany. There was the Piemont War against the Pontifical States. There was the Franc-Prussian war.
But in the 20th century, the war against the Church had become universal, and deeper than never. Communism was making war against the Church everywhere. Europe was under threat of a bolshevist invasion, or of an atomic war. All the world was submitted to the Marxist danger by means of war, guerrilla or by the revolutionary propaganda. The menace and the war were so serious that several Cardinals and Patriarchs were sent to communist prisons. To the point of forcing John XXIII to surrender before the USSR, ordering the signature of the Pact of Metz. And it was exactly during the Council that came up the missile crisis in Cuba.
Therefore, the historical-cultural circumstances were worse in the times of Vatican II.
Also under the doctrinaire point of view it was never seen before a danger of errors as serious as in the time of Vatican II. Not only Marxism, but Freudianism, Existentialism, Liberalism, Relativism and Subjectivism, Phenomenology, Structuralism, insinuated themselves everywhere, infiltrating even in the seminars. Worse than all these philosophies was the expansion of modernist errors spread by the so called New Theology, that was already censored – but not crushed – by Pius XII in the encyclical Humani Generis.
And one must not forget the liturgical errors sprout in the 20th century by Father Lambert Bauduin, by Father Louis Bouyer, and by the heresies of Father Maurice Zundel, Paul VI’s friend and protegee.
How can Istituto Paolo VI state, thus, that the historical cultural context of Vatican II was not of siege against the Church?
This statement is absurd and against historical reality.
It is curious that modernist and progressist theologians and exegetes, who intend to be very rigorous about the historical reconstruction of the Gospel times, are so little rigorists, and even so little objectives, when exposing the most recent and even the present day historical reality.
It is also curious that Istituto Paolo VI's theological report analyzes only the new revelation concept according to the Vatican II, when Jean Guitton’s statement was far more generic.
But this is something already.
Let us see now the first point which is the one that deals with the concept of revelation according to Vatican I, and the “renewed” concept – or better, new, as it is admitted by your report’s conclusion – according to Vatican II.
In order to make it a clearer exposition, I will examine the several positions about the revelation:
- The revelation according to the Catholic doctrine;
- The revelation according to Modernism;
- The concept of revelation according to the so-called New Theology;
- The new concept of revelation of Vatican II, according to the Report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia.
As much as possible, I will give the quotations, employing the same words of Istituto Paolo VI's theological report, in order to clarify the problem’s view – as it was answered and not as it was put – that is: has Vatican II accepted, yes or no, the modernist doctrine of revelation?
IX - Revelation According to the Catholic Doctrine
According to the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI, my dear Doctor Papetti, the concept of Revelation by Vatican I, when compared to the new concept of Revelation by Vatican II, could be summarized in these notes:
Revelation would be intellectualistic. The content would be made of truths disclosed by God Himself to the human intellect. From that follows the importance that was given to the dogma and to the condemnations of heresies. According to the theological report which you sent us: “In the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius of Vatican I, the purpose of the Revelation is the participation in the divine conscience and, as a consequence, the priority is given to wisdom”.
On the other hand, revelation according to the Vatican II would be more historical-salvifical than revelation of truths.
Please allow me to provide a draft of the concept of revelation according to the doctrine of Vatican I and to the way it has ever been. I believe that, regarding this point, we do not disagree:
1) Revelation is the set of truths taught by transcendent God by means of certain elected men inspired by the Holy Ghost; truths that were taught to them in a supernatural way; truths that were revealed mainly by Christ and through the Holy Ghost that inspired the Evangelists and the Apostles, truths consigned to the Church, that must teach them to all men, as necessary to their salvation.
2) The revelation is an extrinsic fact to man, and is freely given by means of intellectual illumination.
Were it not extrinsic, how would one explain that Balaan’s mule spoke?
3) The revelation was consigned to the Church as a deposit of truths (Depositum fidei).
4) There are two sources of revelation: The Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, given to the Church to teach the truth revealed by God, to the salvation of the souls.
Due to this, it is said in the infallible Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent:
“I admit and embrace very firmly the tradition of the Church and Apostles and the remaining observances and constitutions of the same Church. I also admit the Holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy mother the Church has held, and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers”(Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent, Dezinger, 995).
Because of this Council Vatican I infallibly defined:
“This supernatural revelation, according to the Faith of the universal Church declared by the Saint Council of Trent, “(...) are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us”(Council of Trent, Cap. II, on Revelation, Denzinger, 1787).
5) The knowledge of these truths that are revealed and transmitted by the Sacred Scripture and by the Apostolic Tradition, were given to the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church that teaches them in a dogmatic way, with divine authority, infallibly, and these truths must be held with faith by men. And these truths must be considered non-temporal and universal, immutable in their sense and doctrine.
6) The truths revealed by God and taught by the Church are infallible and immutable. One can enhance his knowledge on them by deduction, by means of Theology, but always keeping the same sentence and the same meaning. Therefore, these revealed truths must not be adapted and cannot be adapted by a relativistic and variable way, according the times and places.
7) The Church must keep the Faith Deposit and teach it faithfully. The teaching is done positively by means of the dogmas; and the defense of Depositum Fidei is done negatively, through condemnations of errors and excommunications. The Church transmits the revealed truth but never changes its sense.
One cannot teach the truth without condemning the opposite error.
8) God makes Himself knowledgeable to us:
a) Imperfectly, through the creation, by means of the light of reason, that gives us a natural wisdom, with which one can know the existence of God and some of His attributes. That being so, it is the Verb of God creator that enlightens our mind.
b) By means of “Locutio Dei” – which means, through the revelation itself – through the Tradition and the Sacred Scripture, mainly by means of the supernatural revelation made by Christ, God’s Verb incarnated, Divine Master (Mt. VIII, 28, and John VIII, 13), who teaches and gives us the Light of the Faith – through Him we could know that God is unitary in His substance and Trinitarian in His Persons, and that the Son of God became man to our salvation.
c) After life, in Heaven, we will have the Revelation of God by means of the beatific vision, when the glorious Christ will enlighten us with the light of glory.
The revelation through Christ’s grace, and through the Church, is the halfway between the indirect revelation by means of creation – that is imperfect and natural, known by the light of reason – and the beatific vision, direct and supernatural. The revelation recognized by Faith, for those who are not in the situation of invincible ignorance, is preparatory and absolutely necessary in order to have the beatific vision.
X - The Revelation according to Modernism
To Modernism, revelation is personal, done in the inner part of all men by means of an ineffable feeling; by means of which God manifests Himself to each one. Revelation would not consist of communicating truths, but otherwise, of a personal experience, existential and impossible to be put into words, that would reveal no truths about God, but God Himself, the divine nature of God, the divine res.
To the modernists, “the revelation, in order to be truly real, would demand a clear showing of God in the conscience” (Pius X, Pascendi, 31).
“At least, say the modernists (...) by the religious feeling one must recognize a kind of intuition of the heart, which puts man in immediate contact with the very reality of God (...)”(Pius X, Pascendi 37 (14)).
“Furthermore, although it has been said that only God is the object of faith, this must not be understood but of the reality of God, not of the idea of God” (Pius X, Pascendi 42 (17)).
[This point of the modernist doctrine about the revelation of the divine res itself, more than of truths about God, will be admitted by the new concept of revelation preached by the Vatican II, and by the theological report from Istituto Paolo VI].
This revealing feeling would take place in the heart, and not when receiving the truths taught by God Himself to the human intellect.
I repeat: Revelation would not have a set of truths as object. As it is not received by means of intellect, revelation would not have a conceptual character. It would be received as a heart insight, through a personal mystical experience generator of faith, or better saying, personalisticly. It would not be received by means of revelation of truths about the divine nature, but rather, the divine res itself, or God Himself would be received.
I stressed this point because it will be the core of the new concept of revelation of Vatican II, as the theological report from Istituto Paolo VI admits and confesses.
Well, Gusdorff writes:
“The gnostic doctrine about revelation as an inner experience of a transforming truth, that leads to the salvation by means that escapes from the control of understanding, is an element of the romantic ontology” (G. Gusdorff, Le Romantisme, Payot, Paris, 1983, I Vol., p. 635).
In fact, to Gnosis, says Hans Jonas, the knowledge “is strictly tied to an experience of revelation, so that the reception of the truth, by a secret and sacred tradition, or by the inner enlightenment, replaces the theory and the argument of reason. (...) On the other hand, the “knowledge” that aims at the secrets of salvation is not a theoretical instruction, all in all, it modifies the human condition, it has, itself, the duty of accomplishing the function of consummating salvation. Thus, the gnostic “knowledge” is one of the most practical ones, because of one of its faces. The ultimate “object” of Gnosis is God: its advent in the soul transforms the knowledge, making knowledge a participant of the divine life” (Hans Jonas, La Religion Gnostique, Flammarion, Paris 1978, p. 56. Bolded text is mine).
According to this text, we can see that the revelation, according to Gnosis is:
1) Fruit of a inner “experience of revelation”, not rational. (Exactly as said by Modernism).
2) God Himself is the object of the revelation, the divine res, and not the truths about God (Exactly as said by Modernism and accepted by the new concept of revelation of the Vatican II).
Therefore, Modernism is a kind of Gnosis.
The modernist doctrine about revelation by means of a personalistic intimate experience is gnostic. And this concept of revelation by means of an intimate experience, personalistic, in which the truth has a secondary importance, as we will see, was acknowledged in the Vatican II. And the scholarly theological report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia confirms this.
How did the Vatican II accept this modernist and gnostic concept of revelation?
Therefore, the modernist doctrine of revelation by means of a personalistic intimate experience is also gnostic. And this concept of revelation by means of an intimate experience, personalistic, as we will see, was admitted in the Vatican II.
This inner sentiment is fruit of the divine immanence in the man, in whom would be a seed or a divine germ (which, once again, clearly approaches Modernism to Gnosis).
Evidently, the modernists try to make a shield for themselves of Saint John’s text that says: “Whosoever is born of God committeth not sin: for his seed abideth in him. And he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil.” (I John III, 9-10).
In this text of Saint John, we cannot understand the seed of God as it is understood by the gnostics, that is, like something of God’s substance, that would be placed in certain men, and that would deify them. But this seed must be understood as the sanctifying grace of God. If the gnostics were right in their interpretation, it would be easy to tell the sons of God and the sons of devil – mentioned by St. John - apart, and there would be some divine men, and others born to evil, which is evidently heretical.
That is why Saint Augustine, in his commentary to this text from St. Jonh, relates it to the state of grace, and with the state of sin. (Acc. Saint Augustine, Comentário da Primeira Epístola de São João, Paulinas, São Paulo, 1989, p. 105-106).
If this “seed” was something substantial – understood as something from the divine substance, the divine germ – it would cause in man – in all men – the natural need for the divine. Hence, revelation would not be a free supernatural act, but, conversely, a pure natural movement. Thus, the distinction between natural order and supernatural order would disappear.
Regarding this point, the encyclical Pascendi explains that there were two kinds of modernists: the “moderates” and the “integralists”:
“To the “moderates”, the divine immanence would cause in the human nature “not merely a capacity and a suitability for the supernatural, (such as has at all times been emphasized, within due limits, by Catholic apologists), but that there is in human nature a true and rigorous need. Truth to tell, it is only the moderate Modernists who make this appeal to an exigency for the Catholic religion. As for the others, who might be called integralists, they would show to the non-believer, as hidden in his being, the very germ which Christ Himself had in His consciousness, and which He transmitted to mankind.” (Pius X, Pascendi, 37. Bolded text is mine).
To Jacob Boehme, the Divinity would have placed in man something divine, which makes him to desire God and eternity (Acc. Alexander Koyré, La Philosophie de Jacob Boehme, Vrin, Paris, 1971, p. 454).
Moehller, who is a very dear author to the modernists, also says that God placed a divine germ in man:
“Catholic Tradition sees itself, by an act of immediate intuition, in the identity of its subsequent states. Divine germ placed primitively by God in the midst of mankind, it, step by step, develops its virtualities. Therefore, catholicism makes the original christianism “present”. All the rest is heresy, and is outside this vital current from which catholicism came." (Edmond Vermeil, A . Moehller et l'ÉcoleCatholique de Tubingen, Acollin, 1913, p. 35. Apud Gusdorff, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 712).
Father Henri de Lubac did not say anything different in his famous book Le Mystère du Surnaturel, where he provides a revealing quotation about Rahner:
“Father Karl Rahner (...) wrote that the soul has an “unlimited transcendence”, which gives an “infinite character” to the human horizon, and this kind of infinitude constitutes precisely the definition of man and his “boundary” (H. de Lubac, Le Surnaturel, Audier, Paris, 1965, p. 141).
That is to say – not saying it clearly – in “neo-theological” terms, that man is, in fact, God.
In sight of this, it causes perplexities the text from Gaudium et Spes that says:
“Therefore, this Sacred Synod, proclaiming the noble destiny of man and championing the Godlike seed which has been sown in him, offers to mankind the honest assistance of the Church in fostering that brotherhood of all men which corresponds to this destiny of theirs” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, n. 3. Bold text is mine).
Is there anyone who cannot see that this ambiguous affirmation about the “Godlike seed” could be well accepted by all kinds of Gnosis and mainly by the masonic Gnosis, since one refer to the “brotherhood of men”? Which Theosophist, which Brahmin, which esoteric would dare to say that he refuses this doctrine from Gaudium et Spes about the “Godlike seed” in man?
Can a Council express itself in such an ambiguous way?
Tyrrel, the well-known modernist philosopher, underlined that “revelation it is not a statement, but an experience” (G. Tyrrell, Through Scylla and Charybdis, p. 285). And yet: “The revelation belongs to the category of impression rather than of expression.” (G. Tyrrel, idem, p. 280).
Against all these things, you know it very well, the Holy Church had pronounced itself, demanding, in the Oath Against Modernism, to bear in mind the opposite:
“Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and Lord.” (Pius X, Sacrorum Antistitum, Oath Against Modernism, 1907).
And this anti-modernist doctrine was that one the Blondel condemned, calling it of “extrinsecism monoforist” ...
According to the Modernism, “by nature, revelation is individual, incommunicable: it is a certain experience that each prophet translates the way he can, according to his mental wealth and his upbringing through a play with images and concepts.” (René Latourelle, Teologia da Revelação, Paulinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 1981, p. 327).
To the Modernism, the revelation is not an “experience” restrained to certain chosen men – the Prophets and the Apostles – which would be, afterwards, entrusted to the Church as a Deposit to be kept, and to be taught.
“According to Tyrrel, it is necessary to assume that each individual may have an experience close to prophet’s and the apostles’. The revelation is an experience that is repeated analogously in every individual soul. Our soul answers the Holy Ghost, and the prophet’s experience becomes our experience. The assimilation of the revelation it is not a merely mental apprehension and the acceptance of affirmations and thinking... the exterior teaching must claim a revelation inside ourselves; the prophet’s experience must became experience to us. And we must correspond to this claimed revelation by means of an act of faith, recognizing it as the word of God inside us and for us. ... The revelation cannot come to us from outside; it could not be but caused by the teaching”. (G. Tyrrel, op. cit., pp 305-306, apud Monsignor Maggiollini, Magisterial Teaching on Experience in the Twentieth Century, http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/MT20THCN.htm, p.3)
To the modernist Tyrrel, "without personal revelation, there can be no faith, nothing more than theological or historical assent." (G. Tyrrell, Revelation as Experience, pp. 305-306, apud Mons. Maggiollini, Magisterial Teaching on Experience in the Twentieth Century, http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/MT20THCN.htm)
And another contemporary author, John F. Haught, very sympathetic to Modernism, wrote:
“However, the very notion of revelation would never have arisen were it not for the fact that its substance is experienced intimately and palpably by especially sensitive individuals.” (John F. Haugh, Mystery and Promise: a theology of Revelation, Part I, chap. I, p. 9 http://www.religion-online.org/cgi-bin/relsearchd.dll/showbook?item_id=1947).
Because of this notion of revelation as an innner experience from the heart, Modernism has a deeply anti-intellectual, anti-rational, and anti-conceptual character. The Modernism, instead of exalting an intellectual or essential trait of revelation, exalts a presumed existential trait. In this sense, the Modernism is anti-metaphysical, and it replaces the Metaphysics by the History, the stability by the movement, the being by the “becoming”. So, Modernism discloses itself as anti-doctrinal and anti-dogmatic. The modernists promote a religiosity that they call “alive” and intellectually incommunicable.
Is it strange that, with all these anti-intellectual characteristics, Modernism is anti-Tomist and anti-Scholastic?
The inspiration from the heart would have to do with the poetic inspiration...
The Pascendi taught:
“We may ask, what, then, becomes of inspiration?”
“Inspiration, they reply, is in nowise distinguished from that impulse which stimulates the believer to reveal the faith that is in him by words or writing, except perhaps by its vehemence. It is something like that which happens in poetical inspiration, of which it has been said: There is a God in us, and when He stirreth He sets us afire. It is in this sense that God is said to be the origin of the inspiration of the Sacred Books. The Modernists moreover affirm concerning this inspiration, that there is nothing in the Sacred Books which is devoid of it. In this respect some might be disposed to consider them as more orthodox than certain writers in recent times who somewhat restrict inspiration, as, for instance, in what have been put forward as so-called tacit citations. But in all this we have mere verbal conjuring”. (Saint Pius X, Pascendi, n. 22. Bolded text is mine).
As a practical consequence of these notes, Modernism was contrary to the missions and to the doctrinal catechism, and against traditional apologetics. Evidently, if each man can have an inner experience of revelation, catechism and missions are dispensable.
If revelation is possible to anyone, no religion could say that it possesses the whole truth, monopolized by it. God has not given the revelation just to one religion. Thus all religions have truths, which everyone must accept.
Consequently, all religions have truths and can be means of salvation. Thence emerged the plea for ecumenism by the modernists.
“Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true” (Saint Pius X, Pascendi, n. 14).
How much alike – or identical – is it to the documents about ecumenism in the Vatican II?
“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”. (Saint Pius X, Pascendi, n. 14).
Nowadays, it is claimed that the Catholic Church has, the most, the “plenitude of the truth”, therefore, that the other religions have the truth, but not integrally.
“For the Modernists, to live is a proof of truth, since for them life and truth are one and the same thing. Thus we are once more led to infer that all existing religions are equally true, for otherwise they would not survive” (Saint Pius X, Pascendi, n. 15).
It is impossible not to see in here, in the Pascendi, what has been done in the Church since the Vatican II. That is to say, that the Vatican II, also regarding ecumenism, has copied and approved the errors of Modernism.
Jean Guitton did not lie when he stated such a terrible thing.
We have already recalled that, to Modernism, the religious sentiment from the heart would be ineffable, impossible to be translated into words. The religious experience would be not reworded in a logic discourse. Thus, every creed would be absolutely useless, and above all, wrong and deceitful. And this should be so to all religions, not just to the catholic religion. All creeds would be misunderstandings of such inner feeling. What could be acknowledged, though, is that the doctrinal formulas have a quite relative and nearing value, never an absolute one. Therefore, no religion can be the only one to hold the entire and absolute truth. No creed would be completely truthful, nor any religion would have monopoly of the truth. The religions should be open one to another, in order to be enriched by they mutual experiences, by means of the ecumenical dialogue, that would allow an interchange of each one’s experience.
On top of that, Modernism was all imbibed by an evolutionary “metaphysics”.
Influenced by Modern Philosophy, that denied the being, Modernism saw all reality – including the divine – as a flux, as a “becoming”. Consequently, nothing would be fix. There would not be the Truth. The dynamism of the reality would demand the dogmatic formulas to be considered provisory, approaching the real “truth”, that is impossible to be acknowledged.
Revelation, which is always imperfectly expressed, must be constantly improved with new formulas. The expression of faith renewal would be an absolutely necessary demand. [To Modernism, religion would have the need of being continuously... “aggiornata”, using a so dear term of the Vatican II, and placed on evidence by John XXIII, a good friend of the modernist Ernesto Buonaiuti]. The religion and the Church should be perpetually ‘reformed’, as Luther used to say.
Crystallizing revelation into dogmatic formulas would mean killing religion. It was necessary to continuously change revelation in new and always provisory formulas.
Revelation should have a historic character, and, therefore, a relative value, according to the times. As a consequence, there would not be a “depositum fidei” that would endure forever, confided in the Church by God. There would not be any dogmatic truth with absolute value, beyond History.
Thus, both dogmas and excommunications of the past would be errors, fruits of the incomprehension about revelation’s progressive nature.
Against all these errors, Saint Pius X has made include the following clause in the Against Modernism Oath, that has been abolished:
“Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the Apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is just a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.”
“Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the History of dogmas.”
“I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.” (Pius X, Sacrorum Antistitum, Against Modernism Oath).
The transmission of the religious experience from one generation to another, in History, would be Tradition.
For the Modernists, the concept of Tradition was totally different from the one the Church has always taught.
The catholic Tradition has always been understood as the set of truths revealed by Christ to the Apostles, transmitted by the Apostles from generation to generation, under the infallible safekeeping of the Church. Tradition was something in which all Catholics, universally and in all times, have always believed. It was always believed that there were two sources of revelation: the Scripture and the Tradition (Cfr. Denzinger, I,b).
But, to the Modernists, the concept of Tradition was the very opposite of the concept of the Holy Church:
“There is yet another element in this chapter of the Modernist doctrine which is absolutely contrary to Catholic truth. For what is laid down as to religious experience is also applied with destructive effect to tradition, which has always been maintained by the Catholic Church.”
“Tradition, as understood by the Modernists, is a communication with others of an original experience, through preaching and by means of the intellectual formula. (...)Sometimes this communication of religious experience takes root promiscuously and thrives, at other times it withers at once and dies. For the Modernists, to live is a proof of truth, since for them life and truth are one [and the same thing]. Thus we are once more led to infer that all existing religions are equally true, for, otherwise, they would not survive” (Saint Pius X, Pascendi, Denzinger, 2083).
And in the Against Modernism Oath we can read:
“(...) the Modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact -one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history - the fact, namely, that is a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages the school begun by Christ and his apostles.”
“So I retain and will retain most firmly the faith of the Fathers, and shall retain it until the final breath of my life, regarding the certain gift of truth, which is, was, and will be always in the succession of the Episcopacy from the apostles time, not so that what may seem better and more fitting according to each one's period of culture may be held, but so that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed otherwise, may never be understood otherwise”. (Saint Pius X, Against Modernism Oath, Denzinger, 2147).
Moreover, Monsignor Maggiolini, by criticizing the Modernists, taught that, to them, “Tradition would be the communication of the original experience through intellectual affirmations”. (Monsignor Maggiolini, Magisterial teaching on Experience on the Twentieth Century from the Modernist Crises to the II Vatican Council, cit. art. p. 5).
According to the Modernists, Tradition, understood as transmission of a religious experience, is the result of a dialectic contradiction between a conservative power – the doctrine taught by the authority – and the power that incites the progress, that is born from life. Out of this confrontation, the Alive Tradition arises, this that would be an evolution, rather than a real Tradition. If the Alive Tradition is born from this confrontation, its safekeeping is not a right of the conservative authority, but a right of the laymen through their religious experience, [and mainly how this vital and existential experience is interpreted by theologians] (ac. Saint Pius X, Pascendi, Denzinger, 1095).
Thus, the control over what is taught by Tradition would be transferred from the Church to the “theologians”, or to any simple believer...
Due to that, Blondel stated that “the tradition keeps this same freedom regarding the dogmatic formulas, because the tradition preserves the sense of the transcendent Mystery of any dogmatic formulation, and tradition carries on the development of dogma” (Pierre Gauthier, Newman et Blondel, Cerf, Parigi 1988, p.400).
And by Gauthier’s statement, Blondel’s whole doctrine becomes committed with Modernism.
Tradition would be the “dynamic element, the engine of the progress of the dogmas” (P. Gauthier, op. cit. p. 269). One would rather have mentioned the evolution of the dogma instead.
Therefore, Tradition in the Modernist sense would allow development and growth of revelation in History. That is to say, that dogma “evolutes”, changes.
“In his articles, [Blondel] presented a new definition for ecclesiastic Tradition, inspired in his philosophy of Action. The Gospel is more than a message deposited in the Scripture documents or in the ecclesiastic preaching; it is a living reality that acquired form throughout its life and within the Church community’s experience. This reality is transmitted mainly through tradition, which converts it into acts, in an action in which – according to one of Blondel’s most fundamental ideas – God’s grace and men’s intention are concretely tied up. Since the beginning it has happened, thus, in the Church, a vital unity of the dogma (divine) and history (human); a collective, rather than intellectual conscience. The one that contains all truth of revelation– among others, in its written gospel testimonies and objective institutions – and saves it” (Father T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires, 1971, p. 223).
Due to all this, we are able to understand how wrong are those who intend to interpret the II Vatican Council “under the light of Tradition”. They fail because the term Tradition assumes different meanings in Catholicism and in Modernism.
If Tradition is the engine that prompts inner revelation, so revelation would never be concluded.
Urs von Balthasar recognizes that the doctrine of evolution from the 19th century, that means, the doctrine of Darwin, Spencer and Bergson, has penetrated in Theology as well:
“In fact, along the 19th century, and in the set of movements regarding the idea of evolution, the concept of evolution entered - like an orthodox “rejeton” by Joaquim de Fiore - in Theology itself. It is said, nowadays, about the evolution of dogmas and it is designated by it the uncovering of “all the hidden treasures of wisdom and science”(Col. II, 3) contained in the deposit of revelation entrusted to the Church” (Urs von Balthasar, La Théologie de l´Histoire, Fayard, Paris, 1970, p. 165).
Thus, it would be unacceptable to say that revelation has ended with the death of the last Apostle, as it would be absurd to state that the Apostles had already had the entire revelation. As we saw, this thesis is condemned for being modernist in the Lamentabili Decree. The revelation in history and beyond history would always be tentative and incomplete, while it would approach the end of History itself (Acc. John F. Haught, Mystery and Promise: A Theology of Revelation, Parte III Capítulo 9, http://www.religion-online.org/cgi-bin/relsearchd.dll/showbook?item_id=1947
And Von Balthasar has also some reservations against the doctrine about the closure of revelation:
“With the death of the last Apostle, the Revelation was just “concluded” in the sense that the infinite plenty cannot grow up anymore. The revelation can also irradiate its plenty up to the infinite and, under its sun, all can develop themselves up to the last maturity” (Urs von Balthasar, Abater os Bastiões, Borla, Turim, 1966, p. 48).
Evidently, this doctrine of revelation of God in the History had its roots in the gnostic doctrine of Jacob Boehme, repeated thereafter by the pietists which said that it was necessary to search and read God signals in History, - the signs of the time - and finally by Hegel, which have became the great responsible by its diffusion in the western and eastern thoughts, mainly Russian thought.
But this revelation would not be of truths regarding God, but of God Himself that sets Himself free in history, and promotes the deifying of all men and of the cosmos.
Theilhard de Chardin did not say so contrary to these...
This wicked doctrine about Tradition, already condemned by Saint Pius X, has been spread out, through covertly paths, until today. Yet in the time of Pius XII, the Holy See felt the duty of condemning, once more, such modernist conception of Tradition:
“The theologians must also go back to the sources of the revelation, for it is their duty to point out how to find in the Sacred Scriptures and in “tradition”, be that in an explicit or implicit way, that was taught by the living magistrate teaching. Moreover, one should bear in mind that both sources of the divinely revealed doctrine have many and such big treasures of truth that they will never come to an end” (Letter from the Secretary of the Biblical Commission to the Cardinal Suhard, 10 – XI 1948. Denzinger, 2314).
It is from this teaching of Pius XII time that we can see that even back in the old times the Holy See taught that sources of revelation are two – the Sacred Scripture and the Tradition – and that these two sources contain truths, and not experiences, as the Modernists used to say.
And the document above mentioned continues:
“The Divine Redeemer did not consider that the authentic interpretation of this deposit be made by each one of the faithful, not even by the theologians, but just by the Church magisterial”. (Idem, Denzinger, 2314).
How great this truth is, so forgotten nowadays, to the point that it looks like these “Theologians” have sat on the Saint Peter cathedra...
Today, the discussions are more based on the abstruse – and even esoteric, as Blondel confessed – doctrines of these modernist theologians than on the definitions of the councils or on the teachings of the pontifical magisterial.
According to Xavier Tillette, “Almost a century ago, certain thesis, Modernism’s most audacious ones, regarding Jesus Christ, repudiated vigorously by the Magisterial, causes less fear nowadays. Such theses come back in the name of the free analysis and through the discussion among the catholic theologians that, in fact, were contaminated by their protestant colleagues” (Xavier Tillette, Maurice Blondel et la controverse christologique, in Le Modernisme, Cerf, Paris, 1980, p. 129).
What a straightforward confession!
The catholic theology was contaminated by the protestant theology!
And Xavier Tillette also confesses:
“The modernism revivals are however incontestable. The truth is that, after the condemnations and authoritative directives (justified at the highest degree), still subsist among the moderns and in the faithful, not reabsorbed sequels, a heavy exegetical and theology contentious.(...) Nowadays the catholic exegetes compete freely both in audacity and shrewdness to their Lutheran and Anglican masters” (X. Tillette, op, cit. p. 130).
And Tillette is not the only one to say it. You see, and will see thereafter, eminent Doctor Pappetti, that Tillette strongly agrees with Guitton’s awful statement.
For example, the famous modernist Yves Congar, that was the very responsible for the thought of the Vatican II, by commenting the refusal of the Council to accept the doctrine about the two sources of revelation, with the support of the Pope John XXIII, decision that led to the Dei Verbum, said:
“November 20, 1962 – the day when John XXIII decided that another conciliar document regarding revelation would be written – will be recognized in the history of the Church as the day in which the decisive closing of the Counter Reform was determined” (René Virgoulay, Blondel et le Modernisme, Cerf, Parigi, p. 449).
Congar salutes the victory of the Reform over the Counter Reform and the refusal in the Vatican II from the traditional doctrine of two sources of revelation in the Dei Verbum as if it was the victory of Luther over Trent.
Therefore, it is the famous theologians favorable to the Vatican II that recognize that in the Council, particularly in the Dei Verbum, document that dealt with revelation, the only point stressed out by the report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia, the propositions of Modernism and also of Protestantism were accepted…
As for the role of the theologians, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:
[In the past] “It was the Creed which was responsible for providing the basis for theology. Nowadays, in the Catholic Church, all this – at least in the popular conscience – was submitted to revision, and even the Creed does not seem untouchable anymore, yet, it is now submitted to the control of theologians. Behind this tendency of domination of the experts, one could have already detected something else: the idea of an ecclesial sovereignty of the people, in which the very people determines what it wants to be understood by the Church, for the “Church” seemed much clearly defined as “the People of God” (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Memories (1927-1977), Milestones, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988 p. 134).
Nowadays, after the Vatican II, theologians have the last word. People give ears to the theologians, and not to what the Pope teaches anymore. And when the Pope promulgates the declaration Dominus Iesus, protests from theologians and of Bishops are registered all over. And when the Pope ordains the return of the confessionary and of particular confession, almost no bishop obeys him, and many fathers not even get to know what the Sumo Pontiff has determined. And, even if they knew, nothing would be changed. They praise the Pope and talk about obedience. In reality, they do what they will. The Church is going through an atomization process. It was Paul VI himself who recognized that, after the Vatican II, the Church faces a mysterious auto-demolition process, and that Satan’s smoke had entered in the temple of God. And this smoke can be found in the heretical books of so much well-known theologians.
However, the theologians of the New Theology, which triumphed in the Vatican II, wanted exactly this: the demolition of Christian historic consciousness, which would immediately be turned into the ancientness of the Church itself.
“What must be swept out at any cost is the historical conscience of the Christian, that aged because it was sustained by an insufficient faith. In the body of the Church there are signs of oldness, in fact of decadence, which were the Reform and all its consequences. Saint Augustine and Saint Gregorius Magnus had already seen the Church covered with such ulcerations, and because of this, it was considered that the last times would have arrived.”
“From the historical-philosophical point of view, the Church has become aged, it is old-fashioned since a long time” (Urs von Balthasar, Abbatere i Bastioni, Borla, Torino, 1966, pp. 54-5. Bolded text is mine).
These Neo-Modernist theologians want to demolish the Church and construct a New Church, a New Religion: The Religion and the Church of the Man, as said by Loisy and by Father Teilhard de Chardin.
Damned be you, modernist theologians, who elaborated a doctrine which differs from what the Holy Church has always taught everywhere!
Damned be you, modernist theologians, who speak with words which belong to the old gnostic and cabalistic heresies!
Damned be you, modernist theologians, for you have destroyed everything that could be destroyed in the Holy Church!
Damned be you, modernist theologians, who have absorbed, as if by osmosis, the poison of all heresies!
Damned be you, modernist theologians, who in the light of the truth have always sought the shadows, and in the darkness of heresy, you have always looked for any dim light to praise it!
Damned be you, modernist theologians, “doctors of doubts”, who deny all certainty!
Damned be you, modernist theologians, who conspire in the darkness, to defend the gnostic evolutionary lie against the immutable truth taught by the Magisterial of Peter’s Church!
And there would be so many other damnations to say! …
XI - The New Theology
"O tuo parlar m' inganna, o il mi tenta"
(Dante, Purg., XVI, 136).
["Or your speak deceives me, or it tempts me"]
1) Modernism survived in the New Theology
Every time that comes out a serious heresy, in the History of the Church, immediately sprouts, by its side, the same error, though either more or less disguised. This happened with Aryanism, with Pelagianism, with Jansenism, with Liberalism, with Communism. All such heresies had, aside, as a disguised ally, moderated and balanced, a semi-heresy that strove to justify the heresy with the truth contained in the declared heresy. As it is impossible to find an absolute heresy, without any truths, there will always be those that strive to justify any kind of error by the truth contained in it. The neo-modernists are among those that, in all heresies, want to seek for any truth, forgetting that the more a lie looks like it is a truth, the worst.
This immediately attracts the sympathy of irenics, pacifists and optimistic of all degrees, “que dans tout herésie trouvent des charmes” [who find delight in all heresies]… that means, the famous “seeds of the Verb”…
As if absolute error could exist…
The semi-heretics are those that always look for positive points in all lies. They always search for the “seeds of the Verb” … to betray the Verb!
Once Modernism was condemned, and many of its leaders were excommunicated and left the Church, the explicit heresy became less dangerous.
“Loisy and Tyrrell were gone immediately. Those that remained [at the Church], Blondel, the exegetes Batiffol, Father Garndmaison, Father Lagrange, for example, found themselves, as the remaining of the theological intelligentsia, before the beginning of very hard times” (T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Edicções Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires - México, 1971, p. 90).
And notice, dear Doctor, that Father Schoof places Father Lagrange among... moderate modernists.
Other epigone of the modernist heresy, that were smarter and wicker, remained to perpetuate it and make it triumph “under the veil of strange texts”. That’s why Teilhard de Chardin explained to a Dominican Father that left the Church, that he respected his decision, but said that he would stay in the Church, to keep on fighting from within the Church.
“Basically, as you, I consider that the Church (as all alive realities, after some time) gets to a “mutation” period or a period of “necessary reforms”. After more than two thousand years, it is unavoidable… Mankind is about to change. How would the Christianity not make it? More precisely, I consider that the Reform mentioned is not an institution’s or costumes’ matter, but a matter of Faith. Well, this fundamental gesture of generation of a new Faith for the earth, I believe (and I suppose that you also have the same opinion) just Christianity can do. I am convinced about this: it is from a new Christology, extended to the organic dimensions of our new universe, that tomorrow’s religion prepares itself to come out. By saying this, (and it is right here that we disagree: but does not life go on by trials?) I have not yet found a better way for me to promote what I anticipate unless I work the reform from within [the Church]. Very sincerely (not indenting to be critical towards your attitude), I cannot see in the roman trunk but a big enough and diversified enough biological sustaining to operate and to support the so-longed-for transformation. Let us work each one on his place. All that goes up, converges. Very kindly yours” (Teilhard de Chardin, Carta, apud Itinéraires, n0 91, pp. 114-143, e apud Savoir et Servir, n0 56, p. 75.Bolded mine. And I ask you not to judge me a partisan of these magazines that I quoted).
Such tactic, of remaining in the Church, was recommended by Monsignor Duchesne, that said, also, in a letter to Modernist and apostate Father Marcel Hébert:
“Who would be so sincere to confess worries like yours? (…) We are on a turning point (…) Let us teach, then, what is taught by the Church, in its name and under its responsibility”
“We cannot pretend that in all this there is a great part of symbolism that demands exegesis. But we must let this exegesis be done inside and by individuals (…) We might get to a point when, despite all appearances, the old ecclesiastic building will fall down some day… If it happens, nobody will criticize us because we held up the old house as much as we could. It will be said that, at the end, that we did not have another house for us and for those around us” (Monsignor Duchesne to the abbot Marcel Hébert, January 18, 1900. Apud Jean Rivière, op. cit., p. 151-152).
This was what modernist Tyrrell used to advise:
“[We must] stay [in the Church] and do all we can to develop healthier ideas”.
“If the reformers of the 16th century had stayed in the Church, maybe they would have got to a later solution, but for sure to a healthier solution than the one that was done by Trent”. (Hilaire Bourdon, alias of G. Tyrrel, in The Church and the Future, apud Jean Rivière, Le Modernisme dans l’Église, Lib, Letouzey et Ané, Paris, 1929, p. 8).
One of the people who made the possible – and almost the impossible – to stay in the Church was Maurice Blondel, whose doctrine inspired the New Theology, triumphant in the Vatican II.
This work of propagation of modernist doctrines was made in a somewhat secret way. In the Sacrorum Antistitum, Saint Pius X said that Modernists were secretly organized – in a truly secret society – to keep on working.
Several theologians that defended modernist ideas declared how they have had learned the condemned doctrine in the seminaries where they had studied.
In a Jesuit seminar in France, there were masters, like Father Auguste Valensin that had a deplorable role, defending the doctrines of Modernism, mainly Blondel’s. Among the disciples of these modernist masters, Henri de Lubac, Jean Danielou and Hans Urs von Balthasar must be referred to.
These modernists have told that some of their masters used to teach the traditional doctrine in the classes, but thereafter, they would supply the learners with some students handwritten copies of Blondel’s thesis, L’Action, sometimes with a more explicit content than the printed and published one…
Henri de Lubac will say that there were masters who, by a laudable exception, allowed some of their students to read the works of Blondel. So much that he wrote to Blondel that his books have prepared the paths to elaborate his New Theology. (H. de Lubac, Letter to Maurice Blondel, April 8, 1932. Apud, Les Pionniers du Vatican II, in Savoir et Servir, number 56, tome I, p. 55). De Lubac even recognized, in another letter to Maurice Blondel, that his work [of Blondel] “had a capital and deeply beneficial influence over his way of thinking” (Letter from Henri de Lubac to Maurice Blondel, March 5, 1930, in Savoir et Servir, number 56, tome I, p. 60).
Von Balthasar tells us that he used to cover his ears with cotton balls not to hear what his Scholastic Theology professor was saying, while he would read, secretly, the works of Saint Augustine.
What devotion for Saint Augustine! Or how much disdain for the scholastics!
Besides the devoted secret readers of Saint Augustine, would it not have those that, as de Lubac, would secretly read the works of Blondel?
And, besides Blondel, would not they also read books by Loisy, Tirrell among other more praised modernists?
That was how modernists went ahead performing.
In the dominican Saulchoir, Father Chenu, by his turn, made the diffusion of the ideas and doctrines of Modernism. The former disciple of Maurras, Yves Congar, after the condemnation of the French Action, in 1926, changed from the right to the left, and learned the Modernism from Chenu and became a leader and broadcaster of it, until the Vatican II. Meanwhile, Abbé Bauduin did the same thing secretly, in the liturgical field, where Bouyer and Zundel followed him and developed their destructive ideas concerning the Sacred Liturgy. And finally, an identical thing with the work of Monsignor Bugnini, approved by Paul VI (I ask you not to think, dear Doctor Papetti, that I am a follower of Monsignor Lefebvre, or a member of Saint Pius X fraternity, because you would be making a mistake).
It is this underground work – and indeed secret – that bears the so-called New Theology. And while in the seminars the secret diffusion was being made, in the Vatican plots to protect the defenders of the New Theology were engendered.
That the so-called New Theology resulted of a long term underground work – more properly named secret – was recognized by an author very sympathetic to the Modernism and to the New Theology, as well to the Vatican II. I am referring to the Dutch Dominican T. M. Schoof that, in his work with the introduction written by E. Schillebeeckx, stated:
“(…) our intention represents a question “behind of theological novelties”, in order to demonstrate that the current situation, still confusing, has a previous history – somewhat underground – a context that can clarify many things”. (T. M. Schoof, O. P. La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires – México, 1971, p. 24).
Why was this an underground work?
Because it was necessary not to confess its heretical modernist roots.
“The current situation of the catholic theology has its roots easily recognized back to the beginning of this century [the 20th century]: The brief and not that stimulant episode of Modernism; a term that, since then, has such a marked emotional significance that the supporters of the [theological] renovation avoid it instinctively, because their efforts would be named (neo-)modernist biased offhand”. (T. M. Schoof, O. P. La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires – México, 1971, p. 29).
This same author places in the root of the Modernism the exegetical question and the “new apologetics by Maurice Blondel” (Acc. T. M. Schoof, O. P. La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires – México, 1971, p. 31).
After the end of the Second World War, Father Daniélou, one of the New Theology leaders, proclaimed that: “it has arrived the time of repairing the rupture produced between theology and life” (…) Daniélou (…) drafts in a suggestive way the three perspectives drawn out from that statement: return to the biblical, patristic and liturgical fountains; contact with Marxism and with Existentialism, that offers the fundamental notions regarding historicity and subjectivity; and an apostolic dedication to Christian life, both individual and social”. (T. M. Schoof, O. P. La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires – México, 1971, p. 138).
It was Father Garrigou-Lagrange that created the formula “New Theology” to name the thought that, was born from Blondel’s work, was developed afterwards in the books by Henry du Lubac, by Father Daniélou, by Urs von Balthasar, by Chenu, by Congar and the like.
In 1946, Father Garrigou-Lagrange published an article in the newspaper Angelicum, in which he asked:
“Where will the New Theology head? It take us straight to Modernism” (R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P.. “La nouvelle théologie, oú va-t-elle?” Angelicum, n. 23, 1946, p. 136).
This brought important polemics about the Neo-Modernist character of the New Theology, polemics which had their origin in Maurice Blondel's works.
Those polemics are extremely important, because it was due to them that the theologians of the New Theology were the winners in Vatican II. If the New Theology is modernist, therefore Vatican II approved the Modernism thesis, as said Jean Guitton.
Father Shillebeeckx, famous modernist theologian and one of the most influent experts during Vatican II, wrote:
“Vatican II was a kind of confirmation of what the theologians had done before the Council: Rahner, Chenu, Congar and others (…) the theologians that had been condemned, kept away of their teaching cathedras, sent to the exile, (...) their theology was the one that triumphed in Vatican II”. (Father Schillebeeckx, in “Jesus”, May of 1993).
Therefore, if the new theology is modernist, then Vatican II has approved Modernist theses, as said Jean Guitton.
In the polemics set up by Father Garrigou-Lagrange, one would blame Blondel, first of all, for his definition of truth, which was favorable to Modernism and Relativism. In fact, Blondel used to say that the truth is the real adaptation of the mind and of the life.
This definition, contrary to the definition given by scholastics – that says that the truth is the adaptation of the intellect to the thing (adequatio rei et intellectus) – would destroy thomistic metaphysics, because in the definition of truth, he introduced life – with its continual changes [even though he did not accept the biological evolution] – in place of the thing, generating an evolutionary concept of reality and truth. And this was Modernism.
Father Garrigou-Lagrange commented that, in the article above quoted:
“The truth is, therefore, a conformity of the intellect with reality. Any changes in this universal notion of truth leads to a complete change in the sphere of knowledge. Modernists, says Saint Pius X, have abandoned the eternal notion of truth”,
To Blondel, truth would be the correspondence between intellect and life.
This shift in the notion of truth would carry with it a great responsibility, as it would leave aside a definition that has been approved by the Holy Church for centuries to go, in order to benefit a definition that related the thought with life, which is movable. Not only Blondel, but so many others in his time, were influenced by an evolutionary conception of the world and of reality, by means of Darwin and Spencer thoughts and, above all, by the evolutional and gnostic thoughts of Bergson.
The life was the human life. But Saint Pius X had already condemned the concept that “ truth is not more immutable than man himself, once it develops with him, in him and by means of him” (Saint Pius X. Lamentabili Decree, error 58. Denzinger, 2038). (Acc. Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P., Reality – A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought, chap. 57; Realism and Pragmatism, http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/REALITY.htm).
Father Garrigou-Lagrange was right when he accused of doctrinaire relativism infunded in the definition of truth by Blondel, who, in 1906, wrote:
“As there is always someting new in the world, it is not possible to gather the being in rest, in a purely static definition” (...)” The philosophy since its begging has tended to the neverending movement and does not look for fixidity but in the orientation of its path” (DP, p. 233).
“None of us, neither outside us, nor by means of a practically indispensable simulation, though philosophycally ilegitime, cannot reach, in speculative ways, from fixed objects, distincts and irreductibles ones to atoms of conscience and of substance” (DP. p. 232, apud Francesco Bertoldi, Il Dibattito sulla verità tra Blondel e Garrigou-Lagrange, in Sapienza, vol. XLIII, fasc. 3, pp. 293-310; http://www.culturanuova.net/accademia/dibattitoBlondel-GL.php)
Although this author [Bertoldi] is very favorable to Blondel, attempting to understand and excuse him, he himself confesses that “maybe there would have lacked, in Blondel, an effort enough to evidence his clear distinction from Modernism” (Francesco Bertoldi, art. Cit. Conclusione).
It is true that until now one has been discussing what Blondel meant to say, for he is so much obscure and hermetic. Above all, as Blondel himself admits, he is in some ways “esoteric”.
Many would defend him as orthodox. Others think that he is modernist. How to solve this problem?
Nobody has greater authority about the true interpretation of Blondel’s philosophy than he himself. Blondel certainly knew what his complicated and “esoteric” philosophy meant.
And Blondel wrote, in a letter to Loisy, that his philosophy was in harmony with the doctrine of the modernist exegesis maker:
“Your thoughts will triumph if the previous work to which I have dedicated myself is successful” (Maurice Blondel, Letter to Alfred Loisy, February 15, 1903m in R. Marlé, Au Couer della Crise Moderniste, Aubier, Paris, 1959, vol. I, p. 88).
To what looks almost like a cooperation proposal, Loisy answered ironically: “You bear to write encyclicals, and if I am admitted in the next Conclave, I will propose your candidature (…). If I wanted to be a little wicked, I would say that you reproach me because I have not put your philosophy in my history”. (Alfred Loisy, Letter to Blondel, February 22, 1903, in R. Marlé, Au Coeur de la Crise Moderniste, cit. ed., Vol. I, p. 96).
Therefore, Blondel himself recognized the affinity of his philosophy with the modernist system, and wanted to put it to serve the modernist cause.
From the polemic between Garrigou-Lagrange with the Neo Modernists one gets, at the end, in the publishing of the Encyclical Humani Generis, by Pius XII, in 1950, as well as in the punishing of some leaders of the New Theology, as Lubac and Congar, that were left “in standby” for a certain time.
When Pius XII died, and with the election of John XXIII as Sumo Pontiff – Roncalli, that was Buonaiuti's, Turchi's, and Abbé Bauduin's friend – the theologians of the New Liturgy were “awakened” and, far latter, Lubac, Daniélou and von Balthasar, were made Cardinals. They are the ones who triumphed in the II Vatican Council.
That the New Theology came from the philosophy of Action of Blondel, Modernist theologians recognizes it, as the famous Father Comblim, who was in favor of the Liberation Theology, and that wrote in his book about the New Theology:
“It seems to me that what is being formed might be called a theology of action. (…) And action should mean what the examination of the present orientations of theology will show us. Since the first moment, however, the term ‘action’ seems to summon the backing of Maurice Blondel, and this backing is meaningful. It is not meaningless the presence of Blondel's shadow and its being the core of many works and orientation to the present time. If they do not always inspire them, yet Blondel's work and inspiration at least might symbolize their inner sense.” (José Comblin, Teologia da Ação, 30 Anos de Investigação, São Paulo, Herder, 1967, pp. 8-9; cf. ibid. p. 61 e p. 13).
According to Latourelle, the New Theology was born in the Modernism, despite also was influenced by Nedoncelles' and Mounier's Existentialism and Personalism. It is not necessary to say that the theologians of the New Theology regarded the critic protestant theology by Moltman, Bultman, and others, with kindness.
We also saw that Schoof recognizes the New Theology being born from Modernism.
2) The Revelation according to the New Theology
To this theology, osmotic to the protestant New Theology, the revelation arrives to us in the form of history, and not by means of abstract ideas. Father Chenu strongly opposed to the abstract intellectualism in the revelation.
To father Charlier, what is revealed is, before anything, reality, and not abstract ideas: “The faith – according to Father Charlier – supposes that we, by means of a concept and of a formula, can reach the res, that means, the divine reality itself. (L. Charlier, Essai sur le Problème Théologique, Thuillies, 1938, p. 66, apud R. Latourelle, op. cit. p. 253).
Even though Father Charlier talks about concepts and formulas of revelation, these concepts and formulas are just means to reach the divine res, real and final object of the revelation.
Therefore, to the New Theology, theology of religion's initial data are not principles, nor metaphysical truths, not even physical truths, from which results conclusions, but, above all, the divine res itself in history.
“Father Charlier himself assures, about this, that the revelation it is not a communication of truths that can work as the principles of a common science, deductive, but that it is a reality: ‘God that gives Himself to us through Christ in the mystery of Incarnation, to which the Church's mystery is just a continuation’ (L. Charlier, Essai sur le Problème Théologique, Thuilles, Paris, 1938, p. 69). Such reality of the revelation has been evolving, since it was given to the Church, and this growth is the font of our progressive knowledge” (Father T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Lohlé, Buenos Aires, 1971, p. 248).
Well, as we saw before, it was the modernists who stated that in the revelation one would be in contact with the divine res itself, and that one would never know the truths related with this divine res. Regarding this point, therefore, the New Theology was, in fact, modernist.
“Father de Lubac used to teach that ‘the salvation mystery destroys all our human concepts’. Because of this, du Lubac describes, as dogmatic evolution's starting point, the savior's act of Christ, ‘the wholeness of the dogma’, that we reach by an extremely real and vital knowledge that holds the subsequent expressions in a superior unity, an idea that recalls Newman's, but that, strikingly, did not receive no straight influence from him” (Father T. M. Schoof, O. P. La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Lohlé, Buenos Aires, 1971, p. 249).
“In the last work by Rahner about the evolution of the dogma, a little before the Council, (…) his fundamental idea is that the revelation is a God’s self- revelation, that refers categorically to man’s spirit. It would be, therefore, the communication of God's reality itself, and not only of a determined number of propositions, however, it would disclose itself as a content apprehensible to the intellect by means of words”. (Father T. M. Schoof. O. P., La Nueva Telogia Catolica, Ediciones Lohlé, Buenos Aires, 1971, pp. 261-262).
Chenu basically substitutes Metaphysics by History, as the basis of Theology, giving a dynamic character to the revelation, procedural, movable. The old stability of the faith is replaced by the dynamism of the History.
The New Theology considers, as does Modernism, that revelation, and its corresponding faith, is personal, or better, personalistic. Revelation would be an interpersonal dialogue between God and man, through that thing that New Theology named “Presence”. Like that: “Presence”, without mentioning what this mysterious “Presence” would be. However, one can see that it is the “Presence” of the immanent Divinity in creation, in man, and in history.
The indefinite use of the term “Presence” will allow the modernists, mainly in the field of Liturgy, to play with words in order to treat “Presence” of God in the consecrated Host in an indistinctive form from the Presence of God in the Scripture, in the “community”, etc. If you want an example of the confusion that is made with this mysterious term “Presence”, it is enough to read any article of Monsignor Giussani, where this term “Presence” obsessively appears in a nebulous, mysterious and undefined way.
We must thank to Father Louis Bouyer the revelation of the meaning for this mysterious “Presence”. In one of his books meaningfully entitled Gnosis – The Knowledge of God in the Scripture, there is an entire chapter dedicated to “Schechinah and to the mystic of Merkabah”, in which he explains:
“One could say that nothing is more exclusively characteristic of the biblical notion of God than His transcendence and His immanence, which are constantly together. And very often it is forgotten that these two notions of immanence and transcendence are inventions of Spinoza, who, despite becoming heretic to the Judaic orthodoxy eyes, keeps on being fundamentally a Jew in his stating of such inseparability”. (L. Bouyer, Gnosis – La Connaissnace de Dieu dans l’Écriture, Cerf, Parigi, 1988, p. 51).
Saint Thomas explains, in the Summa Theologica (I, Q 8m a, 3), that God is present in everything by essence, by presence, or by potency. He is present by essence, not in the immanence or pantheistic sense, or gnostic, to which God would be part of everything, but because He maintains continuously the being of creatures. He is present by presence, because God knows everything. He is present by potency, because God rules everything. That was why Saint Pius X, by condemning the immanence notion of Modernists, made a distinction: although one can say, in a certain way, secundum quid, that: “God working in man is more intimately present in him than man is in himself, and this statement, if properly understood, is free from reproach, others hold that the divine action is one and the same with the action of nature, as the action of the first cause to the action of the second cause, and this would destroy the supernatural order, others, finally, explain it in a way which tastes like pantheism and this, in truth, is the sense which tallies best with the rest of their doctrines.” (Pio X, Pascendi, n 0 19. Denzinger, 2087).
To Gnosis, God is transcendent and immanent, but not in the catholic sense. The sameness of expressions, used in a different sense, is to cheat the unaware. To Gnosis, the unknown Divinity is absolutely transcendent, as It has no relation with the created world, which is an evil demiurge's creation. At the same time, Gnosis assures that God is immanent to the world, as there was the fall of Sofia – the very Schechinah of the Cabala – in creation, when the demiurge would have imprisoned Sofia’s (Schechinah’s) divine particle in all creatures.
That the Schechinah is the same gnostics’ Sofia, it is clear, undoubtedly, when we read the works of Gershom G. Scholem, A Mística Judaica [Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism] Portuguese translation, Ed. Perspectiva, São Paulo, 1972; Kabballh, Keter, Jerusalem, 1974; Les Origines de la Kabbale, Aubier, Paris, 1966; Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, 5725-1965).
Allow me, dear doctor Papetti, to make a quotation of one of these works of Scholem that gives us very important information about the intra divine theosophical process.
“But, while in all other examples, the cabalists avoid to use sensual images to describe the relationship between man and God, they do not show any hesitation when they start to describe the relation of God with Himself, in the sephirotic world. The sex mystery, as it presents itself to the cabalist, has a terribly deep meaning. This mystery of human existence is nothing but a symbol of the love between the divine “I” and the divine “You”, the Saint, blessed be Him, and His Schechinah. O hierós gamos, the “sacred union” of the King and the Queen. Of the Celestial Bridegroom and the Celestial Bride, to mention but some symbols, is the central fact of all divine manifestations' chain in the occult world. In God there is the union of the active and passive, procreation and conception, from where comes all earthly life and happiness.” (Gerschom G. Scholem, A Mistica Judaica – Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism – Portuguese translation, ed. Perspectiva, São Paulo, 1972, pp. 228-229).
It is not necessary, I believe, to explain how this cabalistic notion, transmitted by Jacob Boheme, was adopted by Hegel and, thereafter, by their romantic disciples, up to the protestant theology that, by osmosis, passed it to several modernist and gnostic theologians, as Sergev, Bulgakov and Urs von Balthasar.
And, as we already saw, Father Louis Bouyer dares to identify the mysterious “Presence” – so dear to the actual modernists – with the name of Schechinah, to the last emanation of cabalistic hidden Divinity in the sephirotic tree, the female sex of the hidden Divinity, the gnostics’ Sophia.
It is easy to speak through mysterious terms, and make the public swallow the unknown word – Schechinah – without saying what this mysterious Schechinah is. This method is typically modernist, in order to make people accept their doctrines “under the veil of strange words…”
Thus, the revelation would be religious, mystic, personal, of the divine reality itself, of the divine Mystery that makes itself “Presence” – Schechinah – immanent God inside the man and all creation.
How can one deny that this “Presence” of Schechinah, in the New Theology doctrine, does make it most suspicious of Gnosis?
Back to the notes on revelation according to the New Theology, according to Father L. Charlier, these notes would be:
a) Through faith we would reach the divine res itself;
b) The main object of revelation is God Himself, not truths about the divine nature;
c) What that is revealed is the total Christ, and with him, Trinity, that develops, grows in the Church and in History;
d) The historical character of revelation gives it a dimension that forces to develop a dogma, which would always be a temporary and imperfect formula, as taught by the Modernists.
The theologians of the New Theology took a position contrary to the traditional doctrine that always understood the revelation as a set of truths revealed by God and consigned as deposit to the Catholic Church.
To the new theologians, the revelation – despite having truths aimed at the intellect – was, mainly, a personal experience, inner, intuitive and ineffable, exactly as preached by the Modernists. The single difference would lie on the fact that the new theologians admitted that, above experience, there would have in it some truths, but of lessened importance than the personal experience of faith itself.
Fathers Chenu, Congar, Charlier and de Lubac, positioned against the aspect “excessively intellectualistic” of revelation, as it has always been taught by the Church.
The starting point of the New Theolgy consisted in considering the revelation as a testimony of God over Himself. But this testimony was not properly the vehicle of a real knowledge. It was something more: the Testimony of the divine reality itself – the divine res – as object of amorous and intuitive perception.
And more: the revelation would be a strolling from darkness to light. This strolling would be accomplished in the historical process through the facts and interrelated words.
Revelation would have, therefore, a clearly interpersonal and dynamic character, between God and the human person, and would not communicate immutable truths. It is useless saying that the New Theology considered revelation a human phenomena, possible to any man of any religion, and not only to one specific and exclusive religion, in other words, the catholic.
The object of the religion would be the divine reality, God Himself, received in the personal experience, that would bring with it truths or concepts that expressed the divine testimony in an imperfect way.
The faith, no doubt, was an allowance to the propositions that expressed the mystery. But, through those expressions, the faith would have in sight the reality of the mystery itself, which means, God Himself.
The progress of the dogma would not come from the progress of studies, but mainly from the progress of the divine reality in the Church. It is the divine reality progress in the Church that would cause the theoretical theological progress.
An unsuspected author, René Latourelle, criticizes the thought of Charlier in these words:
“Therefore, according to Father Charlier, the revelation is mainly a communication of the divine reality itself: mysterious presence offered to the experience of faith. The doctrinal revelation (salvation message communicated to man) clearly lost importance. The data-revealed-reality (God Himself in the mystery of Christ and of the Church) is in a perpetual process of growth. It is all mystery that grows up and, consequently, the knowledge that we have about it. This concept of revelation, besides contradicting the data of Scripture and the Magisterial, that shows the data of the faith as a message, that means, the Good News of the salvation, puts in danger the true notion of dogmatic progress. In fact, according to Father Charlier, this dogmatic progress cannot be conceived as a deeper and more explicit knowledge of the deposit of faith, historical and objectively constructed (clearing up that the Church, thanks to the positive help of the Holy Ghost, disposes, because of that, of a power of penetration that transcend the power of the simple reason). The dogmatic progress should be understood as an assimilation of the divine reality itself, mystically possessed, in supra conceptual contact in the experience of faith”. (R. Lattourelle, op. cit., p. 255).
Allow me to say to you, dear Doctor, that, to me, this is all pure Modernism and Gnosis, placed in a modern terminology. The Cabala does not mean any different.
Latourelle himself also considers the five theological notes on revelation, according to the so called Kerigmatic Theology of Jungman, Rahner, and others:
1) The revelation would be historical, and its object would be Christ Himself;
2) The revelation would have a economical character, which means, it would be constituted by events organically tied to one another;
3) The revelation would be christic, which means, centered in Christ;
4) The revelation would be salvifical;
5) And finally, the revelation would be interpersonal.
It is not needed to emphasize how these notes are similar to the notes admitted by the erudite theological report from “Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia”.
The knot of the problem, according to Father de Lubac, would consist in knowing what is properly the revelation. To him, as to the Modernists, it would not be a set of enumerable truths, but a formulary of creeds supplied by Jesus Christ, in which one should believe.
Father de Lubac agreed with the other theologians of his school that the object of revelation was the divine res, and not so much truths about it.
“Christ is, at the same time, the mystery and the revelation of the mystery, the wholeness of the revelation and the wholeness of the dogma” (Henri de Lubac, Bulletin de Théologie Fondamentale e Problème du Dogme. Recherches de Sciences Religieuses, 1948, n. 35, pp. 156-157).
And all this would never be completely encompassed by the doctrinal propositions.
“In Jesus Christ, everything was given and revealed to us at once and for all, (…); consequently, all the posterior explanations, whatever their subjects or ways be, are nothing but little coins of a treasure that is already possessed as a wh55-56ole. Everything was already contained in a real and actual way in a state of superior knowledge, and not just contained in the principles and premises” (idem, pp. 157-158).
And Latourelle comments:
“If we understood well, Father Lubac puts in the foreground, in the revelation, the very reality of the mystery of Christ. This “Allconcrete” of faith is the object of a global, intuitive, and alive apprehension: superior “real and acting” state of knowledge that pre-contains the dogma with all the richness of their posterior development” (R. Latourelle, op. cit. p. 268).
This faith would be superior, intuitive, global, and alive knowledge, exactly like what has always been called Gnosis.
And continues Latourelle:
“As for this first perception, the necessary conceptual expression, with its notions and propositions, would be like a revelation in a second moment. Thus, the dogmatic development would be understood as an “infinite unfolding of conclusions starting from their premises” (H. de Lubac, idem, p. 139). Or better, it would be like a change of registers: from the intuition to the conceptualization – an initial perception, still global, narrows down in particular truths and in formulas more and more precise, always, however, referring to the normative truth of the same Mystery that is perceived through a superior kind of dogmatic knowledge” (R. Lattourelle, op. cit., p. 268).
XII - The Kenosis Problem
We still have to refer to the last issue, highly important to the doctrine of certain theologians of the New Theology, which influenced the Vatican II doctrines, such as Karl Rahner and Urs Von Balthasar: The kenotic doctrine issue.
The Greek word “Kenosis” is found in the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians where one can read: “[Christ] Who being in the form (or nature) of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.” (Phil. II, 6-8).
The term “emptied”, in Greek, is “ekenosen”, that literally means to empty one's self, to become nothing. Evidently, this emptying or annihilating of Christ cannot be understood literally. The Church has always explained this always in the analogue way, that is to say, that God has humiliated Himself when becoming man, with the becoming flesh of the Verb.
Assuming the human nature, in Virgin Mary’s womb, the Verb of God degraded Himself until us, his serfs, for we are “nothing” when compared with Him. God assumed the human nature without losing His Divine nature. But this supreme humility of God did not make him to empty Himself, in the sense that God would become literally nothing, a not being, an emptiness, without substance.
Saint Irenaeus had already condemned the emptying of God that was defended by the gnostics – the modernists “avant la lettre” – of his time:
13.6 - ” If, again, they affirm that that [intelligence] was not sent forth beyond the Father, but within the Father Himself, then, in the first place, it becomes superfluous to say that it was sent forth at all. For how could it have been sent forth if it continued within the Father? For an emission is the manifestation of that which is emitted, beyond him who emits it. In the next place, this [intelligence] being sent forth, both that Logos who springs from Him will still be within the Father, as will also be the future emissions proceeding from Logos. These, then, cannot in such a case be ignorant of the Father, since they are within Him; nor, being all equally surrounded by the Father, can any one know Him less [than another] according to the descending order of their emission. And all of them must also in an equal measure continue impassible, since they exist in the bosom of their Father, and none of them can ever sink into a state of degeneracy or degradation. For with the Father there is no degeneracy, unless perchance as in a great circle a smaller is contained, and within this one again a smaller; or unless they affirm of the Father, that, after the manner of a sphere or a square, He contains within Himself on all sides the likeness of a sphere, or the production of the rest of the Aeons in the form of a square, each one of these being surrounded by that one who is above him in greatness, and surrounding in turn that one who is after him in smallness; and that on this account, the smallest and the last of all, having its place in the centre, and thus being far separated from the Father, was really ignorant of the Propator.”
“But if they maintain any such hypothesis, they must shut up their Bythus within a definite form and space, while He both surrounds others, and is surrounded by them; for they must of necessity acknowledge that there is something outside of Him which surrounds Him. And none the less will the talk concerning those that contain, and those that are contained, flow on into infinitude; and all [the Aeons] will most clearly appear to be bodies enclosed [by one another].“
13.7 – “Further, they must also confess either that He is mere vacuity, or that the entire universe is within Him; and in that case all will in like degree partake of the Father. Just as, if one forms circles in water, or round or square figures, all these will equally partake of water; just as those, again, which are framed in the air, must necessarily partake of air, and those which [are formed] in light, of light; so must those also who are within Him all equally partake of the Father, ignorance having no place among them.”
“Where, then, is this partaking of the Father who fills [all things]? If, indeed, He has filled [all things], there will be no ignorance among them. On this ground, then, their work of [supposed] degeneracy is brought to nothing, and the production of matter with the formation of the rest of the world; which things they maintain to have derived their substance from passion and ignorance. If, on the other hand, they acknowledge that He is vacuity, then they fall into the greatest blasphemy; they deny His spiritual nature.”
“For how can He be a spiritual being, who cannot fill even those things which are within Him? “ (Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, II, 13,6-7).
Besides, the Cabala of Isaac Luria de Safed said that, in order to create the world, it would be necessary that the Divinity have made a void in itself so that the world could be created inside this void. Therefore, to Luria, the Deity has docked in itself creating thus a void in itself. Luria called Tzim tzum this movement of contraction of God, a kind of pulsing of the Deity.
In an emptiness created this way, there would have remained leftovers of the divine light (the Reschinu), and yet the dejection of God, the klippoth (“peels”), because of the Deity, by making this emptiness in itself, took advantage of it for the purifying of its being, eliminating, as dejects, everything that was bad in It, what was evil in its substance. Therefore, to Cabala, the evil would have roots in the Deity itself, concept that makes Cabala a typical gnostic system.
From the leftovers of the divine light – the Reschinu – and the klippoth, dejects or barks of the deity, the world would have been made, which would be, because of this, an evil due to the dejects of evil from the deity, and, at the same time it would be divine, due to the reshinu divine light imprisoned in the matter, which is evil in essence. One can find additional information about this doctrine of Isaac Luria in the work of G. G. Scholem, The Jewish Mystique, ed. cit. chap. VII pp. 247-291, as well as in the book of this same author, titled Sabbatai Sevi, the Mystical Messiah, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1973, chap. I, which deals with Isaac Luria’s Cabala.
Scholem demonstrates how this doctrine of Luria would have precedents in the doctrines of the gnostics from the second century of Christianity:
“Before we go ahead, it could be interesting to underline that this conception of the Reschinu has a close parallel in the system of the gnostic Basilides, that flourished around the year 124 A.D. We also find here the idea of a so-called primordial space that cannot be conceived, nor characterized by any word, although it has not been abandoned by the “Sonhood”, term that he uses to designate the more sublime realization of the universal Potentiality, of the Sonhood with the Holy Spirit, or Pneuma. Basilides asserts that exactly when the Pneuma became empty and took apart from the Son, even then, he retained, at the same time, his perfume, that impregnated everything above and under, and even the amorphous matter and our way of existing. Basilides also uses the example of the vessel in which a sweetly aromatic ointment fragrance remains, besides the vase has been emptied with great care.”
“Moreover, we have an early prototype of the Tzimtzum in the gnostic “Book of Great Logos”, one of those creepy remnants of the gnostic literature preserved by the copta traditions. There we are informed that all the primordial spaces and their “paternity” became to exist due a “little idea”, the space that God left behind Himself, like the dazzling world of light, when He has docked Himself inside Himself. This draw back that precedes all emanation is repeatedly accentuated.” (G. G. Scholem, A Mistica Judaica, ed. cit., pp. 267-268).
As we have said, Saint Irenaeus himself, in the first times of the Church, already condemned this idea of emptying of God expressed in the Gnosis of Valentino:
“But whence, let me ask, came this vacuity [of which they speak]? If it was indeed produced by Him who, according to them, is the Father and Author of oil things, then it is both equal in honour and related to the rest of the Aeons, perchance even more ancient than they are. Moreover, if it proceeded from the same source [as they did], it must be similar in nature to Him who produced it, as well as to those along with whom it was produced. There will therefore be an absolute necessity, both that the Bythus of whom they speak, along with Sige, be similar in nature to a vacuum, that is, that He really is a vacuum; and that the rest of the Aeons, since they are the brothers of vacuity, should also be devoid of substance. If, on the other hand, it has not been thus produced, it must have sprang from and been generated by itself, and in that case it will be equal in point of age to that Bythus who is, according to them, the Father of oil; and thus vacuity will be of the same nature and of the same honour with Him who is, according to them, the universal Father. For it must of necessity have been either produced by some one, or generated by itself, and sprung from itself. But if, in truth, vacuity was produced, then its producer Valentinus is also a vacuum, as are likewise his followers.“ (Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, II, 4,1).
(And, by the way, I register how the saints used to use irony as a weapon against the heretics).
And Saint Irenaeus goes on against the gnostics:
“Their talk also about shadow and vacuity, in which they maintain that the creation with which we are concerned was formed, will be brought to nothing, if the things referred to were created within the territory which is contained by the Father. For if they hold that the light of their Father is such that it fills all things which are inside of Him, and illuminates them all, how can any vacuum or shadow possibly exist within that territory which is contained by the Pleroma, and by the light of the Father? For, in that case, it behoves them to point out some place within the Propator, or within the Pleroma, which is not illuminated, nor kept possession of by any one, and in which either the angels or the Demiurge formed whatever they pleased. Nor will it be a small amount of space in which such and so great a creation can be conceived of as having been formed. There will therefore be an absolute necessity that, within the Pleroma, or within the Father of whom they speak, they should conceive of some place, void, formless, and full of darkness, in which those things were formed which have been formed. By such a supposition, however, the light of their Father would incur a reproach, as if He could not illuminate and fill those things which are within Himself. Thus, then, when they maintain that these things were the fruit of defect and the work of error, they do moreover introduce defect and error within the Pleroma, and into the bosom of the Father.“ (Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, II, 4,3).
The cabalistic and gnostic doctrine of Luria about the Tzim Tzum was transmitted to Jacob Boheme's works, who through his books, inspired the pietist movement and the philosophical doctrines of the German Idealism, especially Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, that have adopted the kenotic doctrine of the literal emptying of God in order to create the world and to redeem the man, in the crucifixion. Afterwards, this kenotic doctrine influenced the Romanticism. The Protestant theology of the 19th and 20th centuries have elaborated a whole gnostic doctrine which – as if by osmosis, as unsuspicious Piero Coda says – was disgracefully welcomed by certain modernist theologians, nominally Catholics, and, later, a little more disguised, in the New Theology, mainly that one of Urs Von Balthasar and Rahner, theologies that are repetitions of the old Gnosis.
The gnostic doctrine of Basilides and of the Book of Great Logos is, evidently, the same that will be elaborated by Hegel, and repeated by modernist theologians, whether Catholics, such as Urs Von Balthasar and Rahner, or Schismatics, like Bulgakov, or Protestants, like Bultmann.
All the doctrine of the Kenosis of God is based on the text of Saint Paul to the Philippians, that the Modernist gnostics, with their Protestant masters, interpret literally. Kenosis should not mean an analogous humiliation of God, but it should be interpreted as annihilation, ontological emptying.
To these gnostics and Modernists, eknosen, in Philippians II, 6 just means annihilation. A literal annihilation, a substantial and ontological emptying, by means of which God would have created the world, and Christ would deify us.
How curious is it to notice that when one mentions that hell’s fire must be understood literally as fire, these theologians cry against the “fundamentalism” of the literal interpretation of the term “fire”, but for the term “eknosen” the literal interpretation would be absolutely necessary and very accurate.
And who is to decide what would be the true interpretation of the Scripture? Is it the theologian or the Pope? Who has received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven?
The teaching of the Church is totally diverse from the kenosis doctrine, for Pious XII called it a wicked doctrine: “There is another enemy of the faith of [the Council of] Chalcedon, widely diffused outside the fold of the Catholic religion. This is an opinion for which a rashly and falsely understood sentence of St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (ii, 7), supplies a basis and a shape. This is called the kenotic doctrine, and according to it, they imagine that the divinity was taken away from the Word in Christ. It is a wicked invention, equally to be condemned with the Docetism opposed to it. It reduces the whole mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption to empty the bloodless imaginations.” (Pious XII, Sempiternus Rex, about the Council of Calcedonia, n. 31).
Pious XII, with this encyclical, aimed to condemn the Protestant and Schismatic kenotic doctrine, which started to penetrate in the modernist New Theology...
And Neo Modernist theologians, such as von Balthasar, they quote Bulgakov when speaking of kenosis, but they never quote Pious XII.
From this we can see how elusively the Modernist theological movement has taken a sit on Saint Peter's Cathedra. And these theologians quote one another as if they were the Doctors and Fathers of the Modernist and Gnostic Church, which has infiltrated in the Catholic Church. And these doctors of doubts and denies are not ashamed of quoting heretics, gnostics, Cabala books, and pantheist and gnostic philosophers as doctrinaire authorities, as if they were sources of revelation.
They do not admit the teaching of the dogmatic Councils or the pontifical teaching. To them, the only Council that would be source of the absolute faith is the pastoral Vatican II, which did not want to teach dogmatically, and not even wanted to condemn anything nor anybody. And in the name of this doctrinaire tolerance of the Vatican II, and in the name of its faith in religious freedom, they want to shut up the mouth of anybody who defends the everlasting doctrine of the Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church.
XIII - Kenosis in Hegel, Bulgakov and von Balthasar
a) Kenosis in Hegel
The roots of kenotic, and, therefore, Gnostic thought of Hegel were the Gnostic heretics Meister Eckhart and Luther, besides the cabalist, Jacob Boehme. It is not me who state these roots. They are also acknowledged by an author fond of this kenotic thought, Piero Coda, professor of Lateranense.
"We restricted to Hegel, because he will, indeed, exercise a deeper and broader influence on later thought, and because he will attempt programmatically to put the Trinitarian speech in the core of his thought, with a novelty on the emphasis, which comes from his original Lutheran formation, with decisive influences of Eckhart and the gnosticating mystic of J. Boehme” (Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani, Ed. San Paolo, 2.000, p. 227).
"Hegel, obviously, also has at hand the Trinitarian doctrine, but he obtains it in his phenomenological “come to be”, in the death on cross, of the Verb made flesh. The opportunity (or the “promise” as K. Barth would call it) is formidable; in between there is the Eckhart's speculative mystic, the Luther's Kreuzetheologie and Jacob Boehme's theosophy” (Piero Coda, Questio de Alteritate in Divinis, Agostino, Tomaso, Hegel).
And all this, in Hegel, linked to the doctrine of Kenosis:
"Exactly as E. Jungel stated, the true novelty of Hegel was matching in a deep way, Luther's crucis theology with the Trinitarian theology; or, at least, - it seems to me essential to precise it - with what he understood by each of the two. It is properly in this, also, what Karl Barth defined precisely as the great Hegelian “promise”: to understand the dynamism of the tri-personal being of God from the Incarnation's kenosis, from the cross and from the death of Jesus Christ, exactly that “leap of quality” and perspective that the traditional dogmatic needed. (...) These categories reduce themselves, after all, to the “Subject” or “Spirit” (Geist) and to the “negativity”. With the first one [Subject], Hegel wants to rethink – still under the light of modern “discovery” of the subject as an auto-conscience (of Descartes and Kant) – the identity of the Absolute as a movement of the “becoming” towards the full and conscious realization of itself. With the second one [Spirit or Geist] – inspiring itself in which he will define as “speculative Friday” - the “need” that the Absolute, to reach itself, has to pass through a movement of “alienation” of the extrinsication; in a word, death. It is quite evident the Christian inspiration of these concepts, recognized by Hegel himself, who defines Christianity as “the religion of modern times”. But it is also a lot evident the rationalism which denies this thought: faith is completely absorbed in reason, God in the auto conscience, that has of him (or that is) the humanity” (Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani, Ed. San Paolo, terza edizione, 2.000, p.227-228).
Hegel repeats the typical dialectic notion of Gnosis, that repels the principle of no contradiction:
"The speculative that is removed from the religious representation in its culminant “come to be”, is actually, according to Hegel, dialectic, that is, the Fassen des Entgegensetzen in seiner Einheit, oder des Positiven im Negativen [the taking of the opposites in their unity, i.e., the positive in the negative] (Hegel, Wissenschaftder Logik, 52, apud Piero Coda, art. Questio de Alteritate in Divinis, Agostino, Tomaso, Hegel).
For Hegel, as well as to Gnosis and Kabala, the Divinity, the Absolute, the Fundament [Ungrund] on which everything starts, from which everything develops: 'The beginning contains one and the other, being and nothingness, it is the unicity of being with nothingness; it is a no-being which is at the same time being, and a being, which is, at the same time, not being” (P. Coda, art. cit.).
In these sentences, the Gnostic conception of primordial Divinity is distinct.
As in Gnosis, the contradiction between nothingness and being would be the cause of the dialectic movement of Divinity itself. “Hegel illustrates 'the truth of being and nothingness' as this movement consisted in the immediate disappearance of one of them into the other one: the becoming, a movement in which being and nothingness are different, but a difference that immediately solved itself”, at the same time, in the first of his Anmerkungen [Hegel] turns to the Christian metaphysics which, rejecting the proposition that from nothingness nothing would come, “stated a passage from nothingness to being” (P. Coda, art. cit. p.8-9)
Kabala also states this very doctrine: from nothingness comes the being; from shadows comes the light (Cfr. Gerschom Scholem, Les Origines de la Kabballe, Aubier, Paris, 1966, p. 288).
This dialectic doctrine, clearly Gnostic, allows Hegel to state that the World is identical and opposite to the Divinity, just as the finite and the infinite solve themselves in the identity of contradiction, and that, similarly, Creation and Divinity are identical in the contradiction, and that, then, man and God are and are not, the same thing.
"But the finite is simply that, become infinite by its own nature, infinitude is its affirmative destination, that which it is truly in itself. Then, the finite disappeared in the infinite, and that which is, is only the infinite” (Piero Coda, art. cit.)
Hegel applies this dialectic doctrine, together with the kenotic doctrine, to explain his conception of divine Trinity.
To Hegel, the relations of the divine Persons must be considered according to the pascal event, that means a total and real giving oneself to the Other, and then shelter him in Itself, that is, the kenosis, the self-emptying or the annihilation of God.
"By means of the deep idea according to which the being of the person is the existence in the dedication of oneself towards another person, Hegel considered the unity in the Trinity as a unity that realizes itself only by the process of reciprocal giveaway. He conceived then the unity of God with an intensity and an energy that has never been achieved before, not by the means of, let us say, a reduction of the triplex personality, but exactly through the most intense emphasis of the idea of personality” (W. Pannenberg, Lineamenti di Cristologia, apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani, Ed. San Paolo, terza edizione, 2.000, p.229).
Hegel, following Luther, sees the abandon of God in crucified Jesus as a form of Kenosis and the relation with the Trinity and the processions of the divine Persons. According to Hegel, in God, the Persons are because they are not. The Father is Father only because he generates the Son, but in order to generate Him he must communicate him kenotically all his being, emptying himself absolutely of being. The Son, on his turn, reverts himself also kenotically in the Father, and in this mutual kenotic emptying of the Father on the Son, and of the Son on the Father, constitutes the Holy Spirit.
In this way, the Trinity is a perfect kenotic becoming and not properly a being. In the divinity, there would be only the becoming, and not as much the being, only the becoming as Spirit.
Hegel attempted to interpret the being not as a substance – “ousia” – but as a Subject, or Spirit (Geist) in an endless becoming.
And the theologian considered as the soul of Vatican II, Karl Rahner, considers that the being must not be seen as “ousia?” – substance – but as a spirit-conscience. Rahner called this change in concept of being as spirit and not substance, as the “anthropocentric overturn of modern thought” (Cfr. Piero Coda, L'Altro di Dio, Città Nuova, Roma, 1997, p. 90).
The denial of God as a substantial being was also admitted by the theologians of Liberation. Brazilian Ex-Friar Boff also wrote:
"Therefore Mary Daly suggests we understand God less as a substance, and more as a process, God more like an active verb than a passive noun, God would mean the living, the eternal becoming oneself including the becoming of the entire creation, creation which, despite being submitted to the Supreme Being, would participate of the divine living. This God could be expressed by the symbols of the Father and of the Mother, or by the combination of the properties of each one of them; God as a motherly Father, and God as a fatherly Mother” (Leonardo Boff, A Trindade, a Sociedade e a Libertação, Ed. Vozes, Petrópolis, pp.154-155).
How not to classify this doctrine as Gnostic?
Gnosis was defined precisely as an anti-metaphysics rebellion, as a refusal of the being. Read Cioran to confirm him.
And this conception of Hegel, Rahner and also of Urs von Balthasar, as we will see further on – I omit Boff for his less noteworthy influence at this point; his is considered more of a repeater than a father of heresies – will have terrible consequences in the field of truth, because if the being is not substance, all doctrine about truth crumbles apart. Then, it is not surprising if the Vatican II, inspired by Rahner's Theology, ends up being ecumenical, relativizing the truth about Faith.
In this kenotic process in the sphere of Divinity the Creation would develop, exactly as the Gnostics have said, by a sort of decadence or expoliation of the infinite Divinity in the finite being. Just as in God, the divine Persons proceeded kenotically this way, on His turn, God would have created the world kenotically, emptying himself in it.
The creation, on its turn, would pass by an evolution towards life, towards cognoscitive rationality, with the appearance of man, to return to the divine nothingness, through a dialectic evolution.
As Teilhard de Chardin has written, it has passed from the unanimated sphere to life, and this one to noosphere, to arrive, finally, to omega Christ, in which all would be God, in a definitive panchristification. Moreover, such Teilhard's system is Gnostic as well.
And let us not forget, I beg you, the esoteric doctrine of Blondel.
b) Kenosis in Sergej Bulgakov
Such Gnostic theory imbibed the protestant theology which, by “osmosis”, infused it into the Catholic theologians from whom Modernism was born, an, afterwards, the so-called New Theology, as well as the slavofy and Russian Modernist theology, like Sergej Bulgakof, so dear to Father Bouyer and Urs von Balthasar.
The Gnostic Sergej N. Bulgakov, condemned for heresy by the Schismatic Church, when coming to the Western world was warmly welcome in the colloquies of the modernists theologians who, by that time, would already have ecumenical love affairs with heretics from all sects.
Father Louis Bouyer talks about the Gnostic Bulgakov as being "this extraordinary visionary that could be Father Serge Boulgakoff" (L. Bouyer, Gnosis – La Connaissance de Dieu dans l'Écriture, Cerf, Parigi, 1988, p. 100).
In 1927, Bulgakov took part in the First Congress of the World-Wide Council of Churches, in Lausanne, as well as of the Second Congress, in Oxford, 1937. He also took part of Congresses organized by Berdiaeff, among Catholic, Protestants and Schismatic theologians, where there were the modernist Lucien Laberthonnière, and the modernists’ friends Gabriel Marcel, Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson (Cfr. Piero Coda, L'Altro di Dio. Rivelazione e Kenosi in Sergej N. Bulgakov, Città Nuova, Rome, 1997, p.47, note 64).
And what made the figure of Bulgakov so dear to the ecumenical modernists?
Perhaps his fundamental principle of religion:
"In the basis of religion is the personal experience of an encounter with divinity. This is the unique source of its autonomy [...] Religion is born from a sentiment of God (whatever the form of this revelation be)” (Sergej N. Bulgakov, Lumière sans Déclin, p. 26, apud Graziano Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p.34. The bold is mine).
And this personal and religious experience is the revelation of the noumenon in itself, that is, of the divine res such as it is, what is not done by intellectual means, but by a mystic experience.
Bulgakov's statement is most current and absolutely in accordance with Vatican II spirit. All current ecumenism sets its basis on the respect of all religions, whatever their way of revelation.
These words would do about the personal religious experience, to turn Bulgakov into a Modernist or a Vatican II expert. As one may see in the quotation by Bulgakov, the osmosis, acknowledged by Piero Coda between Catholic and Protestant theologies should be stretched out to the Russian Eastern Schismatic Church.
It looks as if there is an Ecumenical and International Sect of Modernists Theologians...
And what were Bulgakov's doctrinal roots?
The same Gnostic roots of Western Modernists:
"Russian Sofiologic Tradition does not nourish solely, as we will show, from Christian sources, but also from Gnostic doctrines, above all from the valentinian trend, the Jewish Cabala, Boehme’s and Pordage’s philosophy and some spiritual reflections from German Romanticism, from von Baader to Schelling" (Graziano Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 9).
Such theologians from the New Theology – from Karl Rahner to Hans Urs von Balthasar, made Cardinal by John Paul II – accepted, more clearly than the others, the Gnostic doctrine of kenosis, whether to explain the life of Divinity in a theosophical way, whether to explain Creation and Redemption.
I will restrain myself by providing just a few quotations about the kenotic doctrine in Bulgakov, in order to make one understand the deepness of what he called kenosis, and what von Balthasar will encourage among the Catholics.
Graziano Lingua comments:
"While describing the inter-trinity dynamics as love, Bulgakov introduces the category of kenosis, that will play a fundamental role in all his system. Referring to the famous paulie hymn (Phil II, 6-8) where is said: “[Jesus] being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied (eknosen) himself, taking the form of a servant", he conceives the love of God as an emptying, a ‘weakening’ through which the Absolute Subject gets closer to the other of Himself” (Graziano Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 66-67).
"This active self-affirmation of one's self is the love: the flames of the triple divine hypostasis flare up in each one of the three hypostatic centers only to join them, identifying themselves in each other in the exit of themselves towards the Other, in the afired renounce of personal love. In a static way, the personality mono-hypostatic is the center of the self-affirmation and of repulse, it is self-centered; dynamically, although, the personality realizes itself as source of love abnegation, as an exit towards the other me’" (S. N. Bulgakov, Il Paraclito, 141, apud Graziano Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, pp. 69-70).
According to Bulgakov, there are three levels in which the kenosis acts: the first is in inter-Trinitarian life; the second in Creation; and the third would be in Crucifixion.
"Sergej Bulgakov, in his theory of Redemption, tries to comprehend the kenosis of the cross as the last of the self-giveaways of God, which begin with the intra-Trinitarian self-disappropriation of God in benefit of the Son, and that keeps on happening with the kenosis of Creation" (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. IV, L 'Azione, Jaca Book, 1986, p. 291).
In inter-trinity life, as we saw it, the divine processions would be generated by kenotic means, the Father emptying into the Son in order to give him existence, and, by his turn, the Son would empty himself, kenotically, into the Father, for love. And this kenotic relation between the Father and the Son would be the Holy Ghost, kenotic love of Father and Son.
Obviously, as Modernists used to do, saying something and right after denying what they had said, Bulgakov would sometimes make believe that this emptying is a literal kenosis, that is, reducing one's self to nothing to allow the existence of the other, and sometimes he makes believe it is possible to affirm that at last something remains in the being, by the end of the emptying.
In Creation, there would be another kenotic act: God would empty himself to create the world, that would be a true emanation of God, which Bulgakov calls – exactly as said by Cabalists – the “exodus of God”.
According to Graziano Lingua's explanation about Bulgakov's kenotic doctrine in Creation, "the kenotic love induces God not to become used up in the divine pericoresis, but to get away from the circle of three towards the possibility of fourth hypostases. God is capable of loving the nothing up to the extreme of choosing it as the other to whom He would give the personality, which is the core of his essence. The kenotic love, this time, is not limited to let go part of the divine ousia, but it means a much deeper alienation: it is the real ecstasy of God, that leaves himself, making himself "another hypostasis". Bulgakov speaks about it as a true an proper Trinity’s "exodus" in the field of hypostatic creatural being, "the act of blowing life symbolizes the fact, which is inexpressible in human language, of God’s ecstatic love, which goes beyond its very bounds in order to call the created being to the personal being"(Graziano Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p.149).
Therefore, Creation would have been an exit from the ousia – an emanation – of the divine substance. And this doctrine is exactly Gnosis.
In creation, according to Bulgakov, God allows that His ousia exits Himself aiming the "another of Himself", that means, towards nothing, renouncing to be the only to hypostatize it. There is no difference, then, from the Gnostic emanation of Divinity. "To this corresponds that self-determination of the hypostatic God, with which, as he has always had since eternity as his own nature (the plenitude of the being), He lets it leave the midst of His hypostatic being towards the self being, doing such thing authentic cosmos, creates the world from the nothing, that is to say, from Himself, from his own divine content" (Sergej Bulgakov, La Sposa dell'Agnello, Ymca Press, 1945, Bologna, 1991, apud Graziano Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, pp. 97-98).
One can clearly see that, for Bulgakov, the created world is an emanation of Divinity, as preached by Gnosis. And how could theologians like von Balthasar accept this doctrine? A proclaimed heretic like Bulgakov who was excommunicated, – and with justice – even from the Schismatic church, how can he be so dear to Western Catholic theologians? That can only be explained if one considers that such Modernist theologians are even worse than those who are out of God’s Church.
The receptivity to Bulgakov may only be explained because Modernism and New Theology Neo Modernist were also sorts of Gnosis.
"The act of divine love, which makes the Divinity to expand outside Itself, means for Divinity an "condescending" with creature, and a "self-limiting in order to give room to the Other Self". In one word, it is a kenotic gesture: God, incited by the love He has for the world, chooses to "diminish" His nature, to let his nature depart from Himself towards the nothing; putting the absolute being side-by-side to the relative being, with whom he gets in contact, that is why he is God and the Creator, the Creator Fiat, which is the imperative of the divine omnipotence, that expresses, at the same time, altogether, the immolation of God’s love, of God’s love to the world, of the Absolute to the relative, due to which the same Absolute becomes the “Absolute-Relative” (Sergej N. Bulgakov, L'Agnello di Dio. Il Mistero del Verbo Incarnato Ymca Press, Bologna, 1991, apud G Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Matteria – La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane Napoli, 2.000, p. 105. The bold is mine).
"That Creation produces the kenosis of God, it not only means that God allows the world to depart from Himself and that it would be ahead of his independency of creation, but also means that he adapts patiently to impotence, related to world's insufficiency and hence limits his absoluteness, in order not to make it burn the relative towards it. The Trine God looses his absoluteness and makes himself relative to the world, makes Himself other out of himself, risking direction of a relation with the nothing. Kenosis is, thus, strictly related to the antinomy of God’s face as acknowledged by man in the religious experience: the kenotic movement cannot be read as an emptying that deprives God from his Divinity – [How cautious!] – but as a paradox through which God remains in the immutable plenitude of his own being in itself, and, at the same time, inhabits "in" and "with" the creature" (G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, pp. 105-106. The bold is mine).
Therefore, the world would be made from the divine ousia, from the proper content of the divine being. And, in order to get this doctrine rid of condemnation as Pantheistic or Gnostic, one would need acrobatic skills and misty veils of New Theology.
Maybe one might say that, because I am not a theologian, I am making wrong simplifications and generalizations, and, due to this deficiency, I see Gnosis and Cabala everywhere.
But it is not only me who sees in the doctrine of creation by means of kenosis – by emptying – from Bulgakov, von Balthasar, and others, the influence of the Gnostic heresy and of Cabala. Graziano Lingua says the same thing when he admires when Bulgakov repeats almost the same words of the cabalistic doctrine of Tzim Tzum by Isaac Luria de Safed.
"The words of Bulgakov here are surprisingly close to the Cabalistic tradition that sees the possibility of Creation in the ‘self-contraction’ (Tzim Tzum) of God'. The eternal Father, by His will, limits Himself to give space and freedom to his creature. Only by this his Absoluteness becomes relative, He is truth God, respecting, forever, the alterity of what comes from Him to the light" (G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p.106).
And von Balthasar said that he accepted the core of Bulgakov's kenotic doctrine. Is there, thus, what to baffled about, if there are consequences of this doctrine in the New Theology? One would be amazed if such consequences would not exist.
For example, for Bulgakov, the world is a true self-manifestation of God. And it could not be otherwise, if the world is considered as an “exit” of the divine ousia in what was created.
"God created the world not only to self-reveals in it, to manifest the divine Sophie in the created Sophie, but also to unite Himself to it by means of the men and the angels, spiritually and personally, sending His only Son" (Sergej Bulgakov, L 'Agnello di Dio. Il Mistero del Verbo Incarnato, ed. cit., p. 219, apud G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, pp. 177-178).
And, if the world is made of the same divine ousia, how come the distinction between the natural order and the natural world remain? The supernatural is equal to the natural, exactly as tends to say the New Theology of Henri de Lubac.
Take a look at this excerpt by Graziano Lingua, commenting Bulgakov's theology:
"Man is, since his origin, divine-human: the first Adam created as image of the second Adam hides in himself the figure of Christ, who is divine-human in his structure. It is not, therefore, acceptable the posture of the Catholic theology which does not give reason to the ontological meaning of the image of God in man, as it clearly tells apart the natural/creatural dimension from the supernatural" (G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 175).
Last there is something else that must be told about Bulgakov's personalistic doctrine, which is, also, so dear and osmotic with the doctrine of so many Western theologians.
To Bulgakov, as God is unique and trine through his Persons, the human person would also be capable of an intercommunication with all other human persons, tending to form, in History, a unity through which all men would become humanity. And Christ would unify in his Person all humanity. And, due to this, salvation would be of all humanity. Then one could say that there is a “historic-salvific” process that saves all humanity, with no exception.
To Bulgakov, as to Boehme, as to Anna Katharina Emmerick, the romantic and fake clairvoyant, the individuation, fruit of the materiality, would be caused by original sin (G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 171). Before the original sin, Adam was man-humanity.
"The individual me becomes itself in plenitude, when the disposition for itself is over, when it looses its own individuality. Only at that moment, this one that up till then, such as an individual qualified ray, shone alone with its own color, inflames with the light of the pleroma and is incorporated to that whole plenitude, in which God is everything in everyone”. "(...) each man is not a part of the wholeness of mankind, but the multiplication of the human ones- wholeness in his interior ". "(...) each man, as individual, only realizes himself by the co-hypostaticity with the other people, that is to say, by getting together with them by means of an interchangeable love". "Each creatural hypostasis, not as individuality, that is to say, as limitation, but as Hypostatic center of the wholeness, is ontologically enough to contain and realize in himself the plenitude of the being in nature itself" (Sergej N. Bulgakov, La Sposa dell'Agnello, EDB, Bologna, 1991, 162, apud G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p.172).
Such unitotal unity becomes real afterwards, in History, in such a way that the individual hypostases do not lose its original characteristics: each single man, as alluded before, is created as an individual, and as omni-man; his birth is not a fragmentation of the original omni-humanity, but a multiplication according to different themes. Humanity is plural-hypostatic, alive in the multiple human beings that furrow history, but also a "hypostatic-plurality", or better, it is contained and reproduced in each single living being. "Humanity, – says Bulgakov in Nevesta Agnca [The Wife of the Lamb] –- (...) is the omni-recapturing or integral Adam. Adam is not only a certain human person, he is also human plurality, the omni-person, made image of the unique but tri-hypostatic God". (G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p.174).
"This means that, as Adam is the head of all human gender, he carries within himself all humanity, attached to him, as so Adam's sons and daughters carry it all of it, within themselves, and are themselves, in this sense, as Adam, in his plurality. Consequently, both humanity as a whole and each single man, then, should be understood not as a series of distinct unities, that get close to one another due to a certain similarity (and this would be the heretic "similar substantiality", instead of the orthodox "consubstantiality"), but only in the composition of the wholeness: in each man live, completely, the natural Adam together with all members of the human gender" (Sergej N. Bulgakov, La Sposa dell'Agnello, EDB, Bologna, 1991, 167, apud G. Lingua, Kenosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, La Sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p.174).
And that would allow all humanity to be saved collectively by Jesus Christ, becoming one single man-humanity with Him. That would explain how each singular man, by the fact of being conceived, and only by this fact, not taking into account his works, would be saved, only for being a man.
And, with all these, way is open to the apokatastasis of von Balthasar, to whom, if Hell exists, it is empty. In the New Theology there was a great osmosis with Bulgakov's Gnostic doctrine.
c) Kenosis and the Trinitarian Doctrine in Urs von Balthasar
After all these quotations that prove the Gnostic heresy in Bulgakov, let us see what says Urs von Balthasar about the kenotic doctrine of this Russian heretic.
"The recent Russian theology was right – yet it is not free, for example, of Gnostic and Hegel’s temptations – in giving a central place to this matter. Without doubt it would be possible to deprive Bulgakov's fundamental conception about his sophiologic pretexts and maintain – developing it in many ways – this intuition that we now consider in the center of our reflections: the last presupposition of kenosis is the "indifference" of the [divine] Persons (while they are pure relations) in the inter-Trinitarian life of love; next, there is a fundamental kenosis that interferes on Creation as such, because God, since all eternity, has assumed the responsibility of the success of Creation (taking into account human freedom as well) and of forecasting sin, He also takes the cross into account as foundation of Creation: "The cross of Christ is inscribed in the world of Creation " (Urs von Balthasar, Pâques, le Mystère, Cerf, Paris, 1996, pp.43-44).
We can see through this quotation full of insinuating serpentine contortions, that the doctrinaire osmosis is not only between the Catholic and the Protestant theologies, but also with the very little… orthodox theology of Bulgakov.
Von Balthasar – as an ecumenist who wants to destroy the bastions of the Church and of truth – does not have so many scruples of making allusions, without condemning them clearly (at the very utmost, he makes feeble restrictions), to sources so unclear from the orthodoxy point of view. One can see how he admits that there are truths – the famous "logos spermatikós", the Verb’s seeds – even in... Valentin, in Goethe, in Luther and, obviously, in Hegel...(Cfr. Urs von Balthasar, Pâques, le Mystère Cerf, Paris, 1996, pp.64, 68, 69, 70).
As usually among Modernists, von Balthasar proceeds with care, stating in a misty – blondelian – way, insinuating, using studied and ambiguous words until the contradiction, saying in a page the opposite of what was said in the other.
And, following his master, Father de Lubac, von Balthasar dares to say with him that:
"It is to this speculation that the Easter Homily of Pseudo Hoplite is attached to orthodoxy lies no doubt, when it attributes to the cross a meaning that extends to the cosmos, and uses, to express that, images that refer to Plato, but also to the Buddhism" (Urs von Balthasar, Pâques, le Mystère Cerf, Paris, 1996,p. 65. The bold is mine).
At this point, von Balthasar places, within a footnote, a quotation from Father de Lubac: "H. de Lubac, Aspects du Boudhisme, Paris, 1950, chapter II: "Two cosmic trees" pp. 55-79. There one can find, either notes about the figure of the giant that emerges frequently from Christ as from Buddha, and other texts about the cosmic function of the cross" (Urs von Balthasar, Pâques, le Mystère Cerf, Paris, 1996,p. 65, footnote 13).
It would not be absurd to state that these ecumenical theologians would meet the "logos spermatikós" even in Satanism, even in Lucifer. They have a hard time, only, in finding the Verb – the divine and integral truth – in the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church. In that one, they see, usually, “sins”.
In this answer, it is just possible to give a brief summary of the kenotic doctrine exposed like a river, and with strong flavor of gnosis, of Urs von Balthasar, by the way, so little known by the humble faithful.
Von Balthasar, as other Modernist theologians, admitted the influence of Hegel’s and Bulgakov’s doctrine about the kenosis in the Trine God, the kenosis of God creating the world, and, finally, the kenosis of Christ, at cross, as a means of redemption, kenotic doctrine accepted in the Protestant and liberal theology of the 19th century, which inspired the Modernism.
"The Kenotics of the 19th century in Germany wrote under the influence of Hegel, to whom the absolute subject, to turn itself concrete to itself, becomes finite in nature and in history of the world. Thus, to these theologians, the perspective is opposite: it is subject of the kenosis not that one that became man, but that who becomes man; it is a "self limitation of the divine" as says Thomasius" (Urs von Balthasar, Pâques, le Mystère Cerf, Paris, 1996, pp. 39-40).
Even if, at this very text, he does not use the term kenosis, von Balthasar explains the eternal generation of the Son as an absolute dedication or emptying of the Father, that is, by kenosis:
"The Father who generates the Son does not "lose" himself with this act, in the other, to, finally, "gain" himself, but [The Father] is always himself by giving himself. The Son, too, is always himself by allowing himself to be generated and by allowing the Father to do with him as he pleases. The Spirit is always himself by understanding his "I" as the "We" of Father and Son, by being "expropriated" for the sake of what is most proper to them. (Without grasping this, there is no escape from the machinery of the Hegelian dialectic)” (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Jaca Book, Milano, 1992, vol II, Le Persone del Dramma. l'Uomo in Dio, p. 243).
The eternal Father would be an eternal emptying in the Son, to whom the Father gives Filiation annihilating Himself.
By his turn, the Son would be Son as feminine receptivity, but eternally thankful to the Father that gave him existence, and all that He has, returning to the Father all that he has received from Him. Thus, the Son is also an eternal emptying. From this mutual giveaway unclasps the Holy Spirit, mutual giveaway, mutual annihilation of the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father. This way, one could ask whether in God there would not be, at heart, any ousia. God would have no substance. God would be pure relation, in an endless becoming, and the Persons in God would be pure change, pure relationship. In other words, one could ask whether von Balthasar thinks that God would exist as a being, or whether God is an eternal becoming.
We can see the ambiguity till the contradiction of von Balthasar at this quotation:
"The Christian theology remained by an irremovable way, firm at the idea that the God revealed in Jesus Christ subsists in himself as an eternal being or essence, thing that is, at the same time, an eternal becoming (not temporal, indeed), and at the idea that is not possible to dispense ever, only for an instant, from the ontological consideration of this eternal becoming. Before, seeing this from the point of view of the New Alliance, we should say that the revelation of God acted in Jesus Christ is a firstly Trinitarian revelation – Jesus does not speak about a general God, but shows us the Father and gives us the Holy Spirit – and that we should make an image about the "being" and the "essence" of God by a Trinitarian relation from Jesus with God. This relation manifests itself in the becoming of Jesus as an eternal becoming" (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol V, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p. 50. The bold is mine).
Could there be a more contradictory text?
After all, to von Balthasar, is God being or becoming?
He answers that God is being and becoming!
And a few pages ahead, von Balthasar writes:
"The eternal life, which is God, and that remains “indescribable”, cannot be absolutely defined as a becoming, because it does not know that 'poverty that is the reason of our tendency’, of our ‘unquietness’”. "The eternal life, exactly because it is plenitude of life, is complete peace". However, this peace is not rigid, but it is eternal mobility" (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol V, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p. 66. Bolded text is mine).
How can he write that the eternal life cannot be defined as a becoming and immediately dares to affirm that it is " eternal mobility"?
Saint Pius X was so right in adverting that the Modernists, in order to dissimulate their heresy, do not hesitate to contradict themselves, saying in a page something, and, in the other, the opposite!
By the way, von Balthasar refused the principle of non-contradiction, and affirmed that the contradiction has always existed in this world, even in the proper words of Christ, in the Gospel:
"Similarly, Balthasar believed that contradiction is a part of truth. As he explained in Word and Revelation, he believed that expressions of' ‘worldly truth’, in the same manner of ‘worldly Being’ can be ‘contradictory’ and even expressions of scriptural truths can be opposites or ‘contrary’ [to one another]. Balthasar agreed with Hegel that ‘only God is “absolute truth”’ and "'all truth is not, the very negation is in God' " (italics added). Thus, statements in the Bible are not absolutely true but each is relative and in some way negative or false, and these statements will find their synthesis only when we come to the Father who is absolute truth. But, for now, one cannot have complete confidence even in the words of Christ. Balthasar stated: "The word of Christ, who spoke as no other had spoken, who alone spoke as one having power, is nonetheless an insecure bridge between the wordlessness of the world and the super-word of the father" (italics added). (…) Balthasar's philosophy of truth violates the first self-evident principle of the speculative reason (the natural law), which states that the same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time (principle of non-contradiction)”. (Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap, "The Inflated Reputation of Hans Urs von Balthasar", New Oxford Review, pp. 17-24, March 2000, http://www.petersnet.net/browse/3344.htm The bold is mine).
How can a theologian being thought as Catholic, if he adopts Hegel’s principle that yes and no coexist, when Christ said: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil" (Mt V, 37).
And, despite that Urs von Balthasar was raised to cardinal...
"At the core of von Balthasar's Theo-drama is the recognition of the dramatic aspect of the immanent Trinity, a "primordial drama" which begins and is sustained by the Father's total self-giving in the begetting of the Son, and the Son's eternal thanksgiving (Eucharist) to the Father, united in the "WE" that is the "I" of the Holy Spirit. (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol II, p. 256, apud (John C. Médaille, "The Trinity as the Pattern of the World in the Theo-Drama", http://www.medaille.com/freedom.htm)
"God possesses himself through donating himself, and only though donating himself. But, this way, donating himself, He possesses himself. And so it is. His self-possession is the event, is the history of a giveaway, and, at this sense, is the goal of all simple possession of oneself. With this history, He is God, or better, this history of love is the "proper God". (E. Jungel, Dio, mistero del mondo, Queriniana, Brescia, 1982, p. 427. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, esperienza e teologia del Dio dei cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, 2000, pg. 238).
By his turn, Urs von Balthasar says:
"So, the divine plenitude, already in its first source, is a plenitude that seems to be an inter space, that makes itself poor, that by means of its poverty turn rich the Son with the proper divinity of the Father" (Urs von Balthasar, Cattolico – Aspetto del Mistero, ed. Encuentro, Madrid, 1988, p. 34).
"The self dedication of the Father, that gives not only something He has, but everything he is (in God, there is only being and not having), he passes, entirely to the begotten Son (without reflection about the fact that He, the Father, becomes Himself by means of his dedication as it would be legal to interpret the thoughts of Hemmerle) (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. V, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p.72).
Generating the Son, the Father delivers all He is, but he should not be thought as if He were existent before this self-deliverance. He is the total self-deliverance. Emptying Him in the Son, the Father gives, not everything He has, but everything he is, because, in God, there is no possessor, but only being.
At this sense, the kenosis is a super death:
"The Son's answer to the gift of Godhead (of equal substance with the Father) can only be eternal thanksgiving (eucharista) to the Father, the Source - a thanksgiving as selfless and unreserved as the Father's original self-surrender. Proceeding from them both, as their subsistent "We", there breathe the "Spirit" who is common to both: as the essence of love, he maintains the infinite difference between them, seals it and, since he is the one Spirit of them both, bridges it" (Von Balthasar, Theo-Dramma, Vol. IV, p. 324, apud (John C. Médaille, "The Trinity as the Pattern of the World in the Theo-Drama", http://www.medaille.com/freedom.htm)
"This total giveaway of himself, to what the Son and the Holy Spirit answers, they will repeat, means something like a “death”, a first and radical "kenosis", if you want: a "super-death", that is as aspect of all love and that is the foundation in the interior of the creature everything that could be, in it, a good death: forgetting itself to the beloved creature till that supreme love that "gives the life for his friends" (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. V, L'Ultimo Atto, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p. 72).
The divine life, thus, would be an eternal giveaway, annihilating – literally comprehended as turning into nothing, no being – so that the Other be. And this total self-giveaway, to the point of not being anymore, would allow us to say that God is love.
It is impressing that one can find almost those same words to define God in the philosophy of Jacob Boehm, as exposed by Alexander Koyré:
"Iniquity, so much as the love, are, by essence, free; a being that would not be free would not be capable either of loving, nor of donating itself. Well, it is in the love that lies the moral perfection of the being, and God, himself, is God because He loves and generates love" (Alexander Koyré, La Philosophie de Jacob Boehme, Vrin, Paris, 1971, p. 433. The bold is mine).
"We deal about (...) the turn up side down of the world, decisive aspect of the vision about God that is not, at first place, “absolute potency", but absolute "love", and whose sovereignty does not manifest itself in having that which belongs to him, but in its helplessness (...) God’s annihilation has its ontological possibility in the eternal self-renounce of God, his tri personal giveaway, from what, also, the created person should not be described as the-being-in-itself, anymore, but, more deeply (as created as image and likeness of God) as a "return-to-itself" (complete reflectio) of the being each time "out of itself", and as "being out of itself", as a “center that gives itself and unfolds itself". The concepts of "poverty" and "wealthy" turn dialectics, which does not mean that the essence of God would be in itself (univocally) "kenotic", and that, thus, the divine fundament of the possibility of kenosis could be, by means of this, elevated to omni comprehensive concept (at this direction lie some mistakes of modern Kenotics), well, (...) the "potential" divine is constituted this way that it could prepare, in itself, the space to a self annihilation, as is that one of the Incarnation and of the cross, and sustain this annihilation till the end. Between the form of God and the form of a slave run in the identity of the person, an analogy of the natures as the greater unlikeness in so much likeness" (DS 806) (Urs von Balthasar, Mysterium Salutis, Vol. VI, Queriniana, Brescia, 1971, pp. 189-190. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani, ed. San Paolo, 2.000, pp. 240-241).
Clearly, this comprehension of Love as a renounce of the being is not true, because Saint Augustine had already observed: "And what more monstrous than to assert that those things which have lost all their goodness are made better?"(Saint Augustine, Confessions, VII, 12).
That shows why people talk so much about love nowadays...
Love, as the kenotic doctrine, is like that one preached by the Buddhism: searching the emptiness, a metaphysical suicide, that prepares all renounces, all self-demolitions. Being truly poor would claim the annihilation of the being itself. The one who is, by the simple fact of being, would be rich. The Theology of Liberation, deep inside, looks for an ontological liberation. As the Gnosis, it is an anti-metaphysical revolution.
"The midst of the Father, after the Son was generated by him, is it not "empty"? And the Son, not being able to take the divinity to himself, but only to receive it, is not he, in all his wealthy, "Poor"? And the Holy Spirit, as pure "breathing of love between Father and Son, is not he, some way, "unessential"? (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. II, Jaca Book, 1992, p.248)
With this explanation one can understand better what the modernists theologians mean when talking about the 'poor’ Church. ‘Poor’ means, in their jargon, ‘totally empty’, ‘unexistable’.
This strange doctrine of the Trinity – that has nothing to do with Catholic’s, but which is totally Gnostic, and “nefand“, as Pius XII qualified it – leads von Balthasar to consider God as an "eternal super abundance", as something that would be always bigger, always more perfect, and not as the absolute perfection of pure Act of Saint Thomas. God would be, to von Balthasar, a "source of life".
To von Balthasar, Kenosis is the key to comprehend Divinity. According to him, God can only be God by means of kenosis.
From his side, the Son can only be Son due to his capacity, his potency of receiving the Father’s giveaway.
"If that one that possesses would not exist anymore, even for a moment, a gift constantly received, but a goodness from which he would have, exactly at the root, the autonomous disposition, he would cease immediately being the Son of the Father, he would lose all the titles to be believed, and he would be obligated, in this case, to invite all man not to believe in him anymore. The form of existence of the Son, that constitutes him as Son since all eternity, is this incessant receiving of all that he is, and, as a consequence of himself, as a gift which comes from the Father " (Urs von Balthasar, Théologie de l 'Histoire, Fayard, Paris, 1970, pp. 40-41).
Von Balthasar says that this receptivity of the Son would be a necessary condition to the Fathar’s self-giveaway. And this receptivity would be like the feminine in God. The Son would give his cooperation in his eternal generation from the Father, letting the Father generate him. This would be like a passive potentiality in God, while the self-giveaway of the Father would be an active and masculine element in Divinity.
"Finally, the divine unity of the making and the let make (from which one demonstrates the equivalence in love) is worldly translated in the duplicity of the genders. Trinitarianly, the Father, certainly, appears as the non-originated generator, primarily (super)-masculine; the Son, as the one who let himself happen, since the beginning as (super)-feminine, but afterwards, as actively expiring with the Father, again as (super)-masculine, the Spirit as (super)-feminine. And while the Father, as previously indicated, let himself be, in his generating and expiring, co-determinating since always by his precedents, there is also in him something of (super)-feminine, which does not interfere with his primacy in the order, but properly the Trinitarian element in God vetoes a projection of the sexual world in divinity (as it occurs in so many religions and in the Gnostic syzygias) we should be content seeing the always new reciprocity of the making and the let make (that is, by its side, a form of activity and of fecundity), as the immeasurable origin of how much the world of the created life will see translated as a form and possibility of love and of its fecundity in the sexual plan" (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol V, L'Ultimo Atto, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p.78).
It is unbelievable how he dares to state all these ideas about the masculinity and femininity in the divine persons, and yet, daring to make reference to fairy tales from false religions and from the Gnostic syzygias, for so scandalous are these statements.
And, to von Balthasar, this condition of receptivity gives a feminine character to the Son.
"Such as the Son behaves, in a certain receptive and feminine way, towards the Father’s will, so the Church and the Christian towards the Son’s life. The effusion of this "God’s seed" (I Jo III, 9) in the midst of the world is the most intimate event in History" (Urs von Balthasar, Théologie de l 'Histoire, Fayard, Paris, 1970, p. 144).
And here, by the way, one can see how the term “God’s seed”, which Saint John uses to refer, analogically, to the sanctifying grace, is literally interpreted as a "God’s seed in the world”, something emanated from God, and not as the sanctifying grace in the soul of the righteous. And this way, carefully, one insinuates the Gnostic doctrine that proposes that there is something of the proper substance of the Divinity buried in the world.
Just like the Cabala, because von Balthasar admits a masculine–feminine duality in God.
And, when the Son accepts the self-giveaway of the Father, He says the first "Fiat", that would be repeated, afterwards, by the Virgin, and by the Church, and by every man who accepts God’s grace. And the Church would only be saint and divine when it accepted its kenosis, in a truthful self-giveaway. Perhaps it is that one that Paul VI called the mysterious self-demolition of the Church.
This kenotic doctrine of the New Theology from von Balthasar proposes an explanation of the process of divine life absolutely similar – and, sometimes, identical – to the pretension of the Gnostics who, as Saint Irenaeus states, proudly believed to possess the secret – the Gnosis– of divine life: "The Prophet, speaking of the Verb, interpolated them asking: ‘Who could tell his generation? Thou, [Gnostics, or theologians of the New Theology] – however, describe the generation of the Verb from the Father’" (Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, II, 28, ss.).
Another part that resembles the Gnostic doctrine of the New Theology of von Balthasar, inherited from the Cabala, is the admission that the evil has its roots in the very Divinity.
To von Balthasar, the Kenotic doctrine applied to the Trinity imposes that there could be in God an infinite 'longitude" that would include all the possible distances, including that of sin.
"It is possible, with Bulgakov, to define the self expression of the Father in the generation of the Son as a first interdivine "kenosis" which embraces of all sides the others, since the moment that the Father there expropriates Himself radically from his divinity and transpropriates itself to the Son, he does not divide it with the Son, but He participates it to the Son, giving him all that is his: "All my things are thine, and thine are mine” (Jo XVII, 10). The Father, that could not be thought exactly (arianistically) as existent "before" this self-giveaway, is this movement of giveaway, without any reserves. This divine act that generates the Son as a second possibility of having part in the identical divinity and being itself, is the placement of an infinite absolute distance, within which all remaining distances could be included and comprehended, the distances that can be added in the interior of the finite world, even not excluding sin. Within the Father’s love one can find an absolute renounce from being God alone by Himself, a let-be from the divine being, and, in this sense, a (divine) a-theistness (naturally of love), that cannot be mistaken, by any means, to the inter-worldly a-theism, but that nevertheless gives foundation (superating) such possibility. The Son's answer to the equiessential possession of divinity can only be eternal thanksgiving (eucharista) to the Father, the Source---a thanksgiving as selfless and unreserved as the Father's original self-surrender. Proceeding from them both, as their subsistent "We", there breathe the "Spirit" who is common to both: as the essence of love, he maintains the infinite difference between them, seals it and, since he is the one Spirit of them both, bridges it" (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol IV, L'Azione, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, pp. 301- 302 The bold is mine).
"It should also be pointed out that this infinite distance, large enough to contain even man's sins, is also a requirement of love, because the most intimate interpenetration between the persons requires the maximum separation [Von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. II p. 258]; there could be no love if there were not also distinction between the persons, and infinite love will require infinite distance" (John C. Médaille, "The Trinity as the Pattern of the World in the Theo-Drama", http://www.medaille.com/freedom.htm).
"On the other hand, man was created to be integrated in Christ, and, therefore, in Saint Trinity’s life. Whatever be the retirement of the sinful man, in the care of God, it is always less deep than the distance of the Son in relation to the Father, in his kenotic emptying (Phil II, 7) and from the misery of his "abandon" (Mt XXVII, 46). This is the proper aspect in the economy of redemption in the distinction of the Persons in the Saint Trinity, that, on the other hand, are perfectly united in the identity of a same nature and of an infinite love" (Urs von Balthasar, Alcune Questioni Riguardanti la Cristologia, IV, D, 8, in La Civiltà Cattolica, n0 3129 - 1 - Nov. - 1980. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani, Ed. San Paolo, p. 242).
In other words, the infinite love would have, as a condition, an infinite retirement – an infinite separation – between Father and Son, so large retirement which could contain even sin within it.
d) Kenosis, Creation and Redemption in Urs von Balthasar
Since God is Love, and a Love that wants to empty itself thoroughly in the Other, to literally annihilate itself, the existence of persons in the Divinity – understood as a kenotic becoming – would be a necessary demand. Even more. It would be necessary the existence of the absolute alterity, which would contain the totality of the world, including sins, so that there can be the absolute retirement between goodness and sin, between Divinity and the Other.
It is the love of God and his absolute liberty that would demand the world of creation. The world not only is creation ex-nihilo – from the nothingness – but also created for the nothingness, outside the divine love.
“Scoto Erígena speaks in radical terms, above all, under influence of Areopagita, Scoto Erígena, for whom the nothingness from which God created the world is its own super-nothingness (or over being).” (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. II, Jaca Book, 1992, p.251)
“We spoke of a first “kenosis” of the Father in his self-disappropriation in the “generation” of the equiessential Son, this first kenosis gets amplified as if by itself to all Trinity, from the moment in which the Son could not be equiessential to the Father but in the self-disappropriation of himself, and since the moment in which their “WE”, the Spirit, likewise, could only be God if He personally sealed this self-disappropriation, identical in the Father and in the Son, with the will that nothing would be “for oneself” as well as (according to what shows his revelation to the world) pure communication and gift of love between Father and Son (Jo XIV, 26; XVI, 13-15). With this primordial kenosis, the other kenoses of God in he world became radically possible, which are then pure consequences of this [first kenosis]: the first kenosis as a “self-delimitation” of the Trine God, because of the liberty given to the creatures, and the second, as a deeper “self-delimitation” of the very Trine God by means of his pact, which from the part of God is, in principle, not cancelable, do then Israel whatever it wills, and the third, not only Christologic but entirely Trinitarian, because of the incarnation not only of the Son, who manifests his radical eucharistic behavior in the pro nobis of the cross and of resurrection” (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. II, Le Persone del Dramma, L' Uomo in Dio, Jaca Book, 1992 , p.308).
Piero Coda, studying the subject of creation, and basing himself evidently and osmotically on von Balthasar and on Bulgakov, says that Creation is explained by the kenosis of God.
[You certainly noticed, dr. Papetti, how all these modernist theologians “kenotize” themselves mutually, emptying their heresies into one another].
“Creation, indeed, under the light of the event of the Crucified/Resurrected, may be seen and deepen as kenosis, and therefore, the not-being of God’s love. Analogously to what happens among the divine Persons in the midst of the Trinity. With the only difference that, in creation, this occurs by means of God towards that which is not God, or even better, towards that which, by itself, simply is not. In the optics of agape we can think in reformulating the traditional principle of creatio ex nihilo, speaking of an ex nihilo amoris in the sense that the “nothingness” from which God creates is the kenosis of agape which God freely lives at the moment in which he gives the being to the Other-of-himself, that which by itself is not” "(Piero Coda, Questio de Alteritate in divinis, Agostino, Tomaso, Hegel, http://mondodomani.org p. 11)
And Piero Coda also says that this kenotic doctrine of Trinity allows the existence of the possibility of a space, before, “the reality of the negative as rupture and as sin”.
“Thus, the possibility and the very reality of the negative as rupture and as sin finds space of reality and of redemption within the Trinitarian distinction which over-embrace” "(Piero Coda., Questio de Alteritate in divinis, Agostino, Tomaso, Hegel, http://mondodomani.org p. 11)
Von Balthasar writes, answering to Hegel in the interlineations:
“That God (as Father) may give another his divinity and that God (as Son) does not have it solely as if borrowed, but possesses it in “equality of essence”, denotes such an unthinkable and unsurpassable “separation” of God from Himself, that all other separations in such a way were made possible (through this one!), be it even the bitterest and most obscure one, can only be verified inside this one. And despite the very communication is an event of absolute love, whose happiness consists on the giveaway not only of something of Himself, but simply of Himself. If both things latch on with a single look, all that was said does not allow one to see Trinity unilaterally as a “game” of an absolute “beatitude”, which abstracts from the real pain, therefore not provided of the “seriousness” of division and death” (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. IV, L'Azione Jaca Book, 1995, pp. 302-303, apud Piero Coda, apud P. Coda, Questio de Alteritate in divinis, Agostino, Tomaso, Hegel, http://mondodomani.org p. 11-12).
If one cannot conceive God as absolute beatitude without “division and death”, would there be then evil and sin in God?
It seems impossible not to get to this absurd conclusion.
Creation has, according to von Balthasar, an intimate relationship with the kenotic process in Divinity.
“The infinite distance between God and the world is originated in that between God and God”. (Von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. II, Le Persone del Dramma. L'Uomo in Dio, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p 252).
Therefore, to Von Balthasar, one has a God who is not simply “absolutely other”, but also homely colligated to his creation. That which was created is not absolutely foreign in relation to that which was generated. “If in the eternal life of God there is no becoming – [Now there is no becoming in God anymore?] – but nevertheless there is the always more, the continuous surprise of love, the being always every time single of many “points of view”, then the creatural becoming is the approximation that is maximally possible to such an unattainable vitality” (Urs von Balthasar, TheoDrammatica, Vol. V, L'Ultimo Atto, Jaca Book, Milano, 1995, p. 77).
Besides, a theologian of much diverse trend than Piero Coda’s, such as the ex-friar Leonardo Boff, inspired in Moltmann’s theology – the osmosis between pantheism and Catholicism, unfortunately fulfilled now, after Vatican II – asserted that Creation would be something necessary to Divinity. “God is the community [Sic!?] of People, and not only the One. Its unity exists in the form of communion (commom – union) of the divine Three with themselves and with the history. There is a Trinitarian history. The Son’s and the Spirit’s missions introduce creation in the Trinitarian process. Trinity constitutes then an open mystery. The unity, fruit pf the communion, includes humanity and creation, thus, all will be eschatologically unified in the Trinity” (Leonardo Boff, A Trindade, a Sociedade e a Libertação, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1986, pp. 152-153).
By means of creation, as a kenotic giveaway of Divinity, there would be a revelation of God himself through his “Presence” in creation. Revelation through creation would not consist in the rational discovery of the invisible qualities of God made visible in creation, as one finds out the qualities of a cause by its effects. The cosmic revelation would be the very God, who gives Himself to the creatures, through of his exodus, and which, by evolution, buds in history with the appearance of man. In the cosmic revelation, such as in history, there would be an “Alliance” and a way of liberation of the very Divinity expelled in the material world.
“We glimpse with increasing clearness that God and the World are not realities that simply oppose themselves as immanence and transcendence, time and eternity, creature and Creator. A static view of the being propitiated this kind of metaphysics of representation. If we introduce, though, the categories of history, process, liberty, etc. then pops up the dynamism, the play of relations, the dialectics of mutual inclusion. The world emerges not as a mere exteriorization of God, but as a receptacle of his self-communication. The world begins to belong to Trine God’s history” (L Boff, A Trindade, a Sociedade e a Liberdade, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1986, pp. 143-144).
From osmosis to osmosis, one reaches Tritheism, Pantheism and Gnosis.
The fall of Divinity in the world of creation would allow that there would be first a cosmic revelation, and afterwards a revelation in history and by history, because history is the stage that follows the cosmic stage. Thence said Daniélou and Dupuis:
“It is about a “cosmic alliance”, but the permanence that it promises is not due to natural laws, but to the loyalty (‘emet’) of the living God. Such alliance is not part of natural history, but of a history of salvation. God’s loyalty in the cosmic order is, to Israel, the guarantee of a loyalty in the historical order. This is how Paul will conceive the cosmic order, when he speaks of a permanent revelation of God through the cosmos addressed to all people. J. Daniélou comments: “The cosmic religion is not natural religion, in the sense that it is outside of the effective and concrete supernatural order. […] It is natural simply because it is by means of its action in the cosmos and of its appeal to conscience, that the one God is known. The cosmic alliance is an alliance of grace. But this alliance is still imperfect, because God only reveals himself through the cosmos […]”. “And [Daniélou] adds: “The cosmic alliance is already a supernatural alliance, and it is not of diverse order from Mosaic’s or Christian’s alliance” (Father Jacques Dupuis, Rumo a uma Teologia Cristã do Pluralismo Religioso Paulinas, São Paulo,1999, p. 56).
In history, the same process of personal kenosis of the Trinity would repeat, but now between the divine Persons and the human persons.
As the Persons in God, the human person would not be a being, but a movement, a becoming.
God would give himself kenotically in every human person, divinizing man.
Maurice Zundel adopts this doctrine as well; he who was so friend of Paul VI to the point of being invited to preach spiritual exercises to the Pope and the Cardinals in the Vatican, in 1972:
“It is then sure that the meeting with oneself concurs with the meeting with God, because, for Saint Augustine, as for us, He is “the Beauty so antique and so new”. Thereby, it does not matter how one names him – be Truth, Beauty, silent Music, the Ineffable, the “X”, the Omega – it does not matter, since one finds him as the “Presence” – [would it be the cabalistic Schechinah?] – which sets us free from ourselves and allows us to became, for the others, a space – [a kenotic nothingness?] – with no boundaries, where they can be housed” (M Zundel, Je est un Autre, ed.Anne Sigier, Québec, 1997, p. 23).
And Zundel often repeats in his books that a transcendent God, Lord of the man and of the universe is an idol, a pharaoh. For him, God is absolutely immanent. God is the man. And Zundel was a master a lot admired by Paul VI…
Also the Theology of Liberation, through the speech of the ex-Friar Leonardo Boff, accepts that the World is God in becoming, and that all Cosmos, along with all humanity, heads towards christification or to the universal divinization. We will all become God:
“All cosmos is called to a total christification and divinization. The Cosmos is part of the very history of God” (Leonardo Boff, O Futuro do Mundo: Total Cristificação e Divinização", Revista de Cultura, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1972, p. 58).
Boff believed, as Teilhard de Chardin, that “The matter is then carrier of a divine reality, it is sacramental” (L. Boff, O Pai Nosso, Vozes, Petrópolis, p, 93).
To Boff, as to Teilhard de Chardin, evolution comes from cosmogenesis to biogenesis, to anthropogenesis, to finally reach christogenesis:
“In man, matter gets to self-conscience. And self-conscience awakens to the conscience of the Absolute. In one man, self-conscience reached the point of identifying itself with the Absolute, and his name was Jesus Christ” (L. Boff, O Futuro do Mundo: Total cristificação e divinização", Revista de Cultura, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1972, p.59).
And ex-Friar Boff also said:
“Man is called to be something greater, that is to say, to be assumed by God in such a way that, similarly to Jesus Christ, God-man, God be all in all things, and must become with man an unmistakable, immutable, indivisible and inseparable unity. The Cosmos is consecrated to participate of this divinization and sanctification” (L Boff, O Futuro do Mundo: Total Cristificação e Divinização, Revista de Cultura, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1972, p. 59).
“... God and creature are not before one another, but one inside the other” (L. Boff, O Futuro do Mundo: Total Cristificação e Divinização, Revista de Cultura, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1972, p. 59).
“The future of the world consists that it may become God’s body” (L. Boff, O Futuro do Mundo: Total Cristificação e Divinização, Revista de Cultura, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1972, p. 60).
“The universe’s fate is to participate of God’s very inmost history” (L. Boff, O Futuro do Mundo: Total Cristificação e Divinização, Revista de Cultura, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1972, p. 67).
And one may not intend to interpret this “participate” in an analogous sense, for Boff makes clear, in other books and excepts, that he understands that the world will become God.
In the book “O Destino do Homem e do Mundo” [Man’s and World’s Fate], Boff wrote: “Christian faith makes clear the latent sense perceived into life. Having faith consists on saying a Yes and an Amen to world’s goodness. It is to choose for a full and radical sense which wins over the absurd. So, Christian faith asserts that the world heads not towards a cosmic catastrophe, but towards its plenitude. The end of the world (the goal of the world) consists on a indivisible interpenetration with God. The fate of creation is to be in such a way penetrated by God that He [God] will constitute his most inmost essence “(Leonardo Boff, O Destino do Homem e do Mundo, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1973, p. 23).
And even clearer than that: “the vocation to which the world is called is sublime: the very God” (L Boff, O Destino do Homem e do Mundo, Vozes , Petrópolis, 1973, p. 23).
There could be given numberless quotations of the Gnosis in Leonardo Boff, for which he was never condemned, not even censured, for he only repeated what he has learnt with the theologians of the modernist New Theology that triumphed in Vatican II.
Let us see this excerpt as well: “Man is fated to be one with God and by means of that being totally divinized. He will burst forth in plenitude, achiever of all dynamisms of his existence. He would not state so if he would not have seen it accomplished in Jesus of Nazareth, dead and resurrected. He [Jesus] was that human being that performed man’s latent possibility of becoming one with Divinity. Man’s total hominization assumes his divinization. That means: man, in order to become truly himself, must be able to accomplish the maxim capacity inscribed in his nature of being one with God, with no division, no mutation, and no confusion. Now, in Jesus of Nazareth, Christianity saw this possibility accomplished. That is why it was by the community of faith of once, and today, loved as being the incarnated God, the God with us, l'Ecce Homo" (L. Boff, O Destino do Homem e do Mundo, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1973, p. 28).
“The future of Jesus Christ is the future of every single man. If he is our brother, hence it means that we possess the same possibility as him to be assumed by God and become one-with-him. One day, to the term hominization, this possibility of ours will be updated. Then, each one in his own way will be like Jesus Christ: remaining man but inserted in the mystery of the very God” (L Boff, O Destino do Homem e do Mundo, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1973, p. 29).
These statements of L. Boff make clear certain texts from Vatican II such as, for example, that from Gaudium et Spes which we mentioned previously, which asserts that God has sown a Godlike seed in man (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes, n.3). Or that mysterious statement which says that the revelation of Christ consists on the revelation of the mystery of man to man.
Is it necessary to stress that Gnose and Cabala teach just like von Balthasar, Teilhard, or Boff express themselves?
This fusion of creation within the very Trinitarian divinity is clearly heretical and which penetrates, sometimes disguisedly and sometimes openly, inside modern Theology and the so-called New Theology. And Vatican II not only refused to condemn this heresy, but, unfortunately, suffered from its influence, to the point of Paul VI proclaims: “Humanists of the 20th century, recognize that We also have the cult of man”.
Creation would be the result of the absolute kenosis of Trine God who empties himself in the world. And that would be the created God, or the God in becoming. The created universe would absolutely be the Other of God, but the Other in God, in Trinitarian God, who annihilates himself to give his life away for love.
Finally, kenosis would explain crucifixion.
“The economy of salvation manifests that the eternal Son assumes in his own way the “kenotic” event of birth, human life and death on the cross.” (Urs Von Balthasar, Teologia - Cristologia - Antropologia, I, C. 3, in La Civiltà Cattolica, n. 3181 (10 gen. 1983), pg. 50-65. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, terza edizione, 2000, pg. 241)
Urs Von Balthasar speaks of the abandon of God suffered by Christ, on the cross, as a kenotic act necessary to divinize man. On Christ’s death, a christic man-divinizer kenosis would have taken place. This kenosis would be complete by resurrection, which closes the kenotic circle, by Christ’s return to Divinity and to Trinity. This would be the mysterious “paschal mystery”, man’s passage from the current state to the divine state.
“This happening, which is verified between Father and Son, would bud the very giveaway, the Spirit that houses those who are abandoned, who justifies the impious and vivificates the death. The God who abandons and the God who is abandoned are one only thing in the Spirit of dedication. The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son because he derives from the derelictio Jesus” (Jürgen Moltmann, Prospettive dell'odierna teologia della Croce, in Aa. vv., Sulla teologica della croce, Queriniana, Brescia 1974, pg. 42-46. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, Milano, 2000, pg. 237).
According to the same unsuspicious Leonardo Boff, the kenosis of von Balthasar opposes itself to the Aristotelic image of God as immutable being.
“Since its beginning, says Balthasar, incarnation itself has a “passional” character, that is, it is directed to passion. Incarnation means that God assumes the totality of the human experience, the experience of sin and hell. Christ assumed all that throughout his life until his death, experience that we all must have of God’s abandon that reaches the descent to hell, which is equivalent to fell absolutely condemned. Due to this, the passion of this world would turn into Christ’s passion. This kenosis implies in a change on God’s image, which was disfigured by the Greek static conception of the “Deus inmovens”. “(LEONARDO BOFF, "La cruz no es algo a entender, sino a assumir como escándalo", http://www.mercaba.org/FICHAS/JESUS/pasion_de_cristo_05.htm , the boldface is mine).
[And how these ideas recall Sabbatai Tzevi ‘s antinomist doctrine! (Cfr. Gerschom Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi, The Mystical Messiah Princeton University Press, 1975]
“On the other hand, man was created to be integrated into Christ, and, therefore, in the way of the holy Trinity. Whatever may be the distance of the sinner man from the care of God, it is always less deep than the detachment of the Son in relation to the Father in his kenotic emptying (Phil 2,7) and in the misery of the “abandon” (Mt 27, 46). This is the very aspect of redemptions’ economy in the distinction of the Persons in the holy Trinity, that, on the other hand, are perfectly united in the identity of a same nature and an endless love” (Urs Von Balthasar, Alcune questioni riguardanti la cristologia, IV, D.8, in La Civiltà Cattolica, n. 3129 (1 nov. 1980), pg 50-65. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, terza edizione, 2000, pg. 242).
“God’s life, which is expressed in the relation of the three divine hypostases – as if it reveals us the incarnation and death on the cross of the Verb made man – is thus pierced by this kenosis which is the emptying of oneself for love and that, logically, is continuous and perfectly overridden by infinite beatitude: so much that, properly, one cannot speak of God’s sacrifice and suffering, but of perfect love” (Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, terza edizione, 2000, pg. 246).
"Hans Urs von Balthasar in Mysterium Paschale, used the kenotic theme to create his beautiful spiritual theology of the paschal mystery of Christ's death and resurrection. For Balthasar, the divine drama is enacted on the stage of earth; even the stroke of the spear into Christ's side that poured out blood and water is a kenosis of the divine compassion from the heart, the rachamim, the source of the deepest affections."[And Rachamin is the name of the sixth sephirotic emanation in Jewish Cabala, the cabalistic name for mercy] (John B. Lounibos, Self-emptying in Christian and Buddhist Spirituality, http://www.iona.edu/academic/arts_sci/orgs/pastoral/SELF_EMPTYING.html. The bold is mine).
“Under this perspective, revelation is nothing but the movement of the self-communication of the only divine Subject (evident Hegelian influence) by means of his “three distinct ways of being” (drei Seinsweisen): Barth prefers this designation to that classic “persons”, because this term – given the semantic evolution that took place in the modern age, coming to name the self-conscious and autonomous subject – would lead to tritheism. That is a position that also the catholic K. Rahner shares with Barth. Therefore, the Christian God is the only Lord while He is Revelator, Revelation and Revealed” (Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, terza edizione, 2000, pg. 233 - 234).
Observe that, in this way, one accepts, with no restrictions, the modernist thesis that revelation does not consist on truths, but on the very divine reality in itself. What Vatican II did not repel, but accepted.
In history, the transcendent God would remain immanent, in order to turn creation divine.
“Contemporaneous theology, with effect from Karl Rahner above all, speaks of a fundamental axiom of God’s knowledge (Grundaxiom): “The Economic Trinity is the Immanent Trinity”. That is to say that Trinity, which reveals itself in the history of salvation, is the same immanent Trinity, such as it is in itself” (Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, terza edizione, 2000, pg. 13).
“God possesses himself by giving himself away and only by this means. But thus, by giving himself away, he possesses himself. So it is. His self-possession is the event, is the history of a self-giving and, in this sense, it is the goal of all mere self-possession. As this history He is God, or better, this history of love is the “very God” (E. Jüngel, Dio, mistero del mondo, Queriniana, Brescia, 1982, p. 427. Apud Piero Coda, Dio Uno e Trino - Rivelazione, Esperienza e Teologia del Dio dei Cristiani. Edizioni San Paolo, terza edizione, 2000, pg. 238).
In other words, God would be so immanent to man that God would be history, and history would be God in ways of kenotization for returning to the Father.
That being so, revelation would then be the knowledge of God as history. From that follows the importance given to “signs of the times”, that is, to the manifestation of God in historical events, through which man’s divine experience is accomplished, in which God is revealed as reality to man, making him get to know God, and, knowing God, realize that man is God in an “exodus” stage, “heading towards” the Father. By knowing God in history, God immanent to the world and to oneself, man knows the mystery of man. Christ reveals to man the mystery of man, that is, that man is God in transition. For this reason, one could say that revelation is “historical-salvific”.
Note that we have not misinterpreted that which says the famous modernist theologians in this quotation.
“There is a Trinitarian history. The missions from the Son and the Holy Spirit introduce creation into the Trinitarian process. Trinity is then constituted in an open mystery. The unity, fruit of communion, includes humanity and creation; therefore, eschatologically, all will be unified in the Trinity” (L. Boff, A Trindade, a Sociedade e a Libertação, Vozes, Petrópolis, 1986, p. 153).
That is to say that divine kenosis had as goal, since its beginning, man’s and world’s creation so that God, in an act of kenotic love, would die, annihilate Himself, in order to divinize man.
And that is exactly what would be in the core of the mystery of revelation:
“God makes man know, through his kénosis, that man, since its beginning, was kenotically conceived, and that exactly at this exteriorization and this poverty, he will be rich and glorious, and that it is already like this” (Piero Coda, id., p. 105).
From all this quotations, it gets crystal clear that divine revelation would not consist on word which communicate truths, but revelation would be the kenotic communication of the very God to man. Christ’s death – the literal annihilation of divinity – would have allowed man’s divinization. Revelation would be the communication of divinity to man, by means of the Son, on the Cross, and through the paschal mystery, passage from the human state to the divine one.
If creation was a kenotic act from the Trinity, through the missions of the Son and of the Holy Spirit aiming to divinize man and the universe, the revelation of the mystery of God by Christ is also the revelation of the mystery of man, a God in potency.
Wherefore revelation would not be reserved to the prophets or the elected apostles, but would be granted to every man:
“The paternity of God that Jesus revels is, thus, universal and, at the very same time, personalizer in the sense that it touches every single human person in its concrete condition” (Piero Coda, La Paternità di Dio, il Grido di Giobbe e l'incontro tra le Religioni, http://mondodomani.org/dialegesthal/pc01.htm p. 4).
This act of kenotic love from God, which God’s self-giving reveals, should be repeated by the Church and by other men in an “opening” that would empty the Church and men into the “other”. All churches should be kenotically open, to be accomplished in its self-annihilation. The great sin, according to the Vatican II, would be not being “open”, not practicing the mysterious kenotic self-annihilation.
The Catholic Church, by kenotic love, should, also herself, be self-annihilated in a “mysterious process of self-demolition”… to use the expression employed by Paul VI when analyzing Vatican II post-conciliar achievements.
And one cannot deny that this kenotic doctrine has inspired certain texts from the Vatican II:
“In Christ, the relationship between God and humankind, and intersubjective relationships among people, have been taken into, revealed and redeemed in the realm of trinitarian reciprocity. In other words, they participate in the divine life which subsists between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Vatican II’s document on the Church in the modern world, Gaudium et Spes 24, teaches, this reciprocity is realised "through the sincere gift of self" (cf. Lk 17:33) that Christ Jesus revealed and realised in fullness in the kenosis of abandonment and death on the cross”. (Piero Coda, "The Ecclesial Movements - gift of the Spirit for our times", Theological-Pastoral Congress, 26-28 June 2001 - Castel Gandolfo, http://www.focolare.org/en/sif/2001/20010707e_f.html).
Ecumenism is the natural and logic outcome from this doctrine of universal revelation, such as the modernists professed it. However, Coda explains under the light – Light? – of the kenotic doctrine, how the Church of the future will be:
“(…) divine revelation consists on the calling of all men to adore, in the liberty of adhesion to the truth, the only true God and to live in peace, accomplishments of universal fraternity. But throughout the centuries, the monotheist traditions gave a biased interpretation to the unicity of God and the universality of salvation in an exclusivist fashion: in the sense that each one of them has self-judged and self-configured as holder of the Word of revelation (and of its fulfillment) excluding the others. From that follows the impossibility in comprehending the other / the diverse on its alterity/diversity and ,at the same time, in the communion and in the company of the only source and only goal in history: which is exactly God One and Only, who has created us and who self-reveals housing us within himself, in eternal life” (Piero Coda, La Paternità di Dio, il Grido di Giobbe e l Íncontro tar le Religioni, http://mondodomani.org/dialegesthal/pc01.htm p. 9.).
From this absolutely modernist notion of revelation, Piero Coda draws the conclusion that Vatican II opened the path for a change of the times, in which the Religion of Tomorrow will spring, along with its Spiritual Church, such as all Gnostics in history had proclaimed:
“The times – under the action of the Spirit of God who act over the hearts of men and in the history of populations and cultures – are today getting mature and propitiating a change of character of epoch. As Christians and Catholics, we cannot help thinking about what the II Vatican Council has stood for, and stands for Catholic Church’s self-knowledge. On the other hand, the planetization of human family – from the social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual points of view – is an unstoppable event: even if brings along with itself – if bad comprehended and conducted – the jeopardy of destruction of the many identities. In such situation, the “signs of the times” and the Spirit of God drive the monotheist religions – since its interior, and in the valorization of its own specific identities – to re-understand the unicity/unity of God not as a foundation of exclusivism anymore, but – according to the true and original meaning from the very God – as a warranty for a relational pluralism which calls all human creatures to the unity of peace in the liberty of diverse identities, under the regard of the only God” (Piero Coda, La Paternità di Dio, il Grido di Giobbe e l' Incontro tar le Religioni, http://mondodomani.org/dialegesthal/pc01.htm p. 9).
This ecumenical “Church” of elastic and chameleonic faith, is not the Church of Jesus Christ. These Modernist theologians are members of a Sect which aims to destroy the Catholic Church. And they intend to accomplish this destruction in the name of the II Vatican Council which, according to them, has turned History and Religion upside down. Exactly as the Modernists desired.
And finally, Piero Coda speaks of “a new advent of the very God according to the specificity of each religion” (P. Coda , La Paternità di Dio, il Grido di Giobbe e l' Incontro tar le Religioni, http://mondodomani.org/dialegesthal/pc01.htm p. 12).
If this “advent” is to happen, which the Scriptures do not talk about, one might inquire whether it would not be the advent of the Antichrist.
From all this kenotic doctrine, one necessarily deduces that revelation does not consist on truths, to which human intellect should accept, but, as matter of fact, on the communication of the very divine res [divinizer of man]. Exactly like the modernists used to say. And exactly like the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia vouches.
XIV - The Revelation according to Vatican II
"Poi fummo dentro al soglio della porta
che 'l malo amor dell'anime disusa
Perché fa parer dritta la via torta"
(Dante, Purg., X, 3)
["When we had crossed the threshold of the door
which the perverted love of souls disuses
Because it makes the crooked way seem straight"]
We finally got to the point where we should analyze the five notes with which Istituto Paolo VI characterizes revelation according to Vatican II.
These five notes were presented by the erudite theological report elaborated by Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia, to prove that the new concept of Revelation, according to Vatican II Dei Verbum document, would not be modernist.
Firstly it is necessary to remember that one of the writers of this conciliar document – as it is said - was Father Henri de Lubac, one of the leaders of the so-called New Theology (Cfr. Jean Pierre Wagner, Henri de Lubac, Cerf, Paris, 2001, p. 26). In such case, we would be surprised if the document Dei Verbum would not reflect, in some way, the thought of the New Theology, which was a sort of “combed” modernism, “to make the crooked way look right”...
Let's see, then, these five notes presented by the erudite theological report elaborated by Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia.
The aforesaid theological report states in its first note:
“As for the doctrinal profile, one can summarize the conciliate thinking concerning the concept of Revelation in the following items:”
“a) The way that the notion tagged along in the conscience of the Church is usually measured and concisely expressed by saying that there has been a passage from an intellectualistic conception to a personalistic historic-salvific conception of Revelation.”
“The intellectualistic conception understands Revelation as the communication of truths from God to the human intellect, supported by freedom and lightened up by grace.”
“The historical-salvific conception sees Revelation as a self-manifestation of God Himself in history and in man’s history, through the mission of Jesus and of the Spirit.”
“There is no opposition, evidently, between these two conceptions, since the second does not exclude, but integrates the first. The self-revelation of God, indeed, also implies in a communication of truths at the intellectual level, recognizable from the poetic point of view.”
“Nevertheless, there is also diversity between these two perspectives. The second overcomes the first, for the terms of the event of Revelation are not anymore the truths on one side and the human intellect on the other, but are, on one side, God freely present in Jesus’ history and in the history of the Spirit given by Jesus, and on the other side, the man who is called to live his history freely as Spirit’s history, which “makes memory” of the history and the eschatological event of Christ.”
[Here finishes the first note of the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia].
Reply - Analysis
Istituto Paolo VI acknowledges, therefore, that Vatican II admitted a renewed concept of revelation that, in the conclusion of the erudite theological report, however, is qualified as new.
Therefore, this new concept of revelation from Vatican II does not follow the concept of revelation that the Church has always taught: the revelation is composed of truths that God revealed us about Himself.
On the contrary, Istituto Paolo VI confesses that revelation, according to Vatican II, is no longer “intellectualistic”, but it is, instead, “historical-salvific”.
According to the erudite theological Report in focus, “The historical-salvific conception sees Revelation as a self-manifestation of God Himself in history and in man’s history, through the mission of Jesus and of the Spirit”.
Therefore, Istituto Paolo VI's report admits that it has passed from the concept of revelation of truths to a “new” concept of revelation that would be exactly the one precognized by the Modernists and Neo Modernists: the revelation as a self-manifestation of God Himself in History and through History.
What does it mean to say that Revelation is done through a self-manifestation of God Himself, if it does not mean that, in revelation, one would find, instead of truths, the very divine res that would manifest itself in creation and in history?
This interpretation is confirmed by the text of the Lesson given to Ferrara's professors and published in the Carlo Caffarra’s Cultural Catholic Center, in which, after an acceptable exposition of revelation, it ends up saying that, according to the Vatican II, revelation should not be understood as a “mere divine instruction”, and that it is a redeemer revelation, by itself:
"The term “Revelation” infers, thus, a fact: God allows man to know Him and His project towards him. This project is that man should take part in the divine nature itself. The “Revelation therefore is inseparably theological: it is the proper God that reveals Himself, and anthropological: it is the proper God that reveals man his destiny”.
"The word “Revelation” – this is a central point – is not a pure speech of words in the sense that God reveals Himself and makes one acknowledge the mystery of His will by speaking to man only about Himself and about the mystery of His will. But “Revelation” infers also, beforehand, a complex of acts carried out by the very God; it infers a set of events to which the very God is responsible and performer. 'It is through such acts that God reveals Himself and makes known the mystery of His will. But always in order to have a concept of “Revelation” as precise as possible, and at this point it is necessary to reflect upon it”. (Centro Culturale Cattolico Carlo Caffarra LA RIVELAZIONE DIVINA, "Cristo e la divina Scrittura sono il rimedio d’ogni disgusto", lesson given to professors. Ferrara 19-02-03. The bold is mine and the underscore is from the original)
And up to this point, there would be nothing to criticize in this text. But the explanation next brings up the modernist novelty about revelation, that it would be redeemer by itself:
"Listening to what was said up to now, I would not wish you to think this way: God makes me know Himself and His project over man through facts and words. The accomplishment of the divine project over man, more precisely of His will of letting man take part of His divine nature, is put to them, as we say, after God has spoken to them through words and acts. It reduces “Revelation” to a mere “divine instruction”. Things are not like this. God reveals Himself and allows one to know... accomplishing this very project: God reveals by accomplishing what He reveals and accomplishes by revealing Himself. S. Thomas says stupendously: “dicere Dei est facere”. [in 1Cor 1, lect.2, n.1; and also in Ps 32,9].
"Revelation”, therefore, is not a pure fact of knowledge; it is an integral giving that God accomplishes by Himself to man.
"Now we can understand the following Vatican II text: “This plan of Revelation is realized by deeds and words having in inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them”. (Centro Culturale Cattolico Carlo Caffarra LA RIVELAZIONE DIVINA, "Cristo e la divina Scrittura sono il rimedio d’ogni disgusto", lesson given to professors. Ferrara 19-02-03. The bold is mine and the underscore is from the original)
Therefore, according to Carlo Caffarra's Cultural Catholic Center explanation, revelation according to Vatican II would be:
1) of the proper divine res and not as much of words or truths to be known; revelation would not be a “mere divine instruction” (And this statement completely agrees with what was expressed in the document from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia).
2) When God reveals Himself he accomplishes his goal in self-revealing, that is, the fate of man of “taking part of the divine nature” (And in this point Carlo Caffarra's Cultural Catholic Center is less radical than the modernists and neo modernists who say that the final goal is man’s deification).
3) By revealing himself in history, God accomplishes the salvation. The revelation, by itself, is salvation. The process of the revelation is historical salvific.
But this was exactly, I repeat, the doctrine of the modernist gnostics, be them Catholics, Protestants or Schismatic: the revelation is a knowledge that is redeemer ,by itself.
It is the Gnosis that states that the Divinity has fallen down into the material world, and that, through evolution, has generated man, who would be Divinity getting conscious about himself, and the man, through History, would become God’s deliverer. This is the gnostic sense of the expression that God reveals Himself in history and through history. The history of mankind would be the history of the revelation and deliverance of the divine “Presence” - the Schechinah – imprisoned in the cosmos and in the heart of man. History, for Gnosis, is only a stage of the process of deliverance of Divinity buried in the cosmos. The expression of “God reveals himself in history”, therefore, tastes Gnostic.
When talking about Boehme's doctrine, Alexander Koyré wrote:
"The revelation of God, which concurs in man with the revelation of the Universe in him, with his own revelation to himself, is linked to the revelation of the scriptures and cannot it be accomplished under the direct impulse, God’s inspiration, the Holy Spirit’s?”
"(...) At heart, for him [Boheme], the Bible is not indispensable, and the positive religions do not have but a very restricted value, when they have some value, and when this value is not negative at all. Personal to each one, as long as it is profound and sincere, every law is good; every one of them can lead to salvation” (Alexandre Koyré, Vrin, Paris, 1971, p.498).
Also the pietist and pre-romantic Herder, follower of Jacob Boheme's Gnosis, used to say that the history is the “way of God through nature” (Cfr. Ladislao Mittner, Dal Pietismo al Romanticismo, Einaudi, Milano1964, p. 311).
And the gnostic Bulgakov, so praised by the modernists, thought that the world is “God created”, “God in becoming” (Cfr. Piero Coda, L'Altro di Dio, ed cit. p. 44, note 56).
As we have already seen, to Bulgakov, as to the Kabala, creation is “God's exodus”. “This exit of God outwards himself is the creation as an eternal act of the creator God” (Sergej N. Bulgakov, L 'Agnello di Dio. Il Mistero del Verbo Incarnato.p. 164, 182-183, apud Graziano Lingua, Kénosis di Dio e Santità della Materia. la sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 61).
Opening the Great Trilogy, Bulgakov makes a statement that could be used as a synthesis of his position:
“The Absolute and the Transcendent are deeper, richer in content than the relative and the immanent. Wherefore, they are their source. They are the mystery of which the relative and the immanent constitute the revelation; and this is the self-revelation in relation to the Absolute” (Sergej N. Bulgakov, Il Paraclito, Ymca, Bologna, 1987, p. 594, apud Graziano Lingua, Kénosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, la sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 51).
It is well known the Teilhardian conception of creation as a manifestation of God through cosmogenesis, noogenesis, and through christogenesis, when, in the end of history, everything and everyone would converge to the Christ Omega. That is, the esoteric Panchristism of Maurice Blondel.
Bulgakov also defends a similar doctrine:
"Bulgakov distinguishes, therefore, a scale that parts from the inorganical world, goes through the individuality of the animal world, to get to the human hypostasis; the degrees that form it are not springs, but they give life to a well connected pan-organism” (Graziano Lingua, Kénosis di Dio e Santità della Materia, la sofiologia di Sergej N. Bulgakov, Ed. Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2.000, p. 162).
And not only creation would be a self-revelation of God, but History, the stage which follows creation, would be a self-manifestation, or the self-revelation of God through man's action.
We also have already seen how, to certain theologians of the International Modernist Sect, who are juts like Bulgakov, in history, the human person would head towards an identification with all mankind through the Person of Christ, which will be, in the end of history, everything in everyone, revealing himself and redeeming everyone, because he would save the mankind-man. The self-revelation through God's self-manifestation in history, and through history, will deify all men, because all and each one of them will be mankind-men.
It would be still necessary to remember that the “historical-salvific” conception of revelation was adopted by the liberal theologians of Protestantism, such as, for example, Oscal Culmann and by the “World Council of the Churches”. It is a concept of revelation completely in agreement with the concept expressed by the Modernists and by the New Theology.
For all these Modernist systems, Gnostics or Philo-Gnostics, in creation and in history, it would be the divine res itself that self-reveals.
How can the Vatican II – according to the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI – repeat this “new” notion of revelation as a self-manifestation of God in history, which is a reproduction, with new terms, of a feature of the oldest Gnostic doctrine?
What difference would there be between this notion, that sees “revelation as a self-manifestation of God Himself to history and in man’s history”, and the Romantic Gnostic conception – which is at the modernism’s heart – which sees History as a self-manifestation of God?
They seem to me to be exactly the same thing. Or, at least, the similitude is so great that it is hard to tell them apart. The only reservation is that, afterwards, it admits that besides the divine res, truths are also revealed, a restriction that has already been made by the New Theology.
Now, thus, the II Vatican Council when expressing itself in not such a clear way, or even, sometimes, intentionally ambiguously, allowed certain theologians to interpret a new concept of revelation: that the revelation would happen through a self-revelation of God in creation and in history. And, if this is true, the Vatican II has either taught a Gnostic concept of revelation, or wanted to teach a weird doctrine in such an ambiguous way that it gives room to confusion. In both interpretations, this way of classifying the revelation is very criticizable, if not condemnable.
Anyway, there is not doubt then that, according to the alleged from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia, as well as for Carlo Caffara’s Cultural Catholic Center, the new concept of revelation of Vatican II does not consist on truths that one must be known and believed about God's nature, but it is the very God who reveals Himself in history, and by revealing Himself, redeems man.
At least this is the interpretation of these two Institutes about the new concept of revelation of the Vatican II.
If this modernist interpretation was possible, it is because, at least, the II Vatican Council expressed itself ambiguously.
Now, a Council has no right to express itself so ambiguously. And, even less, so modernistically.
The erudite theologian report that you sir had the kindness of sending us admits frankly that revelation is mostly of God himself, that is to say, of the very divine res, and not much of truths about the Divinity, as it has been taught by Modernism and New Theology,
It is true that the erudite Report points out that “The self-revelation of God, indeed, also implies in a communication of truths at the intellectual level, recognizable from the poetic point of view” (the bold is mine).
Oppositely to the radical or integralist Modernism, Vatican II admits truths in the content of the revelation.
But, what does it mean that these truths would be “at the intellectual level and recognizable from the poetic point of view”?
How, from the poetic point of view?
Is it the intellectual level that is recognizable from the poetic point of view, or is the report referring to the truths?
The composition of the erudite report is not very clear and it generates confusion.
But, anyway, the adjective poetic, be it applied to the “intellectual level”, or directly towards the revealed truths, it transforms them into fables, or metaphors and not “tout court” objective truths anymore.
Are then the truths of revelation nothing but fables or poetic metaphores?
But S. Pius X, in the Pascendi, wrote that:
"Do we inquire concerning inspiration?”
“Inspiration, they reply, is distinguished only by its vehemence from that impulse which stimulates the believer to reveal the faith that is in him by words or writing. It is something like what happens in poetic inspiration, of which it has been said: There is God in us, and when he stirreth he sets us afire. And it is precisely in this sense that God is said to be the origin of the inspiration of the Sacred Books" (S. Pius X, Pascendi, n.22).
The erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI, by saying that the truths of the revelation are “at the intellectual level and recognizable from the poetic point of view”, falls precisely under the condemnation that S. Pius X did to Modernism at this point.
The erudite Report from Istituto Paolo VI, by saying that the inspiration of the truths of the revelation must be seen “at the intellectual level and recognizable from the poetic point of view”, lowers revelation of divine truths to the level of symbols, myths, fables or of “legendary stories”, as Father Lagrange would say. Therefore, that they would not be properly truths.
And this lowering is unacceptable. The erudite report imputes this lowering of the revealed truths to the new concept of revelation of Vatican II. If so it is, the new concept of revelation of Vatican II is modernist, or, at least, semi-modernist. And, then, one must conclude that what Jean Guitton said was true, when he stated that Vatican II taught doctrines that were condemned by S. Pius X for Modernism.
The erudite Report from Istituto Paolo VI, after having admitted that the new concept of revelation of Vatican II stated that the revelation was also of truths – even if they are understood in a “poetic” way – says, later on, that these truths “are not anymore the truths on one side and the human intellect on the other, but are, on one side, God freely present in Jesus’ history and in the history of the Spirit given by Jesus, and on the other side, the man”.
And thus, the erudite Report reduces revelation only to the divine res, disregarding the truths that should be understood “at the intellectual level and recognizable from the poetic point of view”...
For example, would the Angel’s Annunciation to the Most Holy Virgin Mary also need to be “recognized on the intellectual level and recognizable only in a poetic point of view”, or is it simply true?
To the modernists, the Angel’s Annunciation to Mary ever Virgin is pure “poetry”. And this also turns Modernism heretical. If Istituto Paolo VI states that according to Vatican II, the revealed truths in the Gospel should be understood – recognized – “from a poetic point of view”, the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI would be confirming that Vatican II proclaimed a modernist concept of revelation.
How could it state, then, that this very same statement, expressed by Jean Guitton, reveals “evident ignorance and bad faith”?
Therefore, the new concept of revelation of Vatican II is really new, seen that the old and catholic concept stated that the content of revelation was a set of truths that God has given to the human intellect.
It was Modernism and New Theology which asserted that revelation was of the very divine res, and not of truths directed to the human intellect.
Once again, Jean Guitton did not lie, nor had bad faith, and neither revealed ignorance by confessing that Vatican II taught modernist doctrines condemned by S. Pius X.
The erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia, under skilful formulas, so affirms.
And if revelation, according to the Vatican II, is not of truths that God Himself has taught us, then the Vatican II could not make dogmatic teachings, nor could it pronounce anathemas, because the revelation would not deal with intellectual truths. The Vatican II, for coherence, should be “pastoral”. And so did John XXIII and Paul VI define: pastoral, for revelation would never allow one to define dogmas, truths that must be believed with divine faith.
This first note from Istituto Paolo VI would be enough to confirm that Jean Guitton would have said the truth: that Vatican II has defended and taught the doctrines of Modernism. Though placing them under the veil of odd texts.
But there are other authors that state the same conclusion, that is, that Vatican II concept of revelation, in the document Dei Verbum, is actually new.
Gregory Baum and Avery Dulles – today, a Cardinal – are among these:
"A remarkably informative, clear, and enthusiastic appraisal of Dei Verbum has recently come from the pen of another Council expert, Gregory Baum, O.S.A.("Vatican II's Constitution on Revelation: History and Interpretation," Theological Studies, vol. 28/1 (March 1967), pp. 51-75.) He takes the position that the heart of the document is to be found in the new concept of revelation set forth in the first chapter, namely that revelation is to be identified with the person of Jesus Christ." (Avery Dulles, S.J., "Theological Table-Talk", Theology Today, Oct/1967, . The bold is mine).
Consequently, the object of revelation would no longer be of truths directed by God to the human intellect, but it would be the very reality of God.
Avery Dulles makes a parallel between revelation according to Vatican I and revelation according to Vatican II:
"In terms which are indicative but far too crude to do justice to the complexity of the matter, one may say that Vatican I looks on revelation in a light which is intellectualistic, abstract, scholastic, and, to some extent, propositional. By contrast, the outlook of Vatican II may be aptly characterized as vitalist, concrete, biblical, and historical." (Avery Dulles, S.J., "Theological Table-Talk", Theology Today, Oct/1967, ).
Revelation according to Vatican I:
Revelation according to Vatican II:
Which of these two positions repeats what Modernism has said?
Jean Guitton gave his vote, answering that Vatican II is Modernist.
And even after reading Istituto Paolo VI's study, I agree with Guitton, for the first time in my life: Vatican II has a Modernist concept of revelation. And Istituto Paolo VI's report confirms me in this judgement.
And Xavier Zubiri, philosopher considered a master by the Neo-Catechumenal Movement (a movement born under the Vatican II spirit), confirms that the new concept of revelation of the Vatican II defends that it is of the very divine res more than of received and intellectually transmitted truths. His books are adopted in Neo-Catechumenal Redemptoris Mater seminaries.
"Zubiri understands revelation from the experience of the reconnection, like the real presence of God, as person, in the bottom of the human reality. He who receives this singular and free palpitation converts himself, because of this, in “illuminant”, but it will always be a palpitation of God since the very midst of the human spirit. If we call revelation the set of truths and words, it is because it is directed toward the others and to them they are transmitted by words; however in the primary receiver it is an interior illumination. The Revelation, nevertheless, supposes that it has been understood that the base of the divinity is a personal and free God. In the prologue to the book of Olegario González Misterio trinitario y existencia humana, Zubiri says that the proper function of the revelation is to constitute man in God, and direct his life towards Him. The Revelation is not an incorporation of a doctrine, but an incorporation of God to the human reality, an incorporation that culminates (in Christianity) in the Incarnation.” (María Lucrecia Rovaletti, "La dimensión teologal del hombre - Apuntes en torno al tema de la religación en Xavier Zubiri", note 45, ).
In this philosopher adopted by the Neo-Catechumenals, followers and sons of the Vatican II Spirit, the new concept of revelation is clearly and well-gnostically expressed: “The Revelation is not an incorporation of a doctrine, but an incorporation of God to the human reality”.
Is it something to be astonished about, the fact that Zubiri is admired and praised by the gnostics and esoterics of the guenonian line, in Brazil at least?
The new concept of revelation of the Vatican II, as it is understood and taught by the ones who fervently follow the Vatican II – [like, for example, the Neo Catechumenals] – is a concept clearly gnostic and modernist, because it would be the fruit of the manifestation of the pneuma – of the divine germ - existent in the most intimate of the human nature. This revelation would be done through an interior experience, and not by words containing truths that one should believe.
Let us see, now, the second theological note about the new concept of revelation of Vatican II, according to the erudite theological report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia.
“b) A second and fundamental theological note on the renewed – [renewed?] – concept of Revelation is the centrality granted to the mystery of Christ. Jesus Christ is the fullness and the fulfilling of God’s Revelation. Consequently, an indubitably personalistical perspective of Revelation is asserted”.
Allow me to ask you: is the centrality of the revelation in Jesus Christ, or in the “mystery” of Jesus Christ?
And if the revelation is of the “Mystery” – but not about the truth about this mystery – what should one figure out from this second note?
If it is the very Christ who reveals Himself – that is, the “res” of the incarnated Verb, as it was previously asserted on note “a” – and not truths about the divine and human nature, what difference is there between the revelation and the Eucharist, in which we receive the same Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?
Also the teaching we quoted from Carlo Caffara’s Cultural Catholic Center admits that revelation is of the proper res of Jesus Christ:
"Until now, in a certain sense, I had described the “shape” of the Revelation: a formal description. Now let us say what Revelation [We know what this word denotes] truly is: it is Jesus Christ. In the sense, explains the Council, that He is the mediator and the plenitude of the whole Revelation (...)” That is: it is Christ himself the whole Revelation of the Father and of His design over man. He is the messenger and the content of the message; the revealer and the revealed; the revealer in who one must believe, the revealed truth in which one must believe. The Gospel of Christ is the Gospel which is Christ. The Revelation is His Person, His life, His death and Resurrection. Now one can comprehend better why the Revelation “occurs with facts and words connected among themselves”. The Revelation is the gift that the Father makes of His Only-Begotten: it is therefore, in the first place a “res”, a fact [remind the example] to which the words are ordered. These are necessary for the event to be understood and assimilated, as the intellectual nature of the incarnated Logos and the intelligent nature of man demand”. (Centro Culturale Cattolico Carlo Caffarra LA RIVELAZIONE DIVINA, "Cristo e la divina Scrittura sono il rimedio d’ogni disgusto", lesson given to professors. Ferrara 19-02-03. The bold is mine and the underscore is from the original)
Forgive me, but this second note is very diffuse, very dim...And very little exact. And, in this matter, there must be absolute clarity.
And moreover: what one should understand with “a decisively personalistic perspective of revelation”?
Why was it used the adjective “personalistic” and not the adjective “personal”?
Evidently, there was an intention of adopting a concept dear of the modern philosophy that considers the person not as a being – [like an ousia] – but as “a presence more than of a being – [blessed and mysterious “Presence”, always present and never clarified!] – active and bottomless”, as Mounier defines person. (Emmanuel Mounier, Le Personalisme, PUF, Paris, 1967, p. 53).
Gabriel Marcel also states that the person is not properly a being, for he says: “To show, in the bottomline, my thought, I will say, on one hand, that person is not, and cannot be, an essence, and, on the other hand, that a metaphysics, that would build itself in a certain way far off or under the shelter of the essences, would risk itself to crumble itself like a castle made out of cards. This is what I can say, although, in reality, the subject means to me a sort of scandal and even a sort of disappointment” (Gabriel Marcel, Refus à l Invocation, N.R. F, 1940, p. 152, apud Régis Jolivet, As Doutrinas Existencialistas [The Existencialist Doctrines], Livraria Tavares [Tavares Bookshop], Porto, 1961, p. 11, n. 10. The bold is mine).
Therefore, also for Gabriel Marcel, person would have no essence. It would be a metaphysical emptiness.
But this “personalistic” notion of person and of revelation leads us to the denial of the being of God, of the divine persons and of the human person, a denial typical of the Gnosis, of Modernism and of the New Theology.
As we have seen, the theologians from the neo-Modernist New Theology considered the divine persons as pure relations, and not as substances. Consequently, the human person, as Mounier says, would be more a “presence”, a spirit, than an entity.
The new concept of Revelation from Vatican II, in the “personalistic perspective”, allows one to catch a glimpse in the bottom of the referred perspective... the Modernism.
And what could be this “personalistic perspective” but the communion of the divine persons in the emptying – in the kenotic sense – of the human person, and emptying the divine person itself to save the human person, itself considered as a void? And what would be the human person understood as a person of the mankind-man? And if the human person is uniplural, omni-universal, the person of each man blends itself with the person of Christ, God and Man.
There are theologians that so understand this intercommunication between Divinity and man, between Jesus Christ and the human person – omni-universal person – by means of a mystic-kenotic experience.
By this kenotic view of the personalistic revelation, there is no way of placing dogmatic truths in revelation, that would be only, as the modernists would say, a personalistic existential experience of God that self-manifests Himself to man, to each man, as Piero Coda has written, and that identifies Himself with the omni universal person.
Let us see the third note of the erudite theological report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia:
“c) Besides, the christcentrism of Revelation allows to better comprehend the unity and distinction between creation and Revelation. The unity is given by the fact that creation finds its truth in the Incarnated Verb. Christ is therefore the full sense of creation. The distinction is described by means of an overcoming or a qualitative surplus of the innovation of the event Christ regarding the horizon of the universal history [in this point there is a quotation from Dei Verbum 2 and 3]. The consequence of this formulation is that a theological reflection over the sense of history must start from the event-Christ, that becomes the hermeneutic principle of the universal history”.
Considering that the erudite theological report has tried to express that which is new – or at least renewed – in this third note, about the concept of revelation in Vatican II, we have difficulty to find the new, or the renewed, because the Church has always taught that one may know the existence of God, and certain qualities of His, by rational means through creation.
This is exactly what St. Paul asserts: the invisible qualities of God, from the creation, can be understood by the things that are made (Cfr. Rom I, 19-21).
And since the same Creator revealed Himself in the Scripture and in the Apostolic Tradition, it is not possible to have contradictions between Creation and Revelation – be it scripturarian, be it traditional, the two sources of revelation – and what one may know about God through His creation.
However, there would be something new in the concept of revelation, that one should find, looking for an interpretation that would be different from the traditional one, in the christcentrism expressed in this third note about the revelation, according to the Vatican II.
What would this “new” christcentrism be?
Under such conditions, the text gets really mysterious...”pastoral”...in other words, written in order to allow everyone to better understand religion and revelation... according to modern thinking.
Were it not a lack of respect in such a serious theme, I would challenge – at least the Brazilian priests – to interpret this paragraph, because I fear that, for them, at a first glance, it would seem a real mess.
A council in no “matter could speak close-mouthed to us” (Dante, Purgatory, XII, 87)
How could christcentrism allow one to understand, in a different way from the traditional one, “the unity and the diversity between creation and revelation”?
That all created things have some relation to the Verb of God, it has been known for ages, not to say since ever. All one needs is to read the Prologue to St. John's Gospel to know that all things were made through the Verb of God: "Omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum sunt est nihil" (All things were made by Him – the Verb – and without Him nothing was made). In this sense it is possible to understand a certain unity between Creation and Revelation, as well as that there is also diversity between Creation and Christ’s Revelation.
It is also possible to understand that Christ, the Incarnated Verb of God, gives full meaning to creation. And it allows one to understand History.
There is nothing new in all this. But, what was intended to be easily grasped – and in a pastoral way – when the Report says: “The distinction is described by means of an overcoming or a qualitative surplus of the innovation of the event Christ regarding the horizon of the universal history. The consequence of this formulation is that a theological reflection over the sense of history must start from the event-Christ, that becomes the hermeneutic principle of the universal history”?
Perhaps would the pastoral style want to insinuate – never stating it clearly, though – that, as Modernist Teilhard de Chardin thought, all history – the noosphere – moves towards a deification in Omega Christ? That man is potentially God? That in History, as Boff has written, the “divine seed” that, according to Gaudium et Spes, God would have placed in man, would reach its final goal, the Deification? That the world – and therefore, creation and History – are God in becoming?
And that is why a new advent of Christ is awaited for our epochal (??) times, as Piero Coda says, contradicting the Gospel, in which Christ will only come at end of the world, to judge modernists and traditionalists, good and evil people, Jews and pagans, Catholics and Heretics?
Out of such modernistic interpretation one cannot clearly see what there is of new about this third note of the erudite theological report from Istituto Paolo VI.
But, if we know what have said the Theologians from New Theology – of that Theology osmotic with protestant and oriental schismatic theologies – then it would be possible to understand in a new way such christcentrism of creation and history.
And there are theologians that interpret, in this sense, the enigmatic third note of the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI.
For example, Karl Rahner – who was called the soul of the Vatican II – has written the following about the christcentrism of creation and of history:
"The world is an unity where everything is connected to everything and, therefore, he who takes a part of the world to make his own history of it, takes the entire world over himself as embodier of his own life. This is why it is not extravagant (even if one still needs to proceed with prudence) to conceive an evolution of the world as if it was oriented towards Christ and see the degrees of his ascensional way find on Him their summit. It only matters to avoid the representation of this evolution as an ascension that the inferior would accomplish with its own forces. If it is true that St. Paul says to the Colossians 1:35 and not sweetening with a moralizing interpretation, if the world as a whole, and therefore also in its physical reality, reaches historically in Christ, and through Him, the state in which God is everything in everyone, then the reflection we have carried out cannot be rationally false (...). Christ arises then as the summit of history of which christology would be the last word...”. (Karl Rahner, S.J., Problémes Actuels de Christologie, trad. de Michel Rondet, Écrits théologiques, 1 - 1959, pp. 136 - 138, apud Blondel e Teilhard de Chardin - Correspondência comentada por Henry de Lubac, Moraes Editores, Lisboa, 1968, p. 119).
This conception of Rahner’s is absolutely the same as Teilhard de Chardin’s, as well as what Blondel's “esoteric” panchristism and Bulgakov's doctrine allow us to glimpse.
And one can suppose that Rahner's thinking would not be odd to this new notion of christcentric or panchristic revelation.
And if the Vatican II wanted to say something different from what Rahner has said, then the Council had the obligation of making explicit in a clear way this statement, in order for it not to serve as a support to the heretical doctrines of Rahner, Teilhard, Blondel and Bulgakov about the christcentric evolution of the world.
Therefore, this third note of Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia’s erudite report also does not allow one to deny that Jean Guitton was right when stating that Vatican II proclaimed the doctrines of modernism, condemned by St. Pius X.
The forth note of the erudite theological report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia, about revelation according to Vatican II, so states:
“d) Finally, the sacramental dimension of Revelation is asserted. God’s Revelation happens by means of facts and words (Facta et Verba). This, described as an initiative from God, which aims at His very person, came through some interventions of God Himself oriented to an only end, which is the gift of salvation. This order events and interventions is called “economy” (historic-salvific economy). The sacramental dimension gushes at this point, since the full meaning of the gestures ensues merely through words, that is, from Locutio Dei, which, by its turn, is in Christ Jesus a concrete historical happening”.
[Until here goes the forth note of the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia].
Firstly, allow me to remind that the expression “historic-salvific economy” lead us, evidently, among others, to Urs von Balthasar's theology, of a strong gnostic flavor, to say but a little.
In the Vatican II, the term “sacrament” was widely used, in the sense of mystery, not taking into account that this term has always been used, usually, to point out the seven means of transmission of the grace, instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the Council of Trent defined that they were only seven” (Cfr. Denzinger 996, Bento XIV, Denzinger 1470). The Sacraments, real and properly, are seven, defined by the Council of Trent.
Vatican II refers to the Church as the sacrament of the unity of the human race (Cfr. Lumen Gentium, n. 1), and the erudite report in question talks about the revelation as sacramentally produced with Facta et Verba.
“Facta et Verba” are absolutely necessary for the validity of the sacraments. But revelation was made through words that transmitted us truths. From the “Facta” one can rationally deduct truths. For example, from Jesus’ miracles one can deduct, truly and easily, his Divinity. But by themselves, the “Facta” do not reveal directly the Depositum Fidei: they only corroborate truths. The revelation was made by means of the Locutio Dei, which transmits truths. For the erudite theological report from the Institute of Brescia, the truths should be placed in a second plane. The revelation would be, before all, of the divine res itself, that occured specially by an event: the event Christ.
Due to this, the lesson from Carlo Caffarra’s Catholic Cultural Center says:
"Therefore, recapping: the revealing acts – performers of the divine plan – are explained by the words; on the other hand, the words are necessary but secondary in relation to the acts of which they explain the meaning, shedding light over the “mystery within them”. They are necessary, because “God's Revelation is His letting himself be seen that makes for that an appeal unequivocally to the believers' comprehension, to the vision of his reason” [H.U. von Balthasar, Gloria, 3 vol. 2, ed. Jaca Book, Milano 1078, pag. 194]. (Centro Culturale Cattolico Carlo Caffarra LA RIVELAZIONE DIVINA, "Cristo e la divina Scrittura sono il rimedio d’ogni disgusto", lesson given to professors. Ferrara 19-02-03. The bold is mine and the underscore is from the original)
And the “Christ event” was interpreted by the modernists as the taken of conscience of a man – Jesus Christ – that, by the means of a personal experience, realized that man is God. This personal experience-event – probably in a kenotic and personalistic way – every man should be able to take advantage of, carrying out in one’s intimate the very same revealing experience.
All that is not said in the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI. But there is no word to defend the people of God from this heresy. And there are, on the contrary, vague words that allow one to interpret in modernistic way this sacramental mystery of revelation.
And to prove that the Report from Istituto Paolo VI places in a second plane the truths of revelation, there is a fifth note that follows:
“e) After discoursing over the Revelation as an action of God, the object of Revelation is stressed. This is God’s Word, through which we are lightened about God’s truth and about man’s salvation. And, since God’s Word was made flesh, this truth is not exhausted in the intellectual order, but demands that in Christ the communion of life with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be fulfilled. The object of Revelation is, therefore, a true interpersonal communion between the man and the Most Holy Trinity”.
Once again it is emphasized that revelation is not properly of truths of which one must believe intellectually. The object of revelation would be the “Word of God”, that is, the Verb in itself, and not properly truths about the One and Trine Divinity and about the Incarnation of the Son of God.
It insists, therefore, on the non-intellectual character of revelation, which is downgraded to a second plane. Hence, the correspondence of man towards revelation would not be as much of an acceptance of revealed truths, but of an acceptance of Jesus, the communion with Him, that would be made by the means of a religious experience. And this is Modernism.
The communion with Jesus would produce the communion with the whole Trinity, and, therefore, man's salvation. One gets, then, to a conception of salvation that reminds the protestant's notion of salvation: a personal and intimate experience with Jesus that would accomplish itself more through a mystic experience rather than through intellectual faith or through the practice of the commandments. Nor faith, as a supernatural virtue that is properly intellectual, and nor even the obedience to the Ten Commandments would be needed. All that would be needed is the mystical experience with Jesus that leads necessarily towards a union with the divine Trinity. And this personalistic experience would occur in any religion, by the means of the Divinity's seed that God would have planted in the inner of each man. Hence, being part of the Catholic Church, at least by will, would not be absolutely necessary. All mankind will be saved, because in all men there would be the divine seed. Just as Gnosis used to say. Just how certain theologians of the New Theology, like for example Urs von Balthasar, who dared to put apokatastasis as a possibility for Catholic truth (Cfr. Urs Von Balthasar, TeoDrammatica, Vol. V, L'Ultimo Atto, Vol. V, L'Ultimo Atto, Milano, Jaca Book, 1992, pp. 229 and the following ones).
Thus the Catholic concept of revelation emphasizes on the truth one should believe in, and from which moral is derived; and finally, one would be able to get to the mystic experience. The new concept of revelation puts, in first place, the mystic experience that would be enough for salvation. This is why, nowadays, the “pastoral” has practically abandoned the teaching of the Commandments of God’s Law and of the truths of faith.
Allow me to still add an observation.
The erudite theologian report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia does not even say a word about the revelation as an experience, which, as we have seen, characterizes the Modernist concept of revelation. Besides, it was careful enough not to use this expression, as it was enough careful to restrain the submitted issue – if Vatican II accepted the modernistic theses condemned by St. Pius X – only to the field of the revelation.
The erudite Report has restrained itself in examining the new concept of revelation according to Dei Verbum.
However, the theological report's author forgot to say that in the Dei Verbum the term experience is employed.
Monsignor Maggiolini, current Bishop of Como (Italy), reproduced a text of Dei Verbum that says the following:
"This tradition, which comes from the apostles, is developed in the Church with the aid of the Holy Spirit. This is why there is an increase in the understanding of the realities and of the words which have been handed. This happens through contemplation and study (contemplatione et studio) made by believers who treasure these things into their hearts, through the intimate understanding of spiritual things they experience (ex intima spiritualium rerum experientia quam experiuntur intelligentia), and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. Dei Verbum [n. 8] thus lists three factors in the progress of tradition: theology, experience and the Magisterium." (Mons. Alessandro Maggiolini, Magisterial Teaching on Experience in the Twentieth Century, from the Modernist Crisis to the II Vatican Council, pp. 7-8).
Therefore, Dei Verbum, as Mons.Maggiolini reminds us, states that the comprehension of the things and of the words of the Tradition grow by three means:
1) by theology (through contemplation and study, evidently of the theologians);
2) by experience;
3) by Magisterium.
Therefore, in the Dei Verbum it is mentioned a possibility of growth in the comprehension of the revealing Tradition, by the means of a personal (or personalistic?) experience.
Besides that, Mons. Maggiolini says that, in the Dei Verbum, the experience is more valuable than the intelligence:
“If, however, we wish to read [in the Dei Verbum] the two factors – which seems logical to do – as implicating the priority either of the intellectual dimension (theology) or of the experiential dimension (experience), then 'concrete experience has, in a certain sense, priority with respect to theological investigation. The lived realities precede their formulation into doctrine, rather than being a proportionate application of the statement.' (Betti, "La trasmissione della divine rivelazione," in La costituzione dogmatica sulla divina Rivelazione, 237. Analogously, Kothgasser, "Dogmenentwicklung," 443). Without forcing the text, this commentary reads it as an important vindication of the value of experience." (Allesandro Maggiolini, "Magisterial Teaching on Experience in the Twentieth Century, From the Modernist Crisis to the II Vatican Council", Communio magazine, 1996's summer, http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/MT20THCN.HTM).
Therefore it is clear that in Dei Verbum dogmatic Constitution, the II Vatican Council has innovated something in the concept of revelation: it has admitted – as New Theology and the Modernists have said – that the personal experience is in the root of revelation, and that it overcomes the intellectual element revealed. And this is Modernism.
Taking into account what Mons. Maggiolini states, Jean Guitton was right when he said that Vatican II proclaimed modernist theses that were condemned by St. Pius X.
Dealing about this point of Dei Verbum document, Father Schoof reminds that “Until the last moment [in the Council] disturbing changes were proposed to this last paragraph [from Dei Verbum – the one we mentioned above], in which it is declared by the first time in a Council a truly historical determination of revelation” (Padre T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Lohlé, Buenos Aires , 1971, p. 307).
And about this issue – about the personal experience of the things and words of the Tradition, of the revelation – the erudite theological Report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia simply does not say a word. However, it was absolutely necessary to examine this point in order to prove that Jean Guitton was wrong when he stated that Vatican II proclaimed Modernism theses, condemned by St. Pius X, as the intimate and personal experience of revelation was a fundamental thesis of Modernism.
For all this, allow me to respectfully tell you, Most Eminent Doctor Papetti, that the erudite report from your Institute did not satisfy me in any way. On the contrary, it has let me with an even clearer and stronger assurance that Jean Guitton has said one true sentence: that the II Vatican Council taught Modernism doctrines that were condemned by the Pope St. Pius X, in the Pascendi encyclical.
And I ask you to consider that I have based my thinking mainly through comparing what Vatican II has said with the testimonies and doctrines of the very same modernistic and neo-modernistic theologians, many of whom acted as experts or inspirers of the Vatican II Theology.
XV - Conclusions
With the exposition of the different positions of revelation, it gets crystal clear that the doctrine of the New Theology is the same doctrine of the moderated modernists such as Father Lagrange, Blondel and alike who strive to avoid the Church condemnation by moderating their heretic expressions or hiding their thinking under an ambiguous terminology, disguised and obscure. It also gets clear that the doctrine of II Vatican Council about revelation is the same of the so-called New Theology, condemned by Pius XII in Humani Generis encyclical.
Therefore, the doctrine of II Vatican Council about revelation is the same as that of the modernists, with a new disguise, a little bit more masked under a new obscure, foggy and empty terminology.
The Theological report from Istituto Paolo VI is right when stating that the Vatican II presented a “renewed concept of revelation”. And it is also right when saying that this is a “new concept of revelation”.
It is a renewed concept, when compared to the old modernist concept. It is a new concept, when compared to the Catholic, which has always been professed by the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church.
However, Jean Guitton was also right to say that the Vatican II taught the Modernist doctrines which had been condemned by St. Pius X.
We can also say that the integral modernists used to admit only the critical-historic criterion, as they only admitted the insights from the heart, rejecting any other content of intellectual truth in revelation. Though Duchesne’s right wing disciples – the moderated modernists – considering that the core of the revelation doctrine was only an interior experience, not intellectual, also accepted that, together with the contents of revelation, were truths aiming at the human intellect.
And this moderated opinion is exactly the one credited by Istituto Paolo VI to the Vatican II, affirming that in this Council there has been a passage from “an intellectualistic conception to a personalistic historic-salvific conception of Revelation”, not excluding some truths revealed by God. Nonetheless, it states this modernist thesis, aggravating it when saying that the revealed truths must be understood “at the intellectual level, recognizable from the poetic point of view”.
Vatican II has supported the thesis about revelation of the moderated modernist heresy or the New Theology. But not only about revelation. Because accepting a new concept about revelation, all the rest in religion should be modified by the Vatican II. And all the rest has changed, to the point in which one can speak about the New Church of Vatican II.
Therefore Jean Guitton did not have “evident ignorance and bad intention” when declaring that the II Vatican Council taught the doctrines condemned by St. Pius X for Modernism, or at least in the moderated Modernism.
In the Vatican II, one tried to conciliate the historic-critical method with the Church authority. And this conciliation is impossible: either one accepts the infallible docent authority of the Church, or one admits the historic-critical method. And such incompatibility was announced by Cardinal Ratzinger, an ex-Council expert:
“The Constitution about the Divine Revelation – [the Dei Verbum] – sought to establish a balance between this two aspects of the interpretation: the historic “analysis” and the “understanding” of it, at the same time…On the one side, it emphasized the legitimacy and also the need of the historic-method, leading to three essential elements: the attention to the literary genres; the study of its historic content (cultural, religious, etc.); the exam of what is usually called “Sitz im leben”. But the document from the Council wishes to keep, at the same time, the theological character of exegesis and showed the strong points of the theological method in the interpretation of texts; the main presupposition about which is based the theological understanding of the Bible is the unity of the Scripture. To this presupposition corresponds, as a methodological path, the “analogy of faith”, i.e. the understanding of specific texts from a given set of texts. The document adds up two other methodological indications: the Scripture is a sole thing, with effect from the only people of God, which has been its carrier throughout history. Consequently, read the scripture as a unity means read it with effect from the Church, as the real key of interpretation. From one side, it means that it is again duty of the Church, in its institutional organisms, the decisive word for interpretation of the Scripture.
“But, this theological criterion of the method is incompatibly in contrast with the methodological guidance of modern exegesis; it is the very opposite, it is exactly what exegesis tries to eliminate at any cost. This modern idea can be described as follows: either it is a critical interpretation or it should be done by an authority; both things together are impossible. Performing a “critical” interpretation of the Bible stands for despising the appeal to an authority on the interpretation”. (…)
“Starting from this point, the work proposed by the Council to exegesis – of being, at the same time, critical and dogmatic, – seems contradictory in itself; for these are two incompatible demandings for the modern theological thinking. Personally, I am particularly convinced that careful reading of the entire text of Dei Verbum would allow us to find the essential elements for a synthesis between the historic-method and the theological “hermeneutics”. However, such agreement is not evident at once.”
“So, the post-conciliar reception of the Constitution all in all abandoned the theological part of the very Constitution, as something from the past, understanding the text solely as an official and unconditional approval of the historic-critical method. It may be ascribed to such unilateral reception of the Council the fact that, after the Council, all confessional differences between Catholic and Protestant exegesis have practically disappeared. But the negative feature of this process is that, also within Catholic bounds, the gap between exegesis and dogma is now total and that the Scripture has become for it a word from the past that each one, by his own means, works very hard to translate to the present, not being able to thrust very much on the boat he borded. Faith is then reduced to a life style in which each one does what he can in order to distil from the Bible. The dogma, not provided with the foundations of the Scricture, does not support itself anymore. The Bible, which broke up with the dogma, has become a document from the past, belonging to the past.” (Cardeal Joseph Ratzinger, L’Interpetazione bibbica in Conflitto - Problemi del fondamento ed orientamento dell'esegesi contemporanea" pp 3-4. The boldface is mine. http://wwwratzinger.it/miscellanea/interbiblconflitto.htm )
Such destructive criticism is not from an integrist, but from Cardinal Ratzinger.
Therefore, Dei Verbum’s attempt of conciliation between historic-critical method and the dogmatic authority of the Church obtained nothing but the destruction of the Catholic faith, identifying it the Protestant faith, and producing an unbridgeable gap between exegesis and dogma. As a result, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, “the dogma does not support itself anymore”.
It is due to this new concept of revelation that “the dogma does not support itself anymore”.
It is exactly from this new concept of revelation that so many modernist novelties of Vatican II have arisen, such as the new concept of Church, along with its such famous woeful “subsistit", the collegiality, the freedom of creed, the ecumenism, etc… and so many others problems which I did not focus on this letter. I restrained myself in answering only the problem of revelation in the Vatican II; because it was the sole point about which the erudite report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia dealt in order to rebut Jean Guitton’s statement about the Modernism in the Vatican II, point that the erudite report could not make, on the contrary, confirmed it.
And a proof that the dogma does not support itself anymore is in today’s newspapers: one of this neo-modernist theologians – Tamayo – dared to say and to write that Jesus Christ is not God. And he was not condemned at once. And barely censured, he was supported by the International Sect of Modernist Theologians, who neither believe in God, nor in Christ, nor even less in the Church.
Besides him, also a well-known theologian in Italy, Piero Coda – totally unsuspected of being an Integrist or in disagreement with Modernism – wrote:
“In contemporary theological reflection, the osmosis between the catholic and evangelical theology, concerning the core themes of Christian faith, (Christ, the Pascal event of the cross and of resurrection, the Trinity, the Holy Ghost, the Church, the man, History) is now something indeed acquired and irrenounceable in our culture”. (Piero Coda, L'Altro di Dio, Rivelazione e Kenosi in Serge Bulgakov, Città Nuova, Roma, 1997, p. 10).
And this damned osmosis between the Catholic and the heretic theologies has only been made possible thanks to the Modernism, so to the modern theologians, be them Catholic, Protestant or Schismatic. All such modernists, glad with the osmosis between orthodoxy and heresy, some more than others, are in fact Gnostics.
There is one point which I believe that should be stressed out: it is the application of the doctrine of Kenosis in the Church. As God would have a kenotic life, in a dialectic process of emptying and annihilation in order to generate the Son and the Holy Ghost; as God would have created the universe by kenotic means, literally annihilating himself in the world – falling in the world, as Gnosis used to say – so the Church should do: She should annihilate herself in order to give life to the other religions. In her death, annihilating herself, forsaken by God as Christ on the Cross, she would find her real life and resurrection.
From here, one sees the mysterious process of self-annihilation of the Church, which Paul VI has verified – but not struggled against.
In the very beginning of the Council, the famous Neo-Modernist Father Yves Congar declared:
“There is nothing decisive to do in the Catholic Church, as long as it does not abandon its manorial and temporal pretensions. It is necessary to destroy it all. And it will be done”.
“This words by Yves Congar, one of the most important theologians of the 20th Century, were pronounced on October 14th, 1962, three days after the beginning of the Council (Paulo Daniel Farah, A Igreja cogita convocar Concílio Vaticano III, article in the Brazilian newspaper “Folha de São Paulo”, December 25th, 2002, p. A-9).
Prophetic words or a program?
Paul VI renounced the tiara, he kenotically renounced to the all symbols of the papal power. Paul VI has made the Church to annihilate itself before men and the world. Paul VI humbled himself, and even worse, humiliated the Catholic Church by recognizing the United Nations as the only institution capable of bringing peace to the world. (One can see, today, in the case of the war in Iraq, how skillful the United Nations makes peace!...). The Church, after the Vatican II, annihilated itself asking for forgiveness for its sins, as if the Holy Church could sin. Kenotically, the Church gave in to the synagogue, in Jerusalem, in the wailing wall, that has become the capitulation wall, to the Buddhist temples, to the “synagogues” reformed by the protestants, to the ceremonies of “candomblé” (Afro-Brazilian religion that involves black magic, ceremonies to entities etc.). The Church has annihilated itself, emptying its eldest holy liturgy, capitulating before the modern world, and renouncing to the Gregorian chant to replace it by the Rock. The Church has annihilated itself when admitted being at the same level of all other creeds and religions in ceremonies like those in Assis. The Kenosis of the Church has even admitted to place Buddha’s image over the Sacrary, to take away the crucifixes from the rooms which would be prepared to the Jewish cult, as demanded the rabbis, in Assis.
Because of this, the dogma does not support itself anymore. And this quotation from Cardinal Ratzinger is a confession of the destruction and total annihilation, because if the dogma does not support itself anymore, what stands still?
And see, Dear Doctor Papetti, that the reforms that Modernism wanted to implement were performed after Vatican II, following its letter and its spirit. Compare, I beg you, the reforms proposed by the Modernists, quoted by St. Pius X in the Pascendi, with the changes put into practice after Vatican II, to conclude that the ecclesiastic celibacy is the only thing left in order to accomplish the kenosis.
Is there any kenotic act not performed yet?
There was one.
The Pope calling up for a study about the doctrine of the infallibility and of the “munus petrino” aiming at facilitating the ‘union’ with the sects from the Reform and with the Schismatic religion of the Orient.
And also that was done.
And in the newspapers of today one read that the Pope has proposed the study of a new way of understanding the functions and powers of the papacy, so that it does not constitute an obstacle to the union of the religions. And there are even those who want to reduce Peter to the ordinary function of General Secretary of the URO – United Religions Organization.
Usque quando Deus meus?
Exsurge Domine, quare obdormis?
And, certainly, God will not allow an absolute kenosis of the Church, because He himself promised: "portae inferi non praevalebunt"(Mt XVI, 18).
One other point I would like to stress out in the conclusion of this long letter is that the II Vatican Council, weirdly, was proclaimed by John XXIII and by Paul VI, as a Pastoral Council. This qualification was absolutely new, and at that time, it was incomprehensible, as still today many cannot thoroughly understand what one intended to say with this adjective, so weird to a Council.
Under the light of all that we have seen, we could say that a Council that admitted the concept of revelation of the New Theology – that is, a modernist concept of revelation – such Council could not proclaim any dogma, neither impose anathemas.
In fact, if revelation does not admit truths directed to the intellect, it is not possible to teach any dogma, neither to excommunicate any heretic, for there would be no heretics. All revelations would be equally true and equally imperfect.
The new concept of revelation – the expression comes from the theological report from Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia – does not admit dogmas and excommunications. Due to this, Vatican II was modernisticaly declared “pastoral”.
Vatican II claimed to introduce the catholic doctrine with a language in tune with the modern thinking, that is to say, harmonic with the Gnostic philosophy of Kant, Hegel and other modern Gnostics.
Curiously, a pastoral Council, that claimed to speak with the people in a more understandable way, uses a weird, obscure and hermetic language which is incomprehensible to those not initiated in the current pseudo theological – or, better, Gnostic – vocabulary.
What can one understand from the expression which says that Christ has revealed to men the “mystery of Men”? What mystery of men could it be?
And what does it mean to say, to a common layman, that “the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race”? (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 1)
And, who is the priest that having studied theology, including the Modernist, can really understand what said Vatican II?
In the post-council Church, the debate about what the Council really meant to say is dramatic. They never get to an agreement about it. And the Vatican II, which intended to unite Christians and all religions, has split up the Catholics. The Church seems to have been turned into the Babel’s Tower.
In the words of the Vatican II documents, one thing is what one understand as a first sense, another is what the “ experts”, the Vatican II theologians, meant to say. This so true that some have noted that the Vatican II was, actually, the Council of the “Experts” even more than of the Bishops. These Bishops acted as spokesmen of the experts more than the council Fathers, successors of the Apostles.
And these “experts” were, almost all, members of the International and Ecumenical Modernist Sect. To name but a few, I think about Karl Rahner, Schillebeeckx, Chenu, Congar, de Lubac, etc.
Theologian Juan Tamayo, recently punished by the Vatican, recognized it when he wrote:
“The three moments of the process, pre-Reform, Reform and Counter-Reform can be considered in the attitude adopted by the Roman hierarchy towards the same theologians that made the Vatican II.
“In the encyclical Humani Generis (1950) [continues Tamayo], comparable by its intolerance and anti-modernism to the Syllabus, Pius XII harshly condemns the theologians that tried to come up with a Christian reflection in the dialogue with modernity. He condemns evolutionism, the historic-critical movements, the return to the sources of Christianity, etc. Some of them were excluded from their cathedras and also exiled etc. (Chenu, Congar, de Lubac...). Well, the same theologians condemned by Pius XII and by the Humani Generis were called, ten years later by John XXIII, to head and build on the reform of the Church under the theological point of view. The II Vatican Council was a Council more of theologians than of Bishops, despite having a really important pastoral component. Part of the documents of the Vatican II and of their content were extracted and taken from the works of theologians like Rahner, Haering, Gonzalez Ruiz, Congar, Chenu, etc. However, the same theologians called by John XXIII as experts of the Council, fell under suspect in the pontificate of John Paul II and were condemned again, and they have not been rehabilitated up to now. The most emblematic case was Hans Kung’s, theologian of John XXIII, and, almost twenty years later, dismissed from the cathedra of Theology in Tubingen. A civil University! Forty years after the Vatican II (the fortieth anniversary will be celebrated on October 1st , 2002), it happens to be necessary a new Reform to retake the spirit of the Vatican II and which would go a step further, seeking to respond to the new problems” (Juan J. Tamayo, Las grandes líneas de la reforma de la Iglesia - http://perso.wanadoo.es/laicos/2002/854T-JuanjoTamayo.htm The bolded and underlined text are mine).
This is where the pastoral language has led to.
And the language of these modernist Gnostics was of a misty nature as the old Gnosis. The experts cannot speak clearly, only hermetically. We can read Blondel, Rahner, de Lubac, Balthasar and others. In all their works, we have the feeling of hugging a snake of smoke, for so diffuse they are. Blondel, yet, was accused of being absolutely hermetic. And he, himself, confessed being esoteric. Even Tyrrel did not understand what Blondel really meant to say, for so intentionally misty the modernist of Aix was.
Besides him, the main disciple of Blondel, the modernist Father Auguste Valensin, master of de Lubac, has declared several times that he could not understand what Blondel had written.
Loisy, himself, would mock of Blondel’s hermetic style, saying:
“On the other hand, the system of Laberthonnière is Maurice Blondel translated to French, and without doctrinal pretensions, it is the renovation of Protestant Iluminism” .(Cfr. J. Rivière, Le Modernisme dans L' Église, Lib Létourney et Ané, Parigi, 1929, p. 237).
It has always been the tactics of the Modernists, from that time and still from today, to use a hermetic, ambiguous, obscure language to hide their real doctrine.
Modernism has adopted the “process of systematically transpose underneath the old received terms, some content different from its proper sense, which would allow one to keep the Christian Creed, adapting it to a totally different reality” (Houtin, apud J Rivière, op. cit.,p. 150).
Father Grandmaison has also written:
"The tactic of the old formulas preserved with a different meaning, the professions of faith maintained under the benefit of the implicit doctrinal corrections, the firm determination of keeping them where they were, thanks to mistakes, to promote new ideas with the prestige that a teaching cathedra brings, an ecclesiastic habit, an reputation of orthodoxy” (L. de Grandmaison, Études 1908. t. XCVII. p. 303 apud J Rivière, op. cit., p. 221).
Because of that, Blondel, himself, confessed:
“I know about the hateful obscurity with which my prose must be usually presented to my unfortunate readers” (M. Blondel Lettera a Auguste Valensin, nel 27 marzo 1903, in Correspondance Maurice Blondel - Auguste Valensin, Aubier, Paris, 2 vol., 1957, I vol. p. 86).
"The necessity of being short and clear paralises myself”(Cfr. R. Marlé, Au Coeur de la Crise Moderniste, Aubier, Parigi, 1960, p.165). And yet: “Thou can imagine what I decide to create to say without saying” (Lettera di Maurice Blondel al Padre Brémond, 20 -III- 1901, apud R. Marlé, op, cit. p. 44 note 1).
Even Loisy, so daring, wrote doctrinaire ambiguous expositions and with shades of meaning that would lead to the error (Cfr. J. Rivière, Le Modernisme dans l'Église, Lib Letouzey et Ané, Parigi, 1929, p. 166).
This tactic is still alive in the expert modernist theologians who inspired the thesis of Vatican II. One can read any text from these theologians to verify how they can use a weird terminology, which meaning changes like a chameleon. From these books, presumed and highly intellectual, a layman could say what Dante said of darkness of hell:
"Oscura e profonda era, e nebulosa,
tanto che, per ficar lo viso a fondo.
Io no vi discernea alcuna cosa"
(Dante, Inferno, IV, 10-12).
["Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous,
So that by fixing on its depths my sight
Nothing whatever I discerned therein”]
Do not theses verses, Ilmo. Doctor Papetti, perfectly match with the style of von Balthasar, Rahner, and of so many others who always praise one another, speaking of puzzling doctrines like the Kenosis, arisen from the Lurianic Kabala, or of that most mysterious “Presence”, about which Mons. Giussiani speak so much, however never defining it, doctrine that they learnt from Boehme, Hegel, Mohler, Moltman, Bultmann, Bulgakov and so many others heretics?
And how tedious are the texts of these theologians! For example, von Balthasar. What a "literature"!...
All this take the form of a hermetic system, known by some initiated people, and that, hidden behind the large backs of certain Bishops and Cardinals, and under weird words of ambiguous and undefined neologisms, want to let the old Gnosis be admitted as doctrine of the Holy Church.
The weird and vacant texts from Vatican II, its new concept of revelation, among other themes, trigger the spread of the Modernism that destroys the faith.
As recognized the Cardinal Ratzinger, the dogma does not support itself anymore.
And if the dogma does not stand anymore, it is the whole doctrine which does not support itself anymore.
In this work, I have restrained myself to answer Istituto Paolo VI di Brescia regarding only the new concept of revelation of Vatican II.
And we have seen that this new concept of revelation is modernist.
I did not examine so many other Modernist thesis of the Vatican II, as the new concept of Church (sacrament of the unity of human gender), the problem of the "subsistit", about the Catholic Church as Christ’s Church, the collegiality, the religious freedom, the ecumenism, a democratization of the Church, as so many other Modernist thesis, or at least, with modernist flavor, which caused the immense current crisis of Faith and in the Church, to the point of making Paul VI allude to the Satan’s smoke introduced into the Temple of God and speak, yet, of a self-demolition of the Church.
The dogma does not stand anymore.
This conclusion is so true that an absolutely unsuspected author about Modernism, and recognized as specialist in this delicate matter, Émile Poulat, after watching all the crisis originated in the Vatican II, and comparing the situation in the Modernism time, in the beginning of the 20th century with the actual situation, wrote in September of 1995:
“The historical sciences not only revolutionize our conscience of the past, but also, in the “foulée”, the spirit of the Historiators and the conscience of the faithful. In that sense, we are all modernists. He who doubts or contests it, has to read again the pontifical documents, the Decree Lamentabili and the encyclical Pascendi (1907). The fact is that the long anti-modernist oath instituted by Pius X was abolished or abbreviated, and reduced to a few lines by Paul VI, just half a century after ” (Émile Poulat, Permanenza ed Atualità del Modernismo "Avant Propos" of the third edition of the book Histoire, Dogme et Critique dans la Crise Moderniste, Paris, Albin Michel, p. XVII, Septembre del 1995. Bolded text is mine).
“In a century, we passed well from a restrict Modernism to a generalized one” (Émile Poulat, Permanenza ed Atualità del Modernismo "Avant Propos" of the third edition of the book Histoire, Dogme et Critique dans la Crise Moderniste, Paris, Albin Michel, p. VII, Septembre del 1995).
And how could have happened this diffusion of Modernism, to the point that the theologians of the Modernist International Sect could dare to say, with Poulat:
“We are all modernists”?
And it is not only Poulat who recognizes the diffusion of Modernism. Xavier Tilliette, also, in a book clearly Modernism biased, wrote that all what the modernists taught in the beginning of the 20th century, and that was afterwards condemned; was admitted in the Vatican II:
"Blondel intimidated, Rousselot censured, Laberthonnière gagged, Lagrange e Huby under suspect... They seeded in tears. But let us not doubt: in the uncertain spring of the post Council (Vatican II), it was their grain the one which has grown among the darnel” (Xavier Tilliette, Maurice Blondel et la controverse Christologique, in Le Modernisme, opera editata dall' Institut Catholique de Paris, ed. Beauchesne, Parigi, 1980. p. 160).
Therefore, also for Xavier Tilliette the sow of Modernism was cultivated and harvested by the Vatican II. We would need to ask Tillette what would be the "darnel" that remains among the modernist "wheat" of the Vatican II and who can seed such "wheat"... And what understands he about what would be that which he calls "darnel"? Would it be, maybe, the rests of Catholicism that remain between the large messes of the Modernism diffused today in catholic land?
Another one who admits the victory of Modernism and of the New Theology in the Vatican II is the Modernist theologian Father T. M. Schoof, O .P., who wrote in his book about the New Theology:
"In the next three years there would be difficulties, however, in the end of the Council [Vatican II] the hopes sheltered before October 1962 were a lot surpassed. Not only was the scholastic terminology, considered during so long as obvious, substituted by expressions taken from the Bible, from the Fathers and from the modern thought, but also innumerable themes of the renewed theology seemed to be accepted, at the end, by the Catholic Church. In the Constitution about the Liturgy, one can notice the echo of the "theology of the mystery" of Dom Casel, centered in the Easter, and of the theology of the sacrament and of the word, inspired in him. In the Constitution about the Church, we found the people of God in a nonstop advance throughout History, guided by ministers united collegially, as a symbol of humanity in search for unity. In the Decree about the Ecumenism, there is the expressed confirmation of the ecclesiology of the churches not united to Rome, and an ecumenical search emphasized by the relativization of the religious experiences over the plenitude of the Church of Christ. The document, not so well-done, about the sacerdotal formation, has not prescribed a uniform program of studies, considers the biblical theology the basis and the modern thought as an important means to help education, and limits the reference to Scholastic to a simple: "under the magisterial of Saint Thomas". In the Declaration about the Religious Freedom, we can recognize the inviolate value of the vital personal convictions" (Padre T. M. Schoof, O. P., La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires- Mexico, 1971, pp. 300-301. Bolded text is mine).
It was so big the victory of the Modernist New Theology in the Vatican II that their leaders were astonished with its success:
"The New Theology, later, asked itself, astonished how was it possible to run this distance in three years. Not only has it been given place to its interpretation; but its core has also been recognized and included as an authentically development” (Father T. M. Schoof, La Nueva Teologia Catolica, Ediciones Carlos Lohlé, Buenos Aires- Mexico, 1971, pp.314).
A similar conclusion was admitted by different scholars in the recent studies of the history of the Church, as Pierre Colin registers:
“Analogous positions can be found today in the oath of the Vatican II. It is considered that, far from ending the Modernist crisis, the Council [Vatican II] has made Modernism return by the shortcut of the baffling movement of liturgical, catechism, and theological reforms that it triggered" (P. Colin, L'áudace et le Soupçon, Desclée de Brouwer, Parigi, 1997, p. 29).
According to Jean Guitton, it was the II Vatican Council the responsible for the triumph of the Modernist heresy in the Catholic world in the 20th century. And the report that you, mister, had the kindness of mailing me, could not prove anything but that Guitton was right: Vatican II taught – sometimes in a veiled way – the doctrines of Modernism, condemned by S. Pius X in Pascendi and in Decree Lamentabili.
Believe me, Dear Doctor Papetti that, despite how hard it was to say all this, "amor mi mosse che fé parlare" [Love moved me, which compelled me to speak] (Dante, Inferno, II, 72)
God gives us all the graces to be loyal to His revelation and to the Saint Roman Apostolic Catholic Church, it is what I beg, in Corde Jesu, semper,
São Paulo, March 19th, 2003,
Holiday of Saint Joseph, patron of the Church
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Online, 21/03/2018 às 19:35:39h