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New Wine in Old Bottles –

or Old Wine in New Bottles

Being the "Response" of a Member of the Christian "Community" in

"Freedom and Discernment" to his "Encounter" with the New Theology


Rama P. Coomaraswamy

Source: Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 7, No. 3. (Summer, 1973) © World Wisdom, Inc.

The present crisis of the Church consists in its division between two irreconcilable groups: the 'old ones', who cannot, or will not admit liturgical, disciplinary, and conceptual changes; and the 'young ones' who are repelled by the old ceremonies, beliefs, and practices. It is impossible to speak to both groups at once. Every priest today finds that his parish is really two parishes. What awakens faith, or at least stirs interest among young people, scandalizes their elders to the point that they lose what little faith they have left. And to lead older people from the traditional faith to one which is more personal requires so much time, so much patience and so many precautions that the young people have not the patience to listen to, let alone to read anything about it (they read so little of anything, for that matter).

Louis Evely, "If the Church is to Survive"

"Their own opinion has misled many, and false reasoning unbalanced their judgement. Where the pupil of the eye is missing, there is no light, and where there is no knowledge, there is no wisdom".

Sirach, IV, 23

The "Charisms" of the New Prophet

ANDREW GREELEY'S survey on the American priesthood revealed clearly that the most read authors by the current "active" clergy and bishops are Bernard Haring, Eugene Kennedy, John L. McKenzie, Edward Schillebeeckx, Karl Rahner, Louis Evely, Teilhard de Chardin and Hans Kung. That the intellectual life of our clergy should be formed by these "lights" makes it incumbent upon us who are members of the Church to become acquainted with them. That the Catholic of today is confused is clear, for he finds it increasingly difficult to integrate his earlier "pre-Vatican" training—however poor —with the pronouncements and sermons of the modern clergy. It is impossible for him to study in depth these authors, or even on many occasions to understand what they are talking about. What do such phrases as "salvation history", "desacralization", "encounter with Christ", "personalism", or "existentialism" mean? What indeed does "charity", "poverty", "love", and the "Word" mean? Indeed one wonders if there are suddenly new sacraments--the "sacrament of the Word", or the "sacrament of the encounter with Christ", or even the "sacrament of maturity". As Bernard Haring says, "the present age has a whole new spirit... we have acquired a new awareness, a new frame of thought, a new vocabulary and a new historical context. We cannot simply manipulate old language and old principles and turn out the solutions needed today". Now, if the inability to communicate between the old and the new laity is partly related to fundamental differences in their approach to religion, a difference characterized by Greeley as that between the "essentialists" and the "existentialists", it is also in part related to the radically new language used by the moderns to express their new ways of thinking.

It might be useful for us to examine this language and in doing so to delineate the concepts behind the phrases so that we may both understand what is being given us as the current version of the "Good News," and so that we may examine the "News" itself and see just how good it really is.

Anyone writing from a traditional viewpoint is deeply concerned with providing sources of authority for what he advocates. For a Catholic, authority has to reside in the Scriptures, in the traditions of the Church (the teaching Magisterium and the Church Fathers—and by extension of both, the writings of recognized Saints).[1] Orthodoxy is the principle of formal homogeneity proper to the spiritual perspective of Christianity and is therefore indispensable to all genuine intellectuality. In other words, the essence of Orthodoxy is the Truth—as revealed by the Scriptures, and as interpreted by those who were best able to do so—the Apostles and their immediate spiritual descendants, the Fathers of the Church. Thus it follows that the Catholic theologian should not seek to "think for himself," but rather to "think correctly". As Saint Thomas says, "the way of the heretic is to restrict belief in certain aspects of Christ's doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure". (Summa II-II, 1, al). The theologian does not invent the "myth", but like Euripides, he receives it from his mother. Like Cassian, he must say of what he advocates: "I am not inventing this teaching, but simply passing on what I have learnt". (Conf. Pref.). The theologian may express himself in terms appropriate to a given time and circumstance, but he cannot shake off old authority nor invent new content. When he does so, he is, as Philo, says, "wandering around in the maze of his own personal opinions".

But what authorities are acceptable to both the old and the new Catholics? Encyclicals issued by former Popes with anathemas attached to their being changed are now abrogated by existing authority. To quote the encyclical Mediator Dei on the Sacred Liturgy, published as it was in the remote times of 1947, or Humani Generis, issued in 1950 on false opinions, would be an act of futility. Even the documents of Vatican II (still not officially translated into English) have in places been superceded. As a member of a parish "liturgical committee", one finds with amazement that the only source of authority is the "latest" pronouncement, be it from Rome or from a Bishop's convocation. One hardly dares to mention the Church Fathers or tradition as valid sources, for both are virtually unknown to both the old and the new, and if quoted can be disqualified by virtue of their historicity. Perhaps the Scriptures (the current phrase is the "liturgy of the Word") are a common ground, providing of course that both groups can accept a given translation,[2] but even here we must be wary, for to quote Evely, "one of the indispensable conditions necessary in order to render the faith possible to modern man, is to produce a new interpretation of the scriptures and of dogma... for we cannot accept revelation unless it be in our own language, with our own ways of thinking, with our own concepts..." This new interpretation, let it be known, includes such things as the denial by Evely of the biological virginity of the Blessed Virgin and the denial of the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In an era when ecumenism has come to be equivalent to theological pluralism and when clearly erroneous theologians are defended on the grounds that they are "speculative", it becomes extremely difficult to pass judgment on opinions that can be accepted by any broad group of Catholics. In Brian Moore's recent novel Catholics, the ecumenically trained Father Kinsella asks "How can we even define what heresy is today? and the old Father Abbot answers, "Yesterday's orthodoxy is today's heresy". Time magazine finds no difficulty in lumping together progressive Protestant denominations with those of liberal forms of Catholicism and Judaism, and notes that "their very credal flexibility precludes the certitude that attracts converts". (Time, April 9, 1973).

With these brief comments behind us, let us turn to the various popular authors of the New Church. As one travels through their rather voluminous output, one comes to the conclusion that underlying their various expositions are certain common currents of thought and certain basic agreements. These are the concepts of "evolution", of "progress", of a single "higher civilization", and perhaps more diffusely, the overall world view of Teilhard de Chardin. Thus it is that Bernard Haring says, "today the emergence of a tremendously dynamic society with new knowledge, new needs, and a totally new frame of thought" can only find its solution by reaching Christ in whom "everything attains its true personalistic centre, the point OMEGA". Now this new world view is apposed to that held in pre-Councilar times and which is described by Hans Kung and Johannes Neuman as "a world-picture belonging to the past, an anachronistic theology... made up of an inappropriate medley of platonic-aristotelian-thomastic ideas..." Father Bless, S. J. informs us under the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur that "the man of today is not so much aware of being the passive subject of evolution as of being its guiding agent... In the past, concepts, essence, laws, the whole of reality were conceived as strongly static and unchangeable. Today we have attained a vision of and an interest in growth... As a result of these changes, man experiences the relations that make him a man in a totally different way than was the case in the past..." Eugene Kennedy informs us that "maturity comes only to those... who can separate themselves from the completed phases of their development... The Church faces this kind of challenge at the present time... The Church must take the risk of changing itself if it is to find the fullness of its adult presence in the world". Thus we see that evolution and change, change especially characterized as "dynamic" is a keystone for these authors despite the fact that it is somewhat at variance with the Scriptural vision of creation as well as with the views of many modern scientists.

Now these concepts of "progress" and "evolution" are in effect the most pernicious pseudo-dogmas and pseudo-myths that the world has ever produced. As Pius XII said only twenty-five years ago, "these false evolutionary notions, with their denial of all that is fixed or abiding in human experience, have paved the way for a new philosophy of error. Idealism, immanentism, pragmatism have now a rival in what is called 'existentialism'." This is not to deny that evolution and progress exist, though their existence is partial and often of limited applicability. However, if evolution and progress exist, it must be remembered, to cite from Frithjof Schuon's "No Activity Without Truth", that there is also degradation and degeneration. What is clearly radically false is to suppose that our ancestors were intellectually, spiritually or morally our inferiors. To propose this is the most childish of delusions, for human weakness may alter its style in the course of history, but not its nature. Moreover, not only does impartial observation tell us that humanity is decaying inescapably, the very Scriptures themselves spell it out with amazing clarity. What better description of the modern world can be found than that of the Apocalypse—"thus with violence shall the great city of Babylon be thrown down... no craftsman of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee... the light of the candle shall shine no more at all in thee... for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, and by thy sorcery all the nations have been led astray".

That Teilhard de Chardin is central to many of these authors is well illustrated by Haring who refers to him "as one of those prophetic voices who have helped us achieve the larger theological vision needed to understand the present times". For after all "Teilhard de Chardin was a Christian personalist in the truest sense. His vision, inspired by deep meditation and mystical experience, was an effective answer to the accusation that religion estranges man from the world... man and man's decisions, constituted the principal evidence for him of the evolutionary process on earth. Salvation history meant the development of an ever-keener awareness by men of the presence of God, and greater acknowledgement that he is the one who guides us."

Louis Evely[3] quotes Father Malevez with approval when he says "the idea that the Incarnation of the Son has an impact not only in the spiritual world, but also in that of matter is found among ecclesiastical authors... The contemporary mastery of matter, political organization, art, philosophy and technology complete Christ, and in completing him, glorify him... Catholicism accepts human progress in every direction as a condition of, and even as a constitutive element in its own perfection". Evely continues that while "the Church believed in the instantaneous creation of the world... she then had to admit, painful as it was, that (the world) had actually resulted from uncounted millions of years of evolution. In the same way we now believe that the end of the world will not come as a result of an arbitrary decision on God's part, but in consequence of a ripening process for which we are responsible. Teilhard de Chardin, for one, foresaw that the historical completion of human evolution and the final coming of Christ would coincide".

John McKenzie also notes that Teilhard has produced a "new statement of eschatology... Teilhard sees not only mankind, but all of nature converging towards a single eschatological fulfillment. His is a vision of nature and of man as one great unity whose fulfillment is found in the perfection of unity".

Now I doubt that any modern theologian would deny his great indebtedness to Teilhard de Chardin. Frequently forgotten and passed over in silence is the fact that the Church once silenced him under the threat of excommunication—it being to his everlasting benefit that he submitted. In a footnote to the Vatican II document "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World", it is mentioned that some critics at the council objected to the influence of the thought of Teilhard de Chardin on the document, and especially to those concepts depicting the "dynamic evolutionary forces" at work. Such statements, to quote the document directly, as "to a certain extent, the human intellect is also broadening its dominion over time; over the past by means of historical knowledge; over the future by the art of projecting and planning. Advances in biology, psychology, and the social sciences... bring men hope of improved self-knowledge" are certainly highly remeniscent of Teilhardian thinking.

These quotes, though perhaps tedious, serve to show a certain underlying unity of thought, not only with regard to Teilhard, but also and again, with regard to evolution and progress. The fact that evolution is a theory and not a scientific fact is quietly ignored, as are axiomatic concepts that contradict it such as Aristotle's statement that what is lesser cannot create something greater than itself, or that energy is neither created nor destroyed, or that species by definition cannot engender new species. (It is not denied that species can be modified by circumstances such as is demonstrated by the stunting of growth by malnutrition—but this is not to create a new species—the pygmie and the watusi are both homo sapiens). Also ignored by the Teilhardian position are the many biblical statements that pertain to man's fall, the many cataclysms along the course of "salvation history" and the warnings about the end of the world. Christ did not say He was the Omega, but the Alpha and the Omega. To quote Augustine, "when the day of judgment shall have begun to be no longer looked for... 'than shall sudden destruction come upon them'." (Comm. Psalms). Christ himself seems to have been singularly lacking in insight, for one finds no evidence in His statements that he was aware of the "dynamic evolutionary forces" at play in His day. Nowhere do I find in Scripture such statements as Teilhard's "Charity... will find its fulfillment in a life given for the common advance", or "to adore... means pledging oneself body and soul to the creative act, by associating oneself with it, so as to bring the world to its fulfillment by effort and research".

Is not all this attempt to correlate the fulfillment of Christ with worldly perfection but the building of another Tower of Babel? As Philo said, two thousand years ago, if the Homerian mountains of Olympus, Ossa and Pelion were to be piled on top of one another, they would not reach up to heaven. But no, with "folly and dreadful madness" (Philo),[4] Teilhard de Chardin cries "To heaven through the fulfillment of the earth", and the confusion between the cities of Babylon and Jerusalem is compounded.[5]

The Secular City

If then we can accept Teilhardian thinking—if we can accept evolution as an over-riding principle of existence, based as it is on pseudo-scientific thinking, and apply it to all of reality, and if we can agree with Father Bless that man is "not a passive subject of evolution, but its guiding agent", then we must inevitably re-orient our thinking with regard to the world, and must say with Harvey Cox that "in the light of biblical faith, secularization and urbanization do not represent sinister curses to be escaped, but epochal opportunities to be embraced"[6] with the modern theologians. They have re-oriented their thinking about the world. Their writings present a bewildering spectrum of attitudes as they seek to express with originality their commitment to the "new view of man". Schille-beeckx informs us that "service to a world which is growing into a closer unity; the ethical commitment imposed upon Western man by the advanced position which the West enjoys in contrast to the rest of the world... the plans for a dynamic blueprint to set up a society upon earth that shall be worthy of men—all this is seen also by the religious man of today as concrete, even the principal way in which he proposes to give form to his religion and to Christianity". Eugene Kennedy reminds us that "the Church lives on the same geological fault of history as the rest of mankind... the Church must... create the climate of loving relationships that transforms the environment of the world... this is the most important and traditional function of the Church, to be the presence of faithful concern and love that makes it the source of hope". Rahner,[7] whose "anthropocentric conception of the whole of theology" (the description is his own) is hard to decipher because of his complex sentence structure and phraseology, states that "what the Christian male of the twentieth century needs to attract him to the work of the Church is a manly version of Christianity... his intellectualism actually gives him a deeper insight into the transcendent aspect of religion, but his emotional reserve will make him balk at public displays of piety. What he (the modern Christian) needs then is a piety proportioned to his psycho-logical makeup and to the rhythm and interests of his life". A mature Christian, Haring tells us, is one who "has become fully aware of the liberating power of the love of Christ", and one who "has consecrated himself' for his brothers... in total dedication to his fellow men in responsibility, freedom and discernment". The Christian is instructed to go forth into the world—the world of "tremendous progress, of modern psychology, the social sciences, social psychology and history" (Haring). We are to make the world—after all it was created by God—into the Kingdom of God. As Balthasar says, "the world is an epiphany, a revelation of and a reference to God". By doing this, "the mundane task of the Christian acquires a more profound significance: it is co-redemptive... the tasks of earthly culture become the incarnation of the Christian commitment; in ordering this world to bring it into harmony with the Kingdom of God (man must develop) an apostolic secular involvement". (Schillebeeckx[8]). Others go even further. Evely exports the Church to "stop wasting the energy of the faithful in ceremonies and rites, in prayers without action and in 'receiving' the sacraments. What is needed today is hope, and it is the task of the Church to raise up a measure of hope that is proportionate to the misery and the frustrations of the poor", for the Church must "become once more the evangelical crucible of the world revolution through her faith in the future of man." Duquoc informs us that the real vocation of the Catholic layman is to show that "Christianity does not despise the world, but lifts it up, consecrates it and fulfills it"; and hence as Cren says, "attachment to the world has become attachment to Christ". Is it any wonder that the Chilian Jesuit Arroyo has created a "Christian-Marxist" synthesis known as the "theology of liberation", or that the American Jesuit, Father Stevenson sees the Maoist Chinese as "anonymous Christians" (a term applied to those who work for "point Omega" without religious affiliation). Now, with all this free-floating goodwill, we can only await the Parousia, for as Gerard Philips says, "in the end, the redeemed world and the Church will be one".

Another View—Taken from an Appropriate Medley of Platonīc Aristotelian Thomistic Ideas

Actually confusion with regard to the world is not new. Origen who wrote at the turn of the second century, complained in his Philocalia that "we sometimes fall into great errors, either through ignorance of logic, or because we do not clear up the equivocal senses of terms, their ambiguities, misapplications, literal meanings and distinctions. Take for example (says Origen), the word 'world'. Through not knowing that it was an equivocal term, men have fallen into the most impious opinions concerning the Demiurge: men, I mean, who have not cleared up the question in what sense 'the world lieth in the evil one' (John V, 19)." Clement, Saint Paul's contemporary, was not confused when he said, "Christians in the world are what the soul is in the body. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; the Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world (John XVII, 11, 14, 16)". Saint Chrysostom encouraged the Christian to be active in the world. "I do not say forsake the cities, and withdraw yourselves from public affairs, but rather, being engaged in them show virtue", but at the same time, he also said with Saint Paul, "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Gal. VI, 14)". (From his commentary on Saint Matthew). Augustine said "woe to those who put their hope in the world; woe to them that cling to those things which they brought forth through their hope in the world" (Comm. Psalms).

Saint Thomas tells us that "the last end of human life is Beatitude... the theologian considers human actions in so far as through them man is ordered to Beatitude (I-II, 7, 2; 69, 11)." Now to be involved in the world without these ends in view leads away from Beatitude and encloses us in the blind alley of our own contingency, and in the measureless hell of our own absurdity. Far from constituting a merit in itself, work—our activities in the world—only becomes meritorious on condition that it is carried out "for the love of God" which in turn implies that the work is done as well as possible and that its content is artistic—i.e., that it transmits something of the Truth and Spirit that gives meaning to life. To act in any other manner is an agitation without issue, the activity of a person who lets himself be carried away by a torrent and who imagines that he is creating this torrent himself by his agitation.

Those who see in Vatican II the object of leading "the faithful to enter wholeheartedly the human and temporal tasks of society" (Gerard Philips) seem to ignore Christ's statement that His "Kingdom is not of this world". The prayer "Thy Kingdom come on earth" is not to be confused with the mechanistic progression of man's inevitable perfection into a sort of system "so perfect that no one will need to be good" (T. S. Eliot), but rather as Eckhart says, "that evil should be expelled from our hearts, and vice extinguished in us, that God might reign in us, and even more, in the whole world through the frequent practice of virtue (Super Oratione Dominica)." Gregory of Nyssa interprets it as a request that "Thy Holy Spirit come upon us to purify us" (quoted by Thomas Aquinas in his Catanea Aurea). Now if this "uncarnal" intepretation (a phrase of Augustine) seems strange to us, let us remember that we also ask "Give us this day our daily bread", and that Christ explained this when he said "I am the Bread of Life".

Let us not forget that one of the reasons Christ was unacceptable to the people of his day was that he refused to found a secular state and throw off the imperial rule of Rome. Sister Agreda in the City of God tells us that one of the reasons that Judas turned traitor was that he was upset about the precious oils that were poured out on Christ's head—he thought that they should have been sold so that the money could have been given to the poor! May we be preserved from a similar perfidy.

The modern theologian's confusion about the world extends further into the economic sphere. He is confused (or at least his followers are) about the meaning of the word "poverty". A person is not blessed because he is broke any more than Saint Louis is damned because he was a rich king. The poor, says (note the use of the present tense) Saint Cyril, are "those who despise riches", or as Saint Basil says, "many are poor in their possessions, yet most covetous in their disposition. Nothing involuntary deserves a blessing, because all virtue is characterized by freedom of will" (both quotes from Thomas Aquinas's Catanea Aurea). Surely the activist priest who would work to convert the negro slums of America into the economic haven (heaven?) of upper middle class suberbia must see that the spiritual poverty of those who have "arrived" is often as abysmal as his own. As Mother Theresa said to a young priest who left the priesthood to "better serve the poor", "You can now no longer give Christ to the poor, but only yourself". If Christ Himself could say "Why do you call me good, only God is good", surely we must recognize that the only good we can do is done in virtue of, and in so far as we can say with Saint Paul, "I live, not I, but Christ lives in me".

One of the clear underlying assumptions of the latter day theologians who would re-orient our attitudes towards the world is that the world is good and getting better. Also assumed is that Western civilization is the very best thing that has ever happened to God's world, and that it should be spread even to those parts of the world that are "not yet spoiled", not "smeared and seared" by the hand of man (G. M. Hopkins). The Teilhardian expression for this concept is "planetization." Warning voices such as those who have dsecribed Western civilization as a "curse to humanity", as a "murderous machine with no conscience and no ideals" (G. LaPiana at Harvard), as "neither human, nor normal, nor Christian" (Eric Gill), or "as an anomaly, not to say a monstrosity" (René Guénon) are completely ignored. Our society is the only society that has ever sanctioned usury as a legitimate method of making money. Every orthodox tradition including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and certainly the Judeo-Christian roots of our own tradition, condemn it clearly. Certainly the poverty that prevails in the modern world is to a great extent an outcome of its economic principles and practice, and the price that mankind has paid for the progressive affluence of a relatively small part of humanity is indeed great.[9] The modern world has in fact abandoned the concept of "right livelihood" according to which a man could not be considered a Christian in good standing if he made his living by usury or speculation. Indeed the bases of modern civilization are to such a degree rotten that it has been forgotten, even by the learned, that man ever attempted to live otherwise than by bread alone. It is a society in which to live by Christian principles is almost an impossibility. A collectivity (the modernist expression is "community") in which the worker has been reduced to a "wage slave" instead of an artist far exceeds the paganism of ancient Rome. (An artist should not be a special kind of man, rather every man should be a special kind of artist.) Is this the society—the society of "clock-work orange" and "terminal man", a society with the "mark of the beast" (Apocalypse)—that the new theologians would have us enter "wholeheartedly" and spread to the farthest corners of the world with a "proselytizing fury"?

A further extension of this worldly spirituality is the concept of "Salvation History". Now this phrase is used in many ways. Essentially what it implies is that what is good in this modern world is a manifestation of Christ working through the historical process. Unfortunately, one does not see that modern man (and I include the modern theologian) has developed any degree of discernment as to what is good. However, whatever the meaning ascribed to it, the phrase itself is highly objectionable. Salvation can never be a historical process unless we reduce salvation to a concept that involves the community (currently also called the "people of God"), for it is obvious that while the community can be saved—always through the grace of God—I still may be individually damned. Salvation is always an individual thing, for "the Kingdom of God is within", and sanctity today is no different than it was in Apostolic times, and if it isn't the same, I'm afraid that I don't really want it. Salvation and sanctity are something that occur in the "Now" as Eckhart would say, for "the second coming of Christ, our Bridegroom, takes place every day within good men, often and many times" (John of Ruysbroeck).

Thus we are led to consider what the modern theologians are saying about doctrinal matters (they rarely write about the spiritual life per se), for here we come very much to the crux of the affair. Here one finds a great cry for "practicality" (Rahner), but in a somewhat different teleological context than that of the traditional theologian. I also am for practicality, and with Tanquerey would like to quote Faber. "Is not all doctrine practical... Is it not the first use of dogmatic theology to be the basis of sanctity?[10] " In the light of this premise, let us examine what the new theologians have to say about doctrine.

E Pluribus Unum and the New "Uncreed"

The General Secretariat of Concilium, a modernist journal published "cum approbatione ecclesiastica" and having on its staff such names as Edward Schillebeeckx (Dogma); Karl Rahner (Consulting Editor); Andrew Greeley (Consulting Editor), and others of a similar ilk, has stated in its position paper on "The Creed in the Melting Pot" that:

The historicity of the creed, the opinions about the nature of the Church's unity, the present difficulties which beset religious language… the difficulties... created by a Christiandom that has lost its self-evidence… has brought to the fore, in a most distressing fashion, the problem of the reformulation of the Creed.

The same source continues: "Karl Jaspers once said that the Churches with their mutually opposing confessions are no longer able to serve mankind on its way towards unification. As an alternative he suggested that a philosophical faith should take over the function of the religions based on revelation. Rahner, supported by many others, pointed out that the pluriformity of philosophies must lead to a legitimate pluriformity in thinking about the faith".

Hans Kung tells us "a new spirit, a new freedom of thinking, discussing and acting, a new approach to truth, has become a reality". Bernard Haring tells us that "theologians in general, and each one individually must realize more and more that they possess their knowledge not in a heavenly manner, but according to their finite state". He continues elsewhere that "the whole approach to ethics, and indeed every single moral principle, needs re-examination in each epoch; morality has to be justified by persons. Man can never be submitted to an ethics or to a moral code that would offend the dignity of the person and his sense of responsibility for the community and the future of mankind... morality has to be justified by the good of persons in community and by the community of persons". With such an attitude, is it any wonder that Haring asks elsewhere "what then is left to ascetical theology?", and answers: "If it is to continue as an independent subject, it might usefully present various ways of Christian living together with an appropriate historical and sociological background".

John McKenzie has a slightly different view. He states "Faith is the response to revelation; doctrine, the product of theology, is an understanding and an application of the faith... The Church uses theology and doctrine; indeed, these are the means by which the Church evolves with the world and with history. Faith never becomes antiquated; doctrine very easily does."

Eugene Kennedy informs us that "the clearest truth of our age is that man has reached a point in history in which all institutional forms, no matter how well they have served man in the past, must be reshaped if they are to be suitable vehicles for human experience in the future... The Church proclaims salvation and offers itself as the servant of all men. The Church is for man. This is the function of the Church and the forms of its response flow from a comprehension of this... This indeed would match man more truly than the rigid and spent forms which saw man so narrowly...Man by his very nature needs structures. These must match his nature so that they can truly express his spirit. The contemporary task is not just to pull down the rotting structures of the past. It is far more urgent to lay the foundations, and start raising the walls of the structures that will accommodate the Church effectively in the coming century".

Kennedy's exact doctrinal position is unclear, and indeed one suspects that he would consider it psychologically unhealthy to have one. "Life does not take place on that cold and starlit intellectual plain. Life is lived on a very different, far from ideal level...of the daily pursuit of their fullest humanity. Man is engaged in a process of growth, and while he needs ideals about such things as hoping and loving, these must not be so distant as to be totally beyond him." He speaks much of love, a sort of "free-floating" entity that is more psychological than anything else. His book A Time for Love reads more like Rollo May or Erich Fromm than the writings of a Catholic priest. "Everywhere I go, I see lonely people" complains Kennedy. "People really are not looking for somebody with all the answers to life's riddles; they are quite prepared to live with mystery when the sustaining power of love is present...something that will give them strength to bear with life even when its meaning is obscure and its pressures are intense. The saints and wise men, by whatever other titles we call them, have been friends to man, and have helped other people to love each other a little more. The chief task for any Church is the creation of the environment of community that has its roots in the Gospel vision of man whose destiny is to achieve the highest level of human development in the integrating experience of love".

Kennedy also makes much of the need for "maturity". He turns for inspiration to the psychologist Gorden Allport, and tells us that we must give up the religion of childhood, and that we must abandon religion that is based on the acceptance of authority; religion that is imitative of others and that is verbalistic and ritualistic. He tells us that "Christians are struggling for a more developed religious sense... If Church leaders cannot endure this, then they misunderstand the task of their leadership... The Church is for man—thinking, feeling man. It should make him fully man so that with all his powers he can respond to God's grace."

Last, but not least, we must quote that most typical of modernists, Louis Evely, who informs us that "it must be stated that it is impossible for modern man to believe in the same way men of former ages did. It is impossible to confess a dogma or to recite the Credo without understanding something differently than our forefathers did. In fact, the exposition of a new interpretation of scripture and of dogma is an indispensable condition if we are to make faith possible for contemporary man".

What then are some of the new doctrines that are being taught by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as the modernist sees it? First of all, the doctrine of pluralism which goes hand in hand with a misshapen ecumenism. To feel that we have the one True Faith and that others are in error is characterized as "Triumphalism", a result of our "Ghetto mentality", that in turn derives from centuries of attempted isolation from the realities of life. We must be open to other peoples' truths, not the Truths of other Sacred Traditions, but truths promulgated by Protestants, Marxists and even atheists. We must join with these "anonymous Christians" and work towards the future redemption of humanity as humanity.

The catch phrase now is "Personalism" defined by Haring as the "question of how the person is related to other persons in the encounter that takes place in the various types of communities and societies of the world personalism we study the effects of social structures on the dignity of man and the rights of each person". Now a Christian personalism finds its end point in Christ. "In him everything attains its true personalistic centre, the point OMEGA. Confronted with him and entrusting ourselves to him we come to the highest form of a personalistic and existentialistic understanding of our nature and vocation, our being called to uniqueness in community. A man who has come of age is a personalist concelebrating his existence with fellow men in responsibility, freedom and discernment. Otherwise he has not come of age".

Hence we have been introduced to the catch phrase "existentialism".[11] Haring tells us the word derives from the Latin existere, meaning "going out", and he interprets it as "having the courage of becoming, being one's self in freedom with all its risks, and with a firm resolve not to live a life of artificial isolation, but to go out from individual loneliness towards the Other and towards ever-new situations and possibilities... Personalistic existentialism means becoming increasingly one's whole self, chiefly with a view to the more authentic encounter with the Other".[12]

Thus we are introduced to the next catch phrase—"encounter", and the extension of this is the "encounter with Christ"—one of the new "sacraments". Faith is defined as a "dialogic, responsorial 'relationship between God and man; it is not just an operation of the intellect, not... a catalogue of things believed. Faith is man's person to Person trustful communication with God... Christian morality is based on the faith by which man is justified[13]... We rightly emphasize that faith is a personal response in freedom". (All from Haring).

Another View—Drawn from an Appropriate Medley of Platonic Aristotelian Thomistic and Scriptural Sources

Now all these quotations bring to mind Saint Paul's second letter to Timothy:

The time will surely come when man will grow tired of sound doctrine, always itching to hear something fresh; and so they will provide themselves with a continuous succession of new teachers (didaskaloi in Greek), as the whim takes them... There must be no wordy disputes such as can only unsettle the mind of those who are listening... Keep thy distance from those who are bringing in a fashion of meaningless talk; they will go far to establish neglect of God, and their influence eats like a cancer.

Encounter Theology

All this talk of Faith being an "encounter" with Christ or revelation, a personalistic "I-Thou" response, allows for any subjective interpretation desired and certainly leaves the door open to pluralism of any shade. The fact that a saint may have had an "encounter with Christ" does not mean that every "encounter" is saintly, or that it will even result in anything more than feeling good. To empty our faith of every specific object, as Maritain says, is to reduce it to a "simple sublimating aspiration". "My God, were not these dogmas defined and once and for all?... Has not Church doctrine been established with certainty?... What man, having received theological faith, could be idiot enough to imagine that eternal certitudes would begin to waver, to grow hollow with doubts and question marks, to dissolve themselves in the stream of time?" (Maritain—The Peasant of the Garonne). The modernist, having questioned the validity of dogma, having asked with Pilate "Quid est Veritas?" (What is Truth?), must define faith as an encounter that is completely subjective and emptied of all objective content or fall into the trap of proclaiming himself in heresy.

Now, to set the record straight, the Church has always taught that Faith must be considered both objectively and subjectively. "Objectively it stands for the sum of Truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church presents to us in a brief form in her creeds; subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to these truths" (Catholic Encyclopedia). Faith, says Saint Thomas, is "the act of the intellect assenting to a Divine Truth owing to the movement of the will, which is itself moved by the grace of God." (II-IIiv, a, 2)

The New Ecumenism

We have already spoken of the all-pervading acceptance of pluralism by the modernist theologies. This is in practice the acceptance of relativism that places anyone's "encounter" on an equal footing. This becomes the basis of a false "ecumenism" that accepts as equal the personal opinions of any heretic—after all, he also is a "son of God". We are asked to have a "dialogue" with the world, and with our brethren, but again as equals. Is not this similar to asking the soul to have a dialogue on equal footing with "the flesh against whom we are at war"? I do not castigate an ecumenism that would accept Truth wherever it is found,[14] but one that would claim all Truth is relative. To accept the Truths that our brethren adhere to is one thing. To ignore their error, to pass over their faults, is not charity, but indifference. What father in love and charity would fail to correct (be it ever so gently) the errors of his children? To accept the errors of heretics as of equal value with our Truth is simple insanity. To invite them to speak from our pulpits, as has been done in many Catholic parishes in the name of ecumenism, is the height of insanity. All this can only result in a sort of "immanent apostasy" (Maritain) that attempts to remain Christian, but ends up in being Christian in name only. This is why the Orthodox Church in America issued a bishop's encyclical attacking the ecumenical movement for its "secularistic Christianity".[15]

The New Democracy and the Dictatorship of the "Didaskaloi"

Another aspect of this "pluralism" is the current craze for "democracy" in the new Church, but a democracy that allows freedom only to those who agree with the underlying principles of the modernist. This is similar to the secular democracy in which we live, and whose advantages so often only accrue to the rich. As Andrew Greeley says, "not infrequently innovations are imposed on lay people who are given no choice but to accept what the experimenters have in mind... What is especially... reprehensible about this technique is that it seems to be practiced often precisely by those clergy who are the loudest in proclaiming their own liberalism... what they mean by lay participation is the participation of those lay people who happen to share their values". Now in the name of this "democracy" the vow of silence has been broken by the Trappists, and Trappists leave their monasteries to travel to New York to study "transcendental meditation" as taught by heretical Hindus. In the name of this "democracy" an interminable variety of liturgies of questionable taste and values have been imposed upon us poor laity. What seems particularly harsh and indeed dictatorial is that in a pluralistic liturgy that allows for "Marihuana" (Greeley) and "Go-Go" Masses, the Tridentine Mass is forbidden, and in a pluralistic liturgy that allows for electronic music to be played during High Mass on Pentecost, or that shows picture slides during Mass, the hermitical order of Calnaldolese is forbidden to sing the office in Latin chant—a practice that they have carried on for centuries and wished to retain. I know of a Trappist priest who is in his late sixties, and who has said Mass privately on a daily basis for decades—said it for himself and for the world—who is now forbidden to do so and can only con-celebrate on his turn in rotation. The net result of this situation is that on the one hand, Catholics who cannot stomach the current "dynamic" attitudes are almost forced into disobedience and even schism, while, on the other hand, every kind of aberration flourishes in the name of "relevance". Such for example as the prolific manifestations of "personal charisms" rampant among the "Pentecostals". Let me quote from the New Covenant, a Catholic Pentecostal Journal:

Prophecies began to get out of hand; they were too lengthy and somewhat emotional, they were unreasonably vindictive... but we thought it might be "of the Spirit" and did not want to quench it. In time it became evident that something was really wrong and in consultation with our bishop, we imposed an obedience on all our prophets to cease giving prophecy.

Characteristic of this "dictatorship of the didaskaloi" is their noisy support for the manifestations of "personal charisms" (who can argue with the "Holy Ghost"?)[16] while they vociferously abhore and condemn the "private revelations" of people like Sister Agreda, Sister Josepha Menendez and Anna Catherine Emmerich, people whose private revelations have never spoken contrary to the traditional teachings of the Church. Who, may we ask, is in need of psychiatric help?

The New Sacraments

The new Church has provided its adherents with a whole set of new sacraments. We now have the "sacrament of Love" (Kennedy); the "sacrament of the encounter with Christ" (the title of one of Schillebeeckx's books); the "sacrament of Maturity" (Haring), and even the "sacrament of divorce" (from a priest in Boston). In former times the Church defined a sacrament as "an outward sensible sign instituted by Jesus Christ, to signify and effect by divine grace the santification of men" (Davies—Moral and Pastoral Theology). Now the Council of Trent said that "if any one shall say there are more or fewer than seven (sacraments)... let him be anathema." To my knowledge there is no official abrogation of this statement. What outward sensible signs do most of these new sacraments have? What the new theologians are saying is that anything that is a vehicle of grace can be called a sacrament. To give new definitions to traditional concepts is only to spread confusion (and the author of con-fusion is known). Take for example sin—it can on occasion paradoxically result in grace (O Felix Culpa), but are we to have a "sacrament of sin"? Perhaps I can suggest a new one—the "sacrament of Apostasy"! How can maturity ever be a sacrament? Maturity can only be the result of grace and never its vehicle. And am I immature because I don't agree with Haring and Kennedy? Who but a saint is really mature? Are we to raise the autistic thinking of the modernist to the level of the Eucharist, or are we to have our intelligence buried under the debris of meaningless phraseology?

Love is a Charism?

Saint Augustine said "Love God and do what you like", he did not say "Love what you like, and that is God". We have been regaled by Kennedy's views on "love" and indeed, the word is so bandied about by the modern Catholic that one almost cringes when one hears it.[17] Now to love God, says Schuon in the chapter on Charity in his Stations of Wisdom, does not mean to cultivate a sentiment—that is to say, something which we enjoy without knowing whether God enjoys it—but rather to eliminate from the soul what prevents God from entering it. It is to realize in ourselves that which, by virtue of the analogical correspondences, is conformable to the divine Presence. To love one's neighbour—and it is necessary to love him as an aspect of our love of God, and by virtue of God's love for us—is to place oneself in the other, to abolish the illusory distinction between 'me' and 'you', just as to love God is at bottom to abolish the separation which makes 'us' remote from 'Him'. Love for the neighbour in-directly effects this divine Presence in us; when man places himself in the neighbour, God places himself in man—to abolish what separates us from the neighbour is to abolish what separates us from God. Now to love the world apart from its Creator is to love ephemeral effects outside of their immutable Cause. When one loves the Cause, one thereby loves that which makes the effects lovable, namely the Cause. To love the effect for itself is to make the effect the Cause and this is idolatry. To love God in ourselves is to eliminate all that separates us from the Cause. To love God in our neighbour is to treat the latter as we would wish to be treated in his place. Since it is impossible that we should do to others as much good as we can do to ourselves—this because sanctity is not communicable—it becomes senseless for us to love others more than ourselves. To do so is to make of love an empty thing without objective reality, and as such it is bound to go astray. This is why the Catholic Encyclopaedia defines love as a" divinely infused habit, inclining the human will to cherish God for His own sake above all things, and man for the sake of God."

Now we must admit that the "anonymous Christian" also loves his neighbour, and we must admit that this is an indirect aspect of the love God has for us, for the love of God is manifested towards us by His "Goodness". Moreover, an act of charity has its own intrinsic value and immediate efficacy regardless of the intention behind it. A person who is drowning does not ask whether the man who pulls him out believes in God or not. However, the good that an impious man may do is slight compared with the harm that he does himself as well as others by his convictions and by the manner of his actions which express them. Actions that may be good on their own level, if their intention is not correct, have about them an ardour of pride or of bitterness which kills the soul. Many atheists are charitable only to show—maybe to themselves in their heart of hearts—that they are better than God; likewise, many believers do good works to make a show of their virtue, if only to themselves, instead of telling themselves that in every act of evident merit, it is God who acts in us. "Why do you call me good, only God is good"

This whole problem of virtue without faith is a favourite theme of modern impiety, and with reason, for its aim is to empty religion of its values by demonstrating that these are to be found outside it. What modern man does in his love of humanity is to forget what man is; and what becomes of man when he is cut off from the Transcendent? To distort the Gospel commandment, as Voltaire does, in saying that the proper love of mankind is man, is to clothe the hatred of the supernatural in a sentimentality which is both odious and insolent.

The New Reformation

The modernist makes a constant cry about the need for reformation, despite the word's strong Protestant connotations. He seeks to bring the religion to which he adheres, or thinks he adheres, back to its 'primitive purity'. This he does by rejecting essential elements rather like a man who wishing to refer a tree back to its roots, would saw off all its branches and even its trunk. The would-be 'reformer' whose idea of 'purity' is entirely external, and in no wise transcendent, fails to perceive that the branches normally and legitimately contain the root and even the seed, and that the same sap is to be found throughout the tree, even down to its smallest shoot. In his desire to reach the pure religion of Christ, he reminds one of a person who spends his time scraping layer after layer of sand from a piece of sandstone, thinking thus to come at the rock itself. Thus the modern hue and cry is to forget the antiquated debris of tradition—the Church Fathers—and to return to the Gospels themselves, claiming the right and indeed the duty of interpreting the Scriptures in a 'new' and 'personalistic' manner (we were once taught that this aspect of 'encounter' was Protestantism). Here he runs into a problem. In his desire to be free of the rosary, he finds himself up against Paul's injunction to "pray always". He finds much in Scripture that makes him uncomfortable. After all, Genesis says little of evolution, and if Christ described himself as Omega, He also said he was the Alpha. Saint Paul turns out to be a "male chauvinist pig" with deep-rooted sexual problems—Quod absit!


What to do? The modernist has a ready-made answer provided by his Protestant friends. Bonhoeffer is the current innovator from whom he derives his inspiration. "Demythologizing" is the key word. (The idea is not new, and was used by Tyndale and Renan as well as many others). Again we have a whole gamut of possibilities from Rahner who feels that Saint Paul's discussion of the place of woman was to help her accept her unfortunate situation in the rather primitive society of Christ's time, to Evely who has gone so far as to deny the physical virginity of the Blessed Mother. The absence of guidelines allows each man to make what he will of the "encounter" with the Gospel stories, to pick and choose the miracles he finds acceptable, "selected and fashioned at pleasure", as Saint Thomas says. Indeed, it seems, that, to quote Maritain, the modernist has set out "in search of heroic remedies to enable faith in Jesus Christ to survive in a climate essentially incompatible with it. Why be astonished (says Maritain) that so many modernists believe they have a mission to save a dying Christianity—their dying Christianity, for the modern world? It is for this goal that, as good soldiers of Christ, they devote themselves to such an exhausting work of hermeneutic evacuation". To ascribe all these tendencies to the "Spirit of the Council", or even to "the spirit of John XXIII", is another falsity that is constantly promulgated. As Maritain says, "we know well to whom to trace the paternity of such lies"—but what is the use if "people no longer believe in the devil and the bad angels, nor the good ones, since (the angels) are only the ethereal survivors of some Babylonian imagery?"

Some Conclusions

Now, if I have been uncharitable towards the modernist, as indeed Pius X was before me, it is not because I do not love him, or rather Christ in him. It is because Charity can never contradict Truth, any more than the physician can accept the disease as essential to the patient. Unlike Teilhard, I do not seek a "new kind of holiness", but rather to achieve the same "wholeness" that the Apostles did. If I do not accept "demytholigization", it is because I wish to understand and not destroy the myth. If I fear the new "encounter with Christ" it is because I fear my own subjectivity when it isn't tempered with the objectivity that the teaching Magisterium of the Church provides. If I do not buy "desacralization", it is because I would santify my life. If I do not buy the modern "ecumenism", it is because I love the Truth more than the error in my brother. It is not that I do not think the modernist is sincere—but that sincerity is no guarantee of Truth. It is not that I think the modernist all wrong, for total error, as Saint Thomas teaches, is like total evil, an impossibility. It is simply that the modernist is intellectually confused and that he spreads his heretical confusion with a proselytizing fury that speaks forth from the pulpit and in the mouths of many simple and poorly educated priests, and rather than scratching the itch in my ears, it burns them. Even more, it is that my children are subjected in their immaturity to half-baked sociology and vacuous religiosity in the place of the Catholic religion. It is not that I would return to the Church of thirty or fifty years ago—a Church that allowed these seeds of heresy to put down roots that now blossom luxuriantly. It is not that I would return to mediaeval times. It is rather that I would return to the teachings of the Church "quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus”,[18] and to the principles that underlay the life of mediaeval Christendom. The fact that Christ changed things in his day does not mean that we are meant to change the religion of Christ—those who think so are guilty of an unblushing arrogance. It is not that I am against legitimate change, but only against rampant innovation that by its fruits is obviously without inspiration. With T. S. Eliot, I believe that the "Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying from within and attacked from without", but the building of a new Church on the foundations of the old is not what is advocated by these modernists, rather they would lay down a new foundation to which the old Church can gradually be shifted. I do not seek a faith and dogma built upon the shifting sands of time, but the rock which is Peter—"ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia" as Saint Ambrose said. Unlike Rahner who has tried three times to re-write the creed, I can say that I believe in the already formulated creeds of the Church, and in the "One True Catholic and Apostolic Faith". Can the modernist say the same thing without qualifying his terms till they have no meaning at all? I sincerely doubt it. No, I am afraid that all this new theology is really just a mess of "pottage"—one for which I am unwilling to trade my "birth-right". It would seem to me that much that this paper contains should never have needed to be said, and certainly not by one who is neither priest nor theologian. Let me say in my defence that the points of theology raised are neither obscure nor abstruse; had they been so one more qualified than myself would have had to raise this protest. They are by and large matters of "common sense". Yet it seems one waits in vain to hear them opposed. It is however a mistake not to take these modernists seriously. Their influence has been far greater than superficially would appear to be the case. Let me quote from Andrew Greeley's statistical survey of the American Priesthood:

69 per cent of the bishops and only 45 per cent of the priests agreed that "faith means essentially belief in the doctrines of the Catholic Church", whereas 46 per cent of the bishops and 69 per cent of the priests would agree that faith is "primarily an encounter with God and Jesus Christ rather than an assent to a coherent set of defined truths".

It would seem, to paraphrase Saint Jerome, that the whole Church groans to find itself existentialist. This is the first time that such an overwhelming spectre of error has confronted the Church, though indeed if one reviews the history of heresy in the Church, one rapidly sees that the great majority of heresies were initiated by the clergy. Yet despite this, many of the older Catholic laity find it inconceivable that heresy should be taught by those who are in Holy Orders. Let us recall Christ's parable of the ten bridesmaids who waited for the coming of the Bridegroom. Statistically a full fifty per cent of them allowed the oil of wisdom to run out—literally frittered it away—and were not admitted to the wedding feast. No amount of "demythologizing" can allow us to ignore the fear that this story should raise in our hearts. There are however a few voices raised in protest. Thus Mother Theresa says with sadness that the modern priests are "reading all the wrong books", and the living Franciscan stigmatist, Brother Gino, had this to say:

Our time is a time of empty words. Real scholars are considered to be asses and, asses are considered to be great scholars. The more they bray, the more we believe them to be scholars... Poor men, I pity them, Oh Lord, preserve my faith, and let me not call a donkey doctor.

Completed on the Feast of Saint Bernadeni of Sienna, 1973.

I only pass on to others what our Catholic Mother has herself passed on to me. If there is any lack of learning in my writing, any obscurity of expression or superficial treatment, you may feel sure that it is in such places I am most original

Saint Cardinal Bellarmine


[1] As Saint Alphonsus Liguori said, "any author whose name begins with 'S' is worth reading—'S' standing for 'Saint' " and as Pius XI said, "the lives of the Saints are an extension of God's words".

[2] A classical example of the translation which obfuscates is the translation of the angelic greeting by "Rejoice O most favoured daughter! the Lord is with you" (for 'Haue gratia plena, Dominus. tecum') which is given in The New American Bible which is the only translation allowed to be read in the Catholic Churches in America.

[3] Louis Evely was formerly the spiritual director of the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, an order founded on the principles of Charles de Foucauld. While some of his earlier writings are quite beautiful, his later attitudes are clearly blasphemous. He requested and received permission to leave the priesthood to "better serve the Church".

[4] While I admit to not having read all of Teilhard's works, I do not think that I belie his position. The quotes that I have selected above are all taken from the works of the authors discussed in this paper, and hence reflect selections they themselves have used. Among several excellent reviews consulted, Phillip

  Sherrard "Teilhard De Chardin and the Christian Vision" (Studies in Comparative Religion, 1970) was most helpful.

With regard to Evolution, the reader is referred to an excellent book. The Transformist Illusion, by Douglas Dewar (Dehoff Publications).

[5] Philo, The Confusion of Tongues.

[6] Harvey Cox, a protestant theologian at Harvard Divinity School is perhaps one of the most widely quoted authors by modern theologians. In the second edition of his book, The Secular City, he expresses some surprise that he has had so much influence in Catholic circles.

[7] Rahner incidentally distinguishes himself from the Teilhardian position—in degree if not in quality. To quote Father Gelpi, his most important interpreter, "he feels that the theologian must not merely demonstrate the absence of any contradiction between evolutionary theory and revelation, he must also explore their similarities and show possible points of contact between them". Rahner's own descripiion of his position as "an anthropocentric conception of the whole of theology" is somewhat reminiscent 'of the phrase "Atheistic Christianity", or of the oriental quip, "A Horse's egg".

[8] Schillebeeckx's use of the word "co-redemptive" in this context is quite extra-ordinary because he strongly protests against this title as being applied to Our Lady on the grounds that he feels it tends to make her position one of equality with Christ's.

[9] It is Calvin whom we must thank for introducing the concept that "interest" was a legitimate form of usury. The current legitimate interest rate for "time payments" in America in 18 per cent!

[10] A. Tanquerey, "The Spiritual Life".

[11] Existentialism is defined in the American Heritage dictionary "as a body of thought current in the 19th and 20th centuries, centering about the uniqueness and isolation of individual experience in a universe indifferent or even hostile to man, regarding human existance as unexplainable and, emphasizing man's freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequence of his acts." Hardly a Christian "Gestalt"

[12] It is interesting to note how many of these terms are derived from the writings of modern psychologists.

[13] Is this not Lutheranism? Saint Paul said, "we are justified by Christ".

[14] "ecce ubi est, ubi sapit veritans" Augustine. Confessions, book IV ("Wherever Truth is discerned, there verily is He (Christ) to be found)."

[15] "Everything now is short, clean and brightly modern, and for all the 'relevance' morbidly uninteresting". Ned Gorman, Atlantic Monthly.

[16] Is this not Montanism resurrected?

[17] The modern theologian speaks of "love" as if he had discovered something new, or at least as something that had been forgotten about. He would do well to read Saint Thomas More's writings against Tyndale who also claimed that he was preaching love—indeed Saint Thomas More went so far as to say, "The heretics disguise their evil as love".

[18] "What is believed everywhere, always and by all"—Saint Vincent of Lerens.