Papal Encyclicals and Catholic Political Thought
#11
(02-27-2018, 10:51 PM)Leslie Cuff Wrote: Thank you everyone for the replies.

I might as well ask another question: At which point would you guys suggest did the papacy slacken its resistance against modernism. Can we point to a specific pope, document, or occasion? Or is it too incremental to say?

Theologically (ie Modernism being the assertion that there is no objective revelation from God to man on which Christianity is based, but that religion is experiential or an internal impulse), just after St. Pius X, Benedict XV, while re-iterating the condemnation of theological modernism, did away with some of the more stringent means St. Pius X had instituted to repress it. In his first encyclical, he also asserted the acceptability of the principle "Old things, but in a new way" which would become the basis of St. John XXIII's and Vatican II's "aggiornamento." Theological modernism was especially found to be problematic in the realm of critical Biblical studies.  Again, the Biblical Commission under St. Pius X was extra-cautious in this regard.  Under Pius XII, these restrictions into these kinds of studies were relaxed--in this context, in the encyclical Divino Afflante, he even condemned the "intemperate zeal which imagines that whatever is new should for that very reason be opposed or suspected."  

However, it was the strong advocacy of "old things, but in a new way" of John XXIII and Vatican II that snowballed into an intemperate zeal for novelty in general, which of course spilled over into the doctrinal realm.  Bl. Paul VI did little to contain it in his own zeal for new ways, other than issue his Credo of the People of God.  St. John Paul II did more, by promulgating the Catechism, requiring again a professio fidei and oath of fidelity of those speaking on behalf of the Church, and publishing encyclicals like Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio (the latter directl and explicitly addressing Modernism, as well as various other philosophical errors). However, he too had that zeal for new things in other areas, which sent mixed signals.  Benedict XVI had a more critical take on that zeal for new things, but as a practical matter did not do much. Pope Francis is himself a product of the peak time of that intemperate zeal and so we're seeing the reversion to that period of confusion and uncertainty.
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#12
Since the initial post was more about the political order, I think it is interesting in looking at that progression as well.  Gregory XVI was a staunch opponent of the liberal conception of state in pretty much all its aspects.  Many in the Church and Cardinalate in particular, instead saw positive aspects to the new developing order and thought the Church could accommodate and even thrive in it. At Gregory's death, Bl. Pius IX was elected as compromise between the two positions.  He initially granted many concessions in the Papal States liberalizing certain thins that Gregory had refused.  However, his experience with the Roman Republic of 1848 (where he was driven from Rome and a liberal republic established in his place), he quickly became more like his predecessor.  His similar experience with Italian unification only strengthened this. However, the less negative opinion on the emerging modern states remained in the Church.  

Leo XIII was elected next and instituted a policy of detente with the modern states.  His policy of ralliement, which encouraged Catholics to participate in the 3rd French Republic, was even seen a step too far by many more conservative Catholics, especially in the French Church. Upon his death, his secretary of state, Cardinal Rampolla was elected and expected to carry on the same policies.  However, his election was vetoed by the Emperor Franz Joseph (the last such instance--that veto was abolished immediately after) and St. Pius X was elected as a compromise.  Despite some indications that he might continue favoring the new order (like his lack of aristocratic heritage), he returned to the policies of Pius IX, at least in principle.  However, upon his death Benedict XV was elected.  He was Cardinal Rampolla's personal secretary and was known as "little Rampolla."  He returned to the openness and acceptance of the modern state and developing the Church's role within it.  This continued progressively under Pius XI and Pius XII, especially as the Liberalism of most modern states was moderated and less anti-clerical (and other more dangerous regimes appeared) and culminated in Vatican II's Gaudium et Spes.
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#13
(02-28-2018, 04:21 AM)Poche Wrote: I would like to observe that my aunt's catechism (written long before Vatican II) made the observation that some people made the accusation that the Catholic Church was socialist because there was a social teaching of the Church.

I was once accused of being 'a secret marxist, out to infiltrate the Church' because I had the temerity to quote from Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno. That was on Facebook, but IRL, I was told 'that no Pope ever said that', for quoting the same passages. :)
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#14
The syllabus of errors is pretty good if you want a quick rundown of condemned ideas.
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#15
Don't forget Lamentabili sane exitu, with it's  'Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the Modernists', and Pascendi dominici gregis, both by St Pius X.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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