Author Topic: Creeping Rationalism  (Read 1619 times)

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Offline Caminus

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Creeping Rationalism
« on: April 20, 2010, 12:31:33 AM »
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    In an article on Biblical chronology it is hardly necessary in these days to discuss the date of the Creation. At least 200 dates have been suggested, varying from 3483 to 6934 years B.C., all based on the supposition that the Bible enables us to settle the point. But it does nothing of the sort. It was natural that in the early days of the Church, the Fathers, writing with little scientific knowledge, should have had a tendency to explain the days of Genesis, i, as natural days of twenty-four hours. Still, they by no means all did so. Thus the Alexandrian Fathers (St. Clement, Origen, St. Athanasius, and St. Cyril) interpreted the days of Creation ideally, and held that God created all things simultaneously. So did St. Augustine; and St. Thomas Aquinas hesitated between idealism and literalism. The literal interpretation has now been entirely abandoned; and the world is admitted to be of immense antiquity. Professor Dana declares its age to be fifty millions of years; others suggest figures still more startling (cf. Buibert, "In the Beginning"; Molloy, "Geology and Revelation"; Hummelauer, "Genesis"; Hastings, "Dictionary of the Bible"; Mangenot in Vig., "Dict. de la Bible"; Driver, "Genesis". Perhaps the words of Genesis (i, 2): "The earth was void and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep", refer to the first phase of the Creation, the astronomical, before the geological period began. On such questions we have no Biblical evidence, and the Catholic is quite free to follow the teaching of science.


    Article on Biblical Chronology


    Offline Caminus

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    Creeping Rationalism
    « Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 12:33:50 AM »
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  • You know there was a serious problem brewing on the horizon when Catholic authors started giving more credence and reverence to the secular "scientist" over and above Church Fathers.  


    Offline stevusmagnus

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    Creeping Rationalism
    « Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 04:28:11 AM »
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  • Caminus,

    I've found other examples of dubious orthdoxy in this encyclopedia. Most notably that it is acceptable for Catholics to hold the opinion that God plucks souls out of Hell. This goes directly against the Catholic teaching on the eternity of Hell and, I believe, was the opening of the theological door for the universal salvation crowd.

    It looks like Modernism was beginning to make subtle inroads even in 1908.  

    Offline Caraffa

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    Creeping Rationalism
    « Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 11:39:46 AM »
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  • Quote from: stevusmagnus
    Caminus,

    I've found other examples of dubious orthdoxy in this encyclopedia. Most notably that it is acceptable for Catholics to hold the opinion that God plucks souls out of Hell. This goes directly against the Catholic teaching on the eternity of Hell and, I believe, was the opening of the theological door for the universal salvation crowd.

    It looks like Modernism was beginning to make subtle inroads even in 1908.  


    Not only that, it makes God out to be a goofy screw-up who got it wrong the first time. Imagine him saying, "Whoops what are you doing in hell, you weren't supposed to be there. My bad. Here let me get you out."
    Pray for me, always.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    « Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 05:33:37 PM »
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  • Quote from: Caraffa
    Quote from: stevusmagnus
    Caminus,

    I've found other examples of dubious orthdoxy in this encyclopedia. Most notably that it is acceptable for Catholics to hold the opinion that God plucks souls out of Hell. This goes directly against the Catholic teaching on the eternity of Hell and, I believe, was the opening of the theological door for the universal salvation crowd.

    It looks like Modernism was beginning to make subtle inroads even in 1908.  


    Not only that, it makes God out to be a goofy screw-up who got it wrong the first time. Imagine him saying, "Whoops what are you doing in hell, you weren't supposed to be there. My bad. Here let me get you out."


    Exactly.

    However, I was told the idea "violates no dogma" and is therefore not heretical to hold.

    To the contrary I believe you cited a Council or infallible teaching touching on the eternity of Hell a while back, though I can't put my finger on it.

    In any case, if we are allowed as Catholics to hold that Hell is not necessarily eternal, we may as well throw the whole thing out. The notion is utterly absurd. Neo-Caths and Trads had a field day with that CE entry. One even has a blog post where he cites the CE article claiming it is a possibility. It's shameful.

    There are other questionable articles in it as well. It is sad but you really have to double check the old CE's information. The Modernist infestation began before 1900 so I suppose it is not surprising to see errors in the CE. It is such a vast and expansive work.

    Neo-Trads will use it as a source of unquestioning orthodoxy when it suits them.


    Offline stevusmagnus

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    « Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 05:46:26 PM »
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  • Here is the quote. In typical liberal/ modernist style, the excerpt is almost a contradiction of itself.


    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm

    Quote
    In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted.


    Then we have this interesting quote...

    Quote
    Many believe that reason cannot give any conclusive proof for the eternity of the pains of hell, but that it can merely show that this doctrine does not involve any contradiction. Since the Church has made no decision on this point, each one is entirely free to embrace this opinion. As is apparent, the author of this article does not hold it.


    These two quotations alone would give me pause about the entire CE.

    The whole thing seems like a precursor to the blatant modernism of the Conciliar documents. They just had to be more discreet back then.

    First they list a bunch of unorthodox opinions on theology, state that a Catholic can hold them...BUT the author doesn't hold them and one really "shouldn't" hold them. What a mess.

    Offline gladius_veritatis

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    Creeping Rationalism
    « Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 06:07:06 PM »
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  • "It looks like Modernism was beginning to make subtle inroads even in 1908."

    Considering Pascendi is from 1907, it is more than safe to say Modernism had made A LOT of progress by that time -- that is why St. Pius X took the measures he did.
    + Vincit veritas +

    Offline Ladislaus

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    « Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 06:21:39 PM »
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  • St. Pius X reportedly slammed a volume of The Catholic Encyclopedia to the ground in front of its editor when he presented it to the Holy Father.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    « Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 06:25:18 PM »
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  • I have brought up this point before in the context of EENS, how things like The Catholic Encyclopedia, 20th century theology manuals, etc. are not necessarily to be trusted--only to have the point summarily dismissed.  Rejection of EENS laid the foundation for and led directly to Vatican II.


    Offline stevusmagnus

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    « Reply #9 on: April 20, 2010, 06:26:17 PM »
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  • Quote from: gladius_veritatis
    "It looks like Modernism was beginning to make subtle inroads even in 1908."

    Considering Pascendi is from 1907, it is more than safe to say Modernism had made A LOT of progress by that time -- that is why St. Pius X took the measures he did.


    Well true, I was referring to the inroads made into official things like the CE. No doubt they had made behind the scenes inroads long before then.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    « Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 06:26:59 PM »
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  • Quote from: Ladislaus
    St. Pius X reportedly slammed a volume of The Catholic Encyclopedia to the ground in front of its editor when he presented it to the Holy Father.


    I can see why. Yet some Neo-Trads accept it as their bible.


    Offline Caminus

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    Creeping Rationalism
    « Reply #11 on: April 20, 2010, 07:12:46 PM »
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    In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted.


    The author is making a technical point about an exception to the rule.  And though I think he may be correct about the absence of a logical contradiction because he is appealing to the free will of God by way of exception, he does not offer any proof from authority and he summarily dismisses it in the very next breath.  I'm not as concerned about this statement as I am the second:  


    Quote
    Many believe that reason cannot give any conclusive proof for the eternity of the pains of hell, but that it can merely show that this doctrine does not involve any contradiction. Since the Church has made no decision on this point, each one is entirely free to embrace this opinion. As is apparent, the author of this article does not hold it.


    He fails to mention that an appeal to reason is a red herring because it is purely a truth of divine faith.  Thus it is obvious that reason could not ever produce a conclusive proof.  The second sentence is simply an error pure and simple.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    « Reply #12 on: April 20, 2010, 07:21:29 PM »
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  • Quote from: Caminus
    Quote
    In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted.


    The author is making a technical point about an exception to the rule.  And though I think he may be correct about the absence of a logical contradiction because he is appealing to the free will of God by way of exception, he does not offer any proof from authority and he summarily dismisses it in the very next breath.  I'm not as concerned about this statement as I am the second:  


    Yes, but the "exceptions" are purely theoretical and forbidden by Catholic teaching because by acting in this manner God would contradict His own revelation and nature. If this were a possibility He surely would have revealed it. Hell is eternal, period. It's like saying universal salvation is ok for a Catholic to hold to because God can save who He wills. So we basically throw out all Catholic doctrine and the CE gives us permission to believe contrary to the Faith. It seems the logical extreme of this thinking would be to believe in whatever you wanted to because God is all powerful.

    I agree with you as to the second statement. Some of the CE articles have clearly Modernist undertones if not outright statements.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    « Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 07:36:57 PM »
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  • Offline Caraffa

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    Creeping Rationalism
    « Reply #14 on: April 20, 2010, 07:42:57 PM »
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  • Quote from: stevusmagnus
    Here is the quote. In typical liberal/ modernist style, the excerpt is almost a contradiction of itself.


    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm

    Quote
    In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted.


    Then we have this interesting quote...

    Quote
    Many believe that reason cannot give any conclusive proof for the eternity of the pains of hell, but that it can merely show that this doctrine does not involve any contradiction. Since the Church has made no decision on this point, each one is entirely free to embrace this opinion. As is apparent, the author of this article does not hold it.


    These two quotations alone would give me pause about the entire CE.

    The whole thing seems like a precursor to the blatant modernism of the Conciliar documents. They just had to be more discreet back then.

    First they list a bunch of unorthodox opinions on theology, state that a Catholic can hold them...BUT the author doesn't hold them and one really "shouldn't" hold them. What a mess.


    These speculations as quoted from the CE are terrible and erroneous. It is even sadder that some Neo-Trads believe this (likely to make people "feel" better about God). A skeptic would have a field day with such a view.
    Pray for me, always.

     

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