Author Topic: SSPX exhumes Fr. Jaki's rotting works, buried by Miss Paula Haigh (Part 3)  (Read 1648 times)

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Offline Incredulous

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The recent publication by the SSPX of the book The Realist Guide to Religion and Science, authored by SSPX priest Fr. Paul Robinson, has engendered a reaction across the broad spectrum of Tradition. Creationists have expressed deep concerns about the modernist and scientist leanings of the author, whilst other traditionalists have commented on the very concerning problems with the Foreword of the book.

The salient facts are as follows:

1. The SSPX chose a novus ordo publishing company, Gracewing, of Great Britain, to publish Fr. Robinson's book.

2. The Foreword itself was written by Fr. Paul Haffner, "the theological and editorial director of Gracewing."

3. Haffner's Foreword contains references to "St. John Paul II" and "Blessed Paul VI."

4. Haffner "is a specialist on the work of the late Father Stanley Jaki."

5. Fr. Robinson, in penning this book, set out to "provide a philosophical backbone to the thesis of Fr Jaki’s Gifford Lectures of 1974–1975 and 1975–1976."


Setting aside the gaping problem presented by SSPX-novus ordo collusion, now grown long in the tooth, we sharpen our focus in order to examine the even more grievous substantive problem.

Who is Fr. Stanley Jaki? and why would an SSPX seminary professor take such an avid interest in resurrecting his memory and his work?

Thankfully the eminent Catholic writer, Miss Paula Haigh (RIP), in her seminal works on the subject of evolution, devoted a series of articles to exposing Fr. Jaki, who, as she termed it, was a sophist, a revisionist, a surrealist, and an evolutionist.




If, then, Fr. Jaki is being raised from the dead, in order to spread his poison throughout the SSPX, why not raise Paula Haigh from the dead, in order that Jaki may be once again exposed - in order that this next generation of traditionalists, entirely deprived of solid formation and primed to embrace all novelties, may have the other side?

Three of four articles by Miss Haigh will be posted on this forum, beginning with "Jaki-Sophist." They will be followed by "Jaki-Revisionist," "Jaki-Evolutionist," and finally "Jaki-Surrealist."

                                                   
                                        Father Jaki, a priest who misplaced his mind and Roman collar


FATHER STANLEY L. JAKI : EVOLUTIONIST
Paula Haigh

I.  First Principles and Paley’s Stone

The Purpose of it All (Regnery Gateway, 1990) is certainly Fr. Jaki’s most brilliant tour de force.

George Sim Johnston in his fine but totally uncritical review (Catholic World Report, Nov. 1991, pp. 69-70) says:

A fatal flaw of our culture is its commitment to a world view which rejects any knowledge other than the “scientific”. That science itself in no way warrants this savage reductionism is the crux of Fr. Jaki’s message.

If this is really the crux of Fr. Jaki’s message, then no one could disagree with him on any rational grounds.

However, it is my contention that what Fr. Jaki means by science and the progress of science is not entirely clear. That he accepts the scientific method of empiricism seems evident from all his works, and it is also my contention that this method, by rigorously and on principle, ruling out God is a self-inflicted reductionism, not only savage but diabolical in origin. That Fr. Jaki’s emphasis is primarily upon technology and applied science rather than intellectual disciplines seeking truth and from which certain practical advantages may or may not proceed, seems confirmed by the opening chapter of Purpose which gives an account of scientific progress starting from the Voyager-2 space probe and working back to the steam engine.

Fr. Jaki seems to disavow the forms of progress that the 19th century delighted to see as manifestations of humanity’s forward march: Condorcet’s “progress of reason and the defence of liberty ... with man restored to his natural rights and dignity...” (p. 5); the steam engine, the Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace in England in l85l, the proliferation of the railroads, and finally the “Social Gospel” and “economic theory of progress and purpose” put forth by Marx end Engels. (p. 14) Fr. Jaki does not identify himself with any of these.

Perhaps Fr. Jaki comes closest to telling us exactly what his idea of progress is when he quotes Newman (p. 16) as to the contrast

between the essentially non-progressive character of the humanities, above all of theology, natural and supernatural, and the progress, mostly a process of accumulation, of the sciences.

Newman is, of course, a highly esteemed Catholic author and historical theologian, an authority for some kind of progress. He lived and breathed the air of the rationalist’s dogma of progress and his Development of Christian Doctrine (l845) was certainly one of his century's prize productions.

Also, Newman was most astute when he recognized the cumulative character of the physical sciences as opposed to the unchanging, non-progressive nature of literature and the arts and of theology. That insight is echoed in clearer and more certain accents by Dr. Jerome Lejeune in his book, The Concentration Camp (Ignatius, 1990, p. 132):

The cleverest discussions can change nothing. The ethical committees will solemnly proclaim their contradictory oracles and the anxiety will remain: technology is cumulative, wisdom is not.
Then what remains for us?
Wisdom remains for us.

If the technicians fail to recognize this, we have everything to fear from a denatured biology, but if the physicians remember it, the most sophisticated technology will remain at the service of the family of man.
An unforgettable wisdom that summarizes in a single phrase, the standard by which all will be judged:“What you have done to the least of my brothers, you have done to me.” (Matt. 25-40)

What is needed for the salvation not only of the sciences but of the entire world is the wise control of all things by a true and living theology, the science of Wisdom par excellence.

Dr. Lejeune tells us in a few simple words, unmistakably clear and emphatic, what we will never find straightforwardly expressed in all the pages of Fr. Jaki’s scintillating prose.

Fr. Jaki concludes the first chapter of Purpose, which is titled “Progress with scant purpose”, with one of his usual pirouettes:

In view of this obvious debacle of secularism, nothing would be more tempting than to turn to the sacred as the true foundation and safeguard, historically as well as conceptually, of belief in progress   …  (p. 30-31)

Why tempting? Perhaps if Fr. Jaki told us why, he would find himself caught in his own contradictions.

But he rejects as a temptation that supernatural wisdom that Dr. Lejeune so keenly knows to be our only salvation.

In his book about Fr. Jaki, Creation and Scientific Creativity (Christendom, 1991) Fr. Paul Haffner quotes Fr. Jaki as saying that Faith in the possibility of science is a most conscious derivative from the tenets of medieval theology on the Maker of Heaven and Earth. (p. 33)

Again, I am not clear as to Fr. Jaki’s meaning. Aristotle in the 4th century B.C., opens his major work, the Metaphysics, with the observation that “All men by nature desire to know.” If that is not the very basis for all science, what else could be?

All of Aristotle’s works, far exceeding in scientific value those of his predecessors, on such subjects as the heavens, the history and parts and generation of animals, physics and the soul -- all indicate in a most incontrovertible manner, that science in all its aspects was not only seen to be possible but was actually begun with Aristotle himself. It seems totally unreasonable to require an explicit belief in God as Creator in the Christian sense for men to believe in the very possibility of the natural sciences.

I may seem to be contradicting myself, as it has just been shown that science needs theological wisdom to be saved from itself. The way I see it is this: before the Incarnation, pagan peoples had lost the original revelation given to Adam, especially after the Flood at the Tower of Babel from whence all the nations dispersed, taking with them only remnants of the true religion; and these remnants quickly became corrupted. By the time of Aristotle, the polytheistic mythology of the Greeks no longer made sense to thinking men like Plato and Aristotle, and so they began from reason alone, discarding the childish and irrational myths. But they knew from reason alone that a Supreme Being must of necessity exist and that He is, in some way, the Cause of all things. What Aristotle did, building on that tenet alone, is a really astounding witness to the power of unaided intellect when it is submissive to reality.

The science of our times is not nearly so rational. Indeed, it is perverse in the extreme because it denies the existence of God Who makes Himself known to our reason in countless ways through His creation. Besides that, science today could have the benefit of a fully developed philosophy awl theology, had it not been willfully rejected at the Renaissance, particularly in the persons of the new empiricists like Galileo, Descartes, and Bacon.

And so there is, if you will, a kind of rise and fall in the movement of history: Aristotle was preparing the way for the great synthesis of the 13th century, and everything, from Roman times was on the way up to the apex of Christian achievement in that marvelous civilization we call Christendom, wherein Christ Our Lord was truly King of Heaven and of Earth, by right of Creation on the one hand and by right of conquest in Redemption on the other.

But since the 13th century, for many reasons, things have been going downhill. Christendom has fallen apart, Christ the King is rejected by the nations and states who must acknowledge Him and His Sovereignty if they are to be blessed by God. And perhaps most insidious of all, we have come to be dominated by a God-denying scientism, built on the three great errors of the primordial atheism of empiricism, a pagan heliocentrism, and a great new myth of evolution. All three of these errors are based in principle on a denial of the Christian Scriptures on which our Catholic Faith is based. Now science, free of all restraints from either Church or State, continues to attack not only the minds of men but their very bodies by such unnatural and barbaric practices as abortion, the implantation of organs from other species, and the euphemistically termed “fetal research” wherein the brain tissue of an unborn child is suctioned out with a plastic tube while the child is still alive in the uterus of its mother and its other organs are “harvested” in the same inhuman manner.

People of ancient times constructed idols of iron to which they sacrificed their babies, as in the furnaces of the god Molloch. The Aztecs, as late as the l520’s, were sacrificing their young people to demonic gods and tearing out their hearts while they still lived. Today, we are our own idols as men and women collaborate in the holocaust of the unborn on the altars of unimaginable selfishness. Our Lady came to save the Aztecs from their evil ways. Perhaps She will also come soon to change the hearts of modern people.

Fr. Haffner probably has the true explanation of Fr. Jaki’s idea of progress when he tells us that he, Fr. Haffner, proposes to show us the “manner in which Jaki forges the link between Christian faith and modern science. ...“ (p. 33)

That link, of course, is John Buridan’s profession of faith in the creative act of God which imparted an impetus to the heavenly bodies in the beginning and which enables them to continue in motion as true secondary causes under divine super­vision. This subject has been discussed at length in Fr. Stanley L. Jaki: Revisionist and it has been argued there that any link between Buridan, Galileo, Newton and Einstein is tenuous at best and can only be “forged” by a distortion of historical facts.

The main reasons for the absence of a true origin of modern science in Buridan or in the medieval and especially Thomistic syntheses are

1)   the fact that the epistemology of modern empiricism, seen already in Galileo and going back to William of Ockham (fl. 1350) is radically separatist, pulling apart the knower arid the known in a quantitative exclusion and separating also all the natural sciences from their proper place in the hierarchy of sciences, a hierarchy that reflects the created order;

2)   a commitment to the heliocentric and/or a-centric theory of the cosmos, which theory is based in a radical un-realism, a denial of the very basis for science -- the evidence of the senses processed by the intellect but unable to contradict each other;

3)   an embracing of evolutionism which begins early, even with Descartes and Newton as they explain the temporal formation of the heavenly bodies. Fr. Jaki’s evolutionism shows in his “progress of science” which is a positivist progressivist view of history strongly reminiscent of that of Auguste Comte (l798-l857). This theory of history’s movement is radically opposed to the Catholic view which can be found in classical authors from Saint Augustine’s City of God to the Thomistic works of Fr. Denis Fahey (d. l955). According to this Catholic view, history is not perfectionist by any natural means and exhibits a linear movement that is filled with the swirls and eddies of falls and restorations, beginning with Creation and ending with the Day of Judgment. The kind of linear perfectionist movement seen in the accumulation of technological inventions and cultural improvements that Fr. Jaki seems to envisage for science is seen in our times to be a Frankenstein monster without any soul. The reason for this is the rejection of God in the higher wisdom of nstura1 Philosophy, especially metaphysics, and a radical rejection of the supernatural wisdom coming from divine revelation.

These three great deformities of modern science: empiricism, heliocentrism, and evolutionism, were present from the beginning and have grown apace in such a manner as to make this child of Fr. Jaki a monster that he should either disown or labor to reform, because, unlike a human child, this offspring of the adulterous Renaissance has freely chosen from the beginning to follow the disastrously wayward path it has taken.

In other words modern science could only achieve what Fr. Jaki claims to be its essential "self-propelling” dynamic "on-going” process of accumulating ever better instruments of pollution and destruction unhindered by any directives from above by having broken away from and continuing to reject the good order of the medieval hierarchy of sciences. Buridan, then, by his submission to higher authority and wisdom, marks an end rather than a beginning.

Again, Fr. Jaki seems to be saying that true and certain science can only come from Catholics. In a sense this is true, but in another sense it is not entirely so. We have seen that Aristotle and other pagans working in the strength and light of natural reason alone, without benefit of divine revelation, have left a marvelous deposit of natural human wisdom. But it is undoubtedly incomplete and often distorted; in the ancient mythologies and practices, the original revelation is even horribly corrupted. It is only in the full light of divine Faith in God’s complete revelation in Our Lord Jesus Christ that science can achieve its true and full potential.

A great fund of scientific knowledge was given to Adam in the beginning. He knew more of the secrets of nature than scientists know today, and this knowledge formed the basis of the high civilization and developed technology of the pre-Flood peoples. But all had to begin anew after the Flood, while much of the original revelation, both of nature and of the supernatural life, was corrupted and lost as tribes and nations migrated away from the centers of civilization in the Middle East. Even those centers, such as Ur, Babylon, and Nineveh, lost the true religion and degenerated, due mainly to evil rulers. The power for good as well as for evil that has been given to rulers, especially to kings, can be seen in the example of the king of Nineveh (Jonas 3:6). But the worship of Baal became widespread in the Holy Lands. Only a promised line of Semites guarded the faith and hope in the Messiah to come; and when He came, only a remnant of Israel received Him.

But we know from the wisdom of the Magi that a vast fund of natural knowledge mixed with supernatural prophecy must have been preserved amongst the peoples of the ancient East. The treasures of knowledge left by Plato and Aristotle came into the West by way of the Arabs in the 12th and 13th  centuries.

This is the crucial juncture. The works of Aristotle, all are agreed, provided the basis for the development of western science. It is possible, even highly probable, that technology would have developed in a slow and very limited manner, always under the control of the higher wisdoms of metaphysics and theology. But given the fallen nature of man bearing the consequences of original sin, and because of other convenient opportunities brought about by Satan and evil men, such as the longing for the luxuries of the East cultivated by the returning Crusaders, there came about that Age of Expansion and resurgence of classical culture we call the Renaissance, accompanied by a neo-pagan way of life in the capitals of both East and West, with a consequent decline of religious life.

During this crucial time, some men rebelled against a Church they saw as corrupt and produced a Luther, a Calvin, a Zwingli, and others; and so Christendom, due to the religious wars provoked by the ideas of these so-called reformers, disintegrated. Other men, as excited by intellectual independence as the Protestants were by religious freedom, rebelled against the authority and higher wisdom of theology that presided over the arts and sciences in the schools, and they produced a Galileo, a Campanella, a Bruno, a Foscarini. Modern science took its rise in this rebellion against the “Aristotelians” and the Thomistic theologians of the universities.

Just as the Masons of some years later met secretly in taverns and private homes to plot revolutions, these philosophers of science, as they were then called, abandoned the universities and began to form semi-secret societies, such as the Lincean Academy to which Galileo belonged. In England, they culminated in the Royal Society founded in 1662 under Charles II but from which Sir Isaac Newton carried on his most vicious campaign to destroy the last Catholic King of England, James II.

Such is the true beginning of modern science, as it is also the beginning of anti-Christian political systems and heretical sects that continue to plague both Church and State with their divisions.

The God-intended fulfillment of all the sciences in the hands of Catholic saints and scholars resembling Augustine, Bonaventure, and Thomas is yet to be realized. Fr. Jaki’s view of progress and his strategy of compromise with error do not and can never lead to that desired goal.
                                                   
In the Introduction to The Purpose of It All  (pp. ix-x) Fr. Jaki states:

….design is not the same as purpose. In fact, designs have been registered before anything specific could be ascertained about their function, let alone the purpose of their functioning. The purpose remains in fact often in the dark, while more and more scientific light is shed on the specifics of the function.

Fr. Jaki’s books are exceedingly sparing of concrete examples, especially from the life sciences, and so I am hard pressed to know exactly what is being referred to here. But it reminds me of what the evolutionists call “vestigial organs”. Such parts of the human body as the appendix, the coccyx or tail-bone, the tonsils and adenoids, were all believed at one time to have been left over from a previous more animal-like existence, especially the tail-bone. However, all of them have been found to have very specific and specifically human purposes. (See “Vestigial Organs” are Fully Functional, by Jerry Bergman and George Howe. (CRS Books Monograph No. 4, 1990.) Recent research shows that even so minor a disorder as the taken-for-granted morning sickness of pregnant women may actually be the. body’s way of protecting the developing infant from the mild toxins that adult bodies easily throw off but which the embryo is not yet able to neutralize. (BSN, 30:5, p. 10)  Fr. Jaki continues:

Apart from the closeness of the design argument to the cosmological argument and at times plain identity with it, forms of the design argument can be very defective in coming to grips with the notion of purpose. One cannot read … purpose into mere biological processes in which there is no evidence of a conscious aim at work. Seeing purpose at work in the purely biological domain demands therefore a careful philosophical consideration, which, so it is argued in this book, comes only from the doctrine of the analogy of being.

While the Thomistic doctrine of the analogy of being is always relevant, I question that it is the crux of the difference between purpose and design or that it would be of much help to the biologist examining processes of nature in which he can descry “no conscious aim at work.”

Rather, I suggest that what is needed is a return to first principles and a consideration of Aristotle’s four causes, because the difference between design and purpose resides precisely in the difference between formal-material causes (design) and finality or teleology (final cause). I must confess that Fr. Jaki’s discussion of design and pattern in the present book leaves me more confused than otherwise. For the sake, then, of those of us who are called, in one way or another, to deal with the activities of modern science, I offer the following consideration of first principles.

The first act of the mind is to apprehend reality in its intelligibility which is twofold: 1) the fact of its existence and 2) the fact of its essence or nature. This primary object of the mind, twofold in its being, is not God, nor self, but the being that exists in the world outside the mind. We can only know this real being through our senses, but what is grasped as intelligible in the sense-object is grasped immediately in and from the sense-object by the intellect, first as it recognizes an existing thing as existing, i.e., as real, and secondly, as it recognizes the existing thing as some kind of being.

Thus all our knowledge comes to us through our senses and such knowledge is based in a self-evident, undemonstrable and irrefutable, incontrovertible manner on the given fact that things exist outside of us.

If this first given of all knowledge is not recognized, granted and submitted to as given, with a basic humility of the intellect, then all consequent acts of the mind are vitiated at their source. Such deviants are the philosophy of Plato, of William of Ockham, of Descartes, Kant, and all their fellow-travelers.

This realism of sense knowledge received, abstracted from and possessed in the unity of knower and known, is the realism of Thomism and the only realism that will serve as a true and fruitful basis for all the sciences.

Secondly, as a consequence of abstraction whereby the intellect grasps the very formal nature of a being, there is consummated a real union of form between the concept in the mind and the nature of the individual being known through the senses, for the individual being or substance is known simultaneously as unique individual concrete substance and as an individual possessing and exhibiting a universal nature or essence that it shares with the other individuals of its class or kind. It is this actual form which constitutes its conceptual intelligibility and which the mind grasps and makes its own intra-mentally without in any way diminishing the concrete individual in itself.

Here is the basis for all scientific classification.

In this way does Thomistic realism solve the dilemma set up by Platonic idealism on the one hand and positivistic, radical empiricism on the other. We must deal especially with the latter because radical empiricism, stemming from Ockham’s nominalism in the 14th century, reduces reality to sequences of phenomena, thus stripping the real world of those first principles of being that alone render it as fully intelligible to us as God intended it to be.

Once the real world is seen and acknowledged and esteemed as the given that it is, certain other principles follow directly, principles equally self-evident, undemonstrable and irrefutable except by a denial of reason itself. These principles are the necessary and objective laws of reality, of all that is or that can be.

Rising directly from the first apprehension of being is the principle of contradiction. Some call it the principle of non-contradiction, for it simply means that the mind recognizes as a self-evident fact that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. Being, therefore, is absolutely opposed to non-being, to nothingness. A positive correlative to this principle but in the realm of essence rather than existence, is the principle of identity, which states the self-evident fact that a thing is what it is and not something else. As Gertrude Stein, in the face of some idealistic nonsense, put it: a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

One would imagine that it would be very difficult indeed to get away with denying these self-evident first principles. Yet it is being done all the time by the evolutionary scientists. Here is an example given by Phillip E. Johnson in his book Darwin on Trial (Regnery Gateway, 1991, pp. 74-75)

Paleontology ... has taken Darwinian descent as a deductive certainty and has sought to flesh it out in detail rather than to test it. Success for fossil experts who study evolution has meant success in identifying ancestors, which provides an incentive for establishing criteria that will permit ancestors to be identified. Gareth Nelson of the American Museum of Natural History has expressed in plain language what this has meant in practice:
“We’ve got to have some ancestor. We’ll pick those. Why?  Because we know they have to be there, and these are the best candidates.”
That’s by and large the way it has worked. I am not exaggerating. Obviously, “ancestors” cannot confirm the theory if they were labeled as such only because the theory told the researchers that ancestors had to be there.

Besides being a blatant example of circular reasoning, this practice manifests a far more serious sin against reality itself. Circular reasoning is a sin against logic, but to assume that there was a being present in the past which had a certain nature “ancestral” to some being with an identified nature in the present, and then to claim that the past being is certainly a true being with such and such a nature simply by labeling it so, is an unconscionable manipulation of facts. It is a combination of purest nominalism with a denial of the principle of identity which states that a thing is what it is because we have known it to be such by science, i.e., by certain knowledge.

Flowing directly from these first principles of knowledge as from the fountain­head of affirmations of the real comes the principle of sufficient reason, not to be confused with what Leibnitz (1646-1716) claimed to be such. Leibnitz only muddied the clear waters of Thomism. The principle of sufficient reason in its true form states another self-evident fact: every real being has the reason for its existence, its raison d’etre, either in itself or in another. This does not mean reason in the sense of cause, but reason in the sense of knowing. As Brother Benignus puts it:

Everyone, in all his thinking and acting, takes the principle of sufficient reason for granted. ... Obviously it cannot be demonstrated, because every demonstration presupposes it. ... Its truth is what makes us reason. Reasoning is impossible without this principle -- not merely in the sense that without it we would not know what to conclude from premises, but in the much more fundamental sense that without an intuitive knowledge of it we simply would not reason at all, we would never ask a question or try to answer one, we would never give or seek a reason for anything. To reason is to apply the principle of sufficient reason to objects of knowledge; to be rational is to be able to grasp this principle.
(Nature, Knowledge and God. Bruce, 1947, p. 400)

This principle is that which causes the mind to know, self-evidently, that things “make sense”, that the order of nature, the cosmos, is not an absurdity.

Brother Benignus, in this same work, also makes a very important point about this principle in regard to science. If the principle of sufficient reason did not specify an irrefutable aspect of reality, then the following events could be real possibilities in the physical sphere:
1)   something could begin to exist from nothing and with no antecedents whatsoever;
2)   something could cease to exist at any time and for no reasons
3)   something could have or acquire any properties at any time, no matter how incongruent, unfitting, or unnecessary for its being;
4)   a being could perform any operations whatsoever, needing no particular nature to determine its operations nor any particular circumstances to call them forth.

If any one of these propositions expressed a real possibility, science would be impossible. (page 399)

And yet we see every day examples of evolutionary scientists -- so-called -- violating every one of these propositions with impunity. Such is the price we have paid for neglecting our inheritance of sound metaphysics and theology.

Closely related to both the principle of identity and that of sufficient reason is the recognition that every being exists in one of two ways: as substance or as accident. Substantial being is that which first and directly receives the act of being or existence, whereas accidental forms receive their being from the substantial form. Thus, Jim Jones is a man whose substantial form or substance is an individual determination of human nature, and his human nature remains the same beneath all the accidental changes that happen to him from conception until death. If it is true that all the cells in our body change entirely every seven years, then we must say that the basis of the change is accidental because we know that the human person remains the same beneath all the changes, not so as to obviate growth and accidental changes but in such a way that the human person remains human. The principles of substance and accident play an enormous part in such sciences as biology and psychology. The false philosophies of mechanism and evolutionism are both due to a failure on the part of philosophers of nature to deal with the sciences in terms of their first and necessary principles.

Enter now Aristotle’s Four Causes which St. Thomas made an essential part of his own philosophy. The four causes are included within the principle of sufficient reason because no being ultimately “makes sense” unless all four of its causes are recognized. St. Thomas put it this way:

When I ask the reason why, I must answer by one of the four causes:

1)   Why has a circle these properties that it has, i.e., its boundary line equi­distant at all points from its center? Because of its intrinsic nature. This is the nature of a circle. A circle is not a square but a circle. This we call its formal cause. It is what causes a circle to be what it is. Also worth noting about this cause is that quiddity, the formal cause, does not require actual existence in the extra-mental world for its validity. This is why it is so easy for mathematicians to construct worlds out of geometric figures and mathematical formulae. It is also a good reason why all four causes should always be considered together when studying any being. Otherwise, one may construct a “science” of the mind alone, and that’s not real science, but imaginary science.

2)   Why is this iron red hot? Because it has been heated by fire or some agency imparting heat. This agent is the efficient cause of the heat in the iron. It must be noted here that the agent-efficient cause must always be an act with respect to the effect to be caused, i.e., ice cannot cause heat in another being.

3)   Why did you come here? For such and such a purpose. Final Cause.

4)   Why is man mortal? Because he is a material composite, hence corruptible. This is the material cause of man’s mortality.

Brother Benignus quotes St. Thomas again on these four causes by way of summation and showing their relationship. Furthermore, St. Thomas shows that the four kinds of causes can be analytically deduced from the nature of any production of being, without recourse to illustrations taken from human art. Thus:

There must of necessity be four causes: because when a cause exists, upon which the being of another thing follows, the being of that which has the cause may be considered in two ways. First, absolutely; and in this way the cause of being is a form by which something is a being-in-act. Second, insofar as an actual being comes to be from a potential being; and because whatever is in potency is reduced to act by something that is a being-in-act, it follows of necessity that there are two other causes, namely the matter and the agent that reduces the matter from potency to act. But the action of an agent tends to something determinate, just as it proceeds from some determinate principle, for every agent does what is in conformity with its nature. That to which the action of the agent tends is called the final cause. Thus there are necessarily four causes.
(p. 71)

It is when considering the four causes, especially the efficient and the final causes, that we necessarily infer the existence of a Supreme Agent and a Supreme Destiny or Finality for all things. But more of that later.

There is one more set of principles that must be laid out clearly before we have, though only in barest outline, the basis for all the sciences, the only basis which will keep them from going astray into error.

“The doctrine on act and potency is the soul of Aristotelian philosophy, deepened and developed by St. Thomas.” (Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Reality. B. Herder, 1950, p. 37):

…  all corporeal beings, even all finite beings [i.e., the angels included] are composed of potency and act, at least of essence and existence, of an essence which can exist, which limits existence, and of an existence which actualizes this essence. God alone is pure act because His essence is identified with His existence. He alone is Being itself, eternally subsistent.

This conceptual difference [and this real distinction] in the primordial division of created being into potency and act has far-reaching consequences,

Brother Benignus says further:

The concept of being as essence and existence is sufficient by itself for the attainment of that of possibility; but the experience of change is necessary for the formation of the idea of potentiality. Change in the concrete is known by direct experience; our sensio-intellective mind is given change as directly as it is given being, although the understanding of change presupposes the understanding of being. The intellectual grasp of change implies the notions of potentiality and actuality, which become explicit upon analysis of the concepts of change.

Beings are perceived to change: we see the leaves stirring in the wind; we see them appear, open out, and grow in spring; we see them change color and fall to the ground in autumn. Whatever we perceive we grasp under the aspect of being; the green leaf of May and the red leaf of October are both beings. We see the green leaf come into being out of the branch, and we see the red leaf come into being out of the green; and in the winter we do not see the leaf at all. Last winter, the leaf I see now in spring did not exist; it was not; it was not-being. But it was a certain kind of not-being  -- a kind which, I see now, was to be a leaf. It was not not-being as the impossible is not- being; it was possible, at least. It was, in fact, something more than possible. Possible being is related, in the mind, only to thought, not to experience. The non-existent leaf of winter was, I see in spring, definitely related to experience. It had a relation to existence which is quite different from the relation which a mere possible has; it had a relation to a concrete future existence grounded in some concrete present existence. Even while it does not exist actually, it is rooted in the actual being of something which does exist and which is capable of becoming it. It possesses potential being.

Please notice how every word of this explanation is directly relevant to the theory of evolution, shining, as it were, a bright light upon the evolutionists’ sins against reality.

Thus, by analyzing the changing being given to it by immediate experience, the intellect attains the concepts of actual being, or being which has present existence, and potential being, or being which has a real capacity for existence rooted in some actual being. From these concepts it forms the abstract notions of actuality and potentiality. Quite as important, by a simple comparison of actual and potential being with the principles of identity and contradiction, it arrives at an immediate judgment which is one formula of the principle of causality -- that something can come to be only from something which is, or, in other words, that every potentiality presupposes an actuality. And still another principle of importance in Thomistic metaphysics follows this one --  that  every changeable being is a mixture of actuality and potentiality.
(page 308)

That covers the most important necessary principles of all being which we need to use in our defense of creation against evolution.

Now back to the four causes which are most relevant to Fr. Jaki’s present book. The efficient and final causes of being are extrinsic, whereas the material and formal causes are intrinsic. This is an important point because evolutionists, insofar as they recognize teleology or purpose at all, will insist that the only purpose of any design or pattern in nature is to function as a mechanism for evolutionary change. In other words, the mechanism itself becomes both the efficient and the final cause, whereas it is only the material-formal cause. The mechanism is intrinsic to the being, whereas the efficient and final causes are extrinsic. The mechanism cannot, therefore, be either efficient or final cause. As Fr. Jaki says: “The celebration by Darwinists ... of the saving of  teleology by Darwin, could only mean a not at all sophisticated encomium of mechanism.” Darwin wrote in 1870: “I cannot look at the universe as a result of blind chance. Yet I can see no evidence of beneficient design, or indeed any design of any kind, in the details.” Remarkable blindness!  Fr. Jaki comments:

Darwin was much too shortsighted philosophically to realize that in order to see design one needed, in addition to physical eyes, mental eyes. They alone can make a philosophical inference equivalent to registering the presence of design. (Purpose,  pp. 49-50)

Note well that Darwin did not need any supernatural help in making this inference. Quite the contrary. He needed only to use his natural reason. He was either too weak-minded to do this or he deliberately refused to recognize and submit to the evidences of his reasoning powers.

The final cause asks and answers the question: Why does this mechanism function the way it does? Darwin answered that it did so in order to perpetuate the good of the being at some future time by evolving it into some other kind of being or by making modifications that would ultimately lead to major changes in the nature of a being. He thus made the mechanism itself both the efficient and the final cause of things, which is impossible because it would make the being itself to be the cause of its own being. Darwin stated in Origin of Species (l859) that “natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being and “all corporeal and mental endowm
"Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

Offline klasG4e

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An incredible situation.  If the Index was still up and operating Fr. Robinson's book would surely be on it!


Offline VeritasLuxMea

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Quote
3. Haffner's Foreword contains references to "St. John Paul II" and "Blessed Paul VI."
I just received a copy of the book.

The forward by Fr Haffner does not contain the words "St. John Paul II" or "Blessed Paul VI" at all. 

There are three quotes from "Pope John Paul II", "Pope Paul VI" and "Pope Benedict XVI". That is how they are attributed in the foreword. No title of Saint or Blessed is given. I recall that the SSPX website disclaimed the references of "Saint" and "Blessed", fearing those were to be used, but obviously they objected and got them changed in the final edition. That is telling that a Novus Ordo priest and publishing arm would agree to remove that.

  • The quote of Paul VI is from the Credo of the People of God affirming that God has given man an intellect that can actually attain what things are and this is not merely some evolutionary thing.
  • Pope John Paul II is quoted from Fides et Ratio praising St. Thomas Aquinas and the importance of using right reason and philosophy which rejects opinions which are contrary to the Faith.
  • Benedict XVI's quote talks about the "realism" of the New Testament, rather than the presentation of God by way of figure and the importance of contact with reality.

Whatever objections you may have to the book or Fr Jaki (and they might be spot on), you clearly have not read the book. If you had, you would easily see that one of your main "salient facts" is in fact not factual. You're arguing against a straw man, not against the actual book.

If you then looked at those quotes you critique without having read them, would see there is nothing objectionable about the text itself. The problem is the other baggage that such Popes bring.

Critique all you want (it would be an interesting discussion to have, I think), but perhaps you want to actually take on the text and arguments rather than set up false straw men.

Offline Incredulous

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Veritas,

Your dropped $35 for the book, but did you read Miss Paula Haigh analysis yet?

If so, you can see where she filtered Fr. Jaki's works and found some serious errors.


References to the newChurch popes and Fr. Robinson's membership in the "Fr. Jaki Society" are incidental problems.

I believe the main problem with Fr. Robinson's book is that he's essentially promoting an old pagan cosmology heresy called Pythagoreanism.



Cassini did a nice job of exposing this error under the general topic Crisis in the Church: Fr. Robinson's pagan cosmology

Bottom line, with the SSPX's use of a series of home-grown, questionable scholars (from Cekada to Laisney, to Salza, Siscoe and Robinson) we can safely argue that it is not a scholarly religious order. :jester:

"Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

Offline Mr G

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http://sodalitium-pianum.com/a-response-to-vlm-on-cathinfo-regarding-fr-paul-robinsons-book/

A Response to “VLM” on Cathinfo Regarding Fr. Paul Robinson’s Book
By
Sean Johnson
4/9/18
 
[Today, a post appeared on Cathinfo which sought to rebut certain criticisms of Fr. Paul Robinson’s new book made by a member of that forum.  Below are my thoughts on that rebuttal, written in the form of a response.]
 
That Fr. Robinson was initially content to let the Foreword go to publication with the Saint/Blessed appellations affixed to JPII and Paul VI is the problem, and the SSPX having belatedly forced the publisher to amend the Foreword hardly diminishes that concern.
In fact, it almost seems as though that late amendment was in reaction to the scandal caused; that had there been no outcry, there would have been no amendment.

Yes, I am aware that it was earlier claimed that the publisher sent the book to press, allegedly without informing Fr. Robinson of the contents of the Foreword (and with Fr. Robinson himself apparently expressing no interest or concern as to what may have been written therein?).

That is hardly believable: I myself had a mere booklet published a couple years ago, with the Foreword written by a priest renowned for his excellent moral theology (whom I suspect you know well).  Even so, I still communicated with him 3-4 times on that subject to get every word right, before giving the “green light” to the publisher.

But I am to believe, apparently, that Fr. Robinson gave a Novus Ordo publisher the proverbial “blank check,” without any reservation whatsoever?  To me, that is an additional indictment, rather than an exoneration, of Fr. Robinson, as it seems to suggest that were a conciliar publisher to insert something conciliar into the Foreword, it would not be very concerning to Fr. Robinson.
I am often criticized for giving too much benefit of the doubt, but this is really stretching credulity.

In any case, I think your argument misses the forest for the trees:
In seeking to defend Fr. Robinson’s book, you have just come to the defense of three heretical Popes, and with arguments which are puzzling to me, to say the least:
  • It seems that you defend the quote of Paul VI by portraying him as anti-evolutionary and realist.  But you neglect to mention that Paul VI was a rabid modernist, one characteristic of which is that he often equivocated (i.e., saying something very traditional in one place, while proffering a contradictory thesis elsewhere).
Tell me if you think this quote by Cardinal Montini (made one year before becoming Paul VI) is “anti-evolutionary:”
“The Council should trace the line of Christian relativism, laying down how far the Catholic religion must act as the iron guardian of absolute values, and how far it can and must bend in its approach, in its connaturality with human life as it exists in time.[1]


That is the textbook definition of doctrinal relativism (i.e., doctrinal evolution).
In my opinion, therefore, your attempt to salvage the “appropriateness” of the reference is ill-advised, as it seems to evince a certain contentedness to mislead readers into believing that Paul VI was both realist and anti-evolutionary, though I suspect you know otherwise.
As an aside, it does not help your case that the majority of Paul VI’s “Credo of the People of God” was written by Jacques Maritain (who himself had fallen from his former Thomistic realism, into a modernist “personalism”).[2]
And if you are aware of all these things, then why bother writing a defense?  To do so suggests an insular “circle the wagons” mindset, which places the truth and good of souls second.

2. Your defense of the John Paul II quote fares no better: 
You mention that the quote from Fides et Ratio praises St. Thomas Aquinas, and the use of right reason and philosophy which rejects opinions contrary to the faith.

Yes, it does.

However, you omit to inform your readers that Pope John Paul II was a hypocrite, who, despite any lip-service he gave to St. Thomas Aquinas, was himself a phenomenologist who believed exactly the opposite of what St. Thomas (or any scholastic realist, for that matter) believed:

Husserl (founder of phenomenology[3]), whose system was embraced by JPII, posited that we make:
…some key conceptual elaborations which…assert that in order to study the structure of consciousness, one would have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the objects as intended). Knowledge of essences would only be possible by “bracketing” all assumptions about the existence of an external world.[4]
Surely you can understand how that kind of warped philosophy is directly responsible for ecumenism and universal salvationism: All religions are but manifestations (“pneumena”) of the one true God, whom some call Allah, others Buddha, etc.
Why does Fr. Robinson feel the need to sift an overtly modernist, second-rate philosopher in order to find something “traditional” to attribute to him?

Was citing St. Thomas Aquinas (or any other traditional author, for that matter) for some reason undesirable?  It certainly seems like it.

One could certainly form the suspicion that Fr. Robinson wanted to demonstrate a willingness to resort to modernist authors to gain Roman approval and send yet another signal to Rome that things are not what they used to be in the SSPX.
And before you “remind me” that it was Fr. Hafner who wrote the Foreword, and not Fr. Robinson, I tell you quite frankly that I do not believe Fr. Robinson was ignorant of what Fr. Hafner intended to publish, as was initially stated, but I digress…
3. The defense of Benedict XVI’s quote, portraying him as a scriptural realist, does not persuade for the same reasons: a disciple of Hegel[5] who believed that the thesis/antithesis dialectic found truth and resolution in a synthesis of opposites (e.g., Thesis: Traditional Latin Mass; Antithesis: Novus Ordo; Synthesis/Resolution: 1965-1967 Missal) is hardly an authority to be speaking of the realism which he rejects.

You accuse the author of the thread in question of beating at straw men, and of ignorance (hinting at bad disposition) for rendering an opinion before having read the latest edit of Fr. Robinson’s book, but you are wrong to do so:

Not only is the point on which you seek to refute him (i.e., the matter of the “saint” appellation) contained in the original Foreword (which he has certainly read, and therefore by your own standard, entitled to render an opinion on the matter), but it was the SSPX itself which initially objected to that appellation.  Why then are you now defending the quotes of these modernist Popes as though they were traditional, when a few weeks ago the SSPX was making the same objection on this point that the OP is making today?
I will tell you why, since I have been online long enough to recognize this debate tactic:

You tried to get in a cheap “gotcha,” knowing the author of the OP had not read the book (and therefore could not know that the SSPX had slyly removed references to the saint appellation in the Foreword); you wrongly try to discredit him on that score, even though the topic at hand pertains exclusively to the Foreword.

That’s an old Bill Clinton trick: If you can’t win the argument, assassinate the character.
I can assure you that your attentions and energies are misspent in debating him, when they would be much more productive bringing Fr. Robinson back into line (or perhaps he is no longer considered out of line, but perfectly in line with the neo-SSPX?).
Meanwhile, I fully recognize that in focusing on this petty “saint” issue, you are diverting the conversation away from much more serious matters:
  • What in the world is going on in the head of Fr. Robinson?
  • Why is he mesmerized by the dead modernist, Fr. Jaki?
  • Why, with 600 (allegedly non-modernist) colleagues, is he turning to Fr. Hafner for a Foreword?
  • Why did he have this Novus Ordo publisher publish his work?
(Note: The only other instance of an SSPX priest having his work published by a non-SSPX publisher of which I am aware was Fr. Celier’s notorious “Benedict XVI and the Traditionalists,” which did such damage to the SSPX 11 years ago.  He actually had his Freemasonic friend, Jean Luc Maxence -a blasphemer (!) and hater of Archbishop Lefebvre- write the Foreword to it.[6]
Could it be that when the SSPX suspects a great scandal will arise from a book they want published, they try to deflect a certain amount of responsibility by having it published out of house, in case they should later want to avail themselves of plausible deniability?)
  • Why is the SSPX not condemning him publicly, but instead circling the wagons in his defense?
  • Why is the SSPX not spending the same amount of energy with which it has marketed and defended Fr. Robinson’s book reaffirming its belief in the traditional, patristic understanding of Genesis?
I could write articles speculating on answers to these latter questions, but the point is sufficiently made already.
 
 
[1] Amerio, R.  Iota Unum, p. 67
[2] http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2008/06/credo-of-people-of-god-written-by.html
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Husserl
[4] Ibid.
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Wilhelm_Friedrich_Hegel
[6] Google: “Jean Luc Maxence Fr. Celier,” and you will get some scary results.  Yet I have never read or heard that Fr. Celier received any disciplinary consequences from Menzingen for this outrage.  On the contrary, SSPX.org has excerpted from that perfidious work, for example in the article “How to Interpret Archbishop Lefebvre” here: http://sspx.org/en/how-interpret-archbishop-lefebvre


Offline TKonkel

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It is difficult to get a handle on what exactly it is that some here are objecting to regarding Fr. Robinson's book.  For Sean Govan and others the problem seems to be the forward of the book and the association with a Novus Ordo publisher.  Regarding the forward, Fr. Robinson had an insert placed in many of the books distributed around St. Marys indicating that the forward was put in without his knowledge and approval and his insert indicated that he and the SSPX have issues with the recent canonizations.  Sean, it seems prefers to essentially call Fr. Robinson a liar ("That is hardly believable"; "But I am to believe, apparently...") when he explains the situation regarding the forward.  So under this reading of the situation, the SSPX in general and Fr. Robinson in particular really had / have no issues with speaking about "Blessed Paul VI" and "St. John Paul II" and we have no good reason to believe them when they tell us that they do have issues in this regard.  We are supposed to take them as duplicitous because Sean Govan tells us we should.  Do we have any other evidence to bring to bare on the issue of Fr. Robinson's take on recent canonizations?  Is there any evidence which would show that Fr. Robinson really is just fine with speaking about St. John Paul II?  It seems that prior to attributing duplicity to Fr. Robinson, one would want to have some firm evidence at hand.  
Regarding the issues of the publisher:  Perhaps Fr. Robinson thought that a different publisher would allow for a wider distribution of the book than would be possible had the book been published by the Angelus Press.  I do not know but one could simply ask Fr. Robinson if this is such a burning question in the minds of some.  I have no idea whether or not Fr. Robinson would be inclined to answer the question though one suspects that no matter how he were to answer the question some would find a way to find fault with the answer.

What is more interesting to me is the actual science / philosophy / theology that is at issue.  Mrs. Haigh notes the following: 
 
"A fatal flaw of our culture is its commitment to a world view which rejects any knowledge other than the “scientific”. That science itself in no way warrants this savage reductionism is the crux of Fr. Jaki’s message.

If this is really the crux of Fr. Jaki’s message, then no one could disagree with him on any rational grounds.

However, it is my contention that what Fr. Jaki means by science and the progress of science is not entirely clear. That he accepts the scientific method of empiricism seems evident from all his works, and it is also my contention that this method, by rigorously and on principle, ruling out God is a self-inflicted reductionism, not only savage but diabolical in origin."

Various sciences have their own proper subject matters, principles, and methods of proceeding and they proceed with different degrees of certitude.  This is pure Aristotle and St. Thomas.  In the Nic Ethics for instance Aristotle points out that it is a sign of a lack of wisdom to demand the same method and certitude be applied to one science as to another.  He also mentions, when looking for the good of man, that a consideration of Plato's Subsisting Goodness Itself really belongs to another science (metaphysics) and so it is inappropriate to consider in the Ethics.  While the carpenter who proceeds by way of hammer and saw makes an "exact" fit for the window to 1/16th of an inch, the neurosurgeon finds his patient dead if he is within 1/16th of an inch.  He uses different tools (methods).  
The methods of modern experimental science are very different than science as outlined in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, although I do think that modern experimental science falls under Aristotle's natural philosophy since it has the same goals and subject matter though it proceeds by a very different method.  Modern science focuses on the quantitative / metric aspect of matter insofar as it can be measured.  Modern experimental science by definition is approximative and could never conclude demonstratively as in demonstrative science as understood by Aristotle (Aristotle and St. Thomas did recognize a relationship similar to that between natural science and modern experimental science when they spoke about the relationship between natural science and the "applied sciences" of astronomy and optics for instance).  Modern science examines nature in light of natural principles and would have nothing to say regarding philosophical notions such as the ultimate purpose of nature, man's order in nature, ontological causes, etc.  This is not "reductionism" it is the recognition that various sciences have various subjects, principles and methods.  It belongs to the philosopher to understand how these various sciences fit together and what the various conclusions / theories can tell us in light of more philosophical / theological questions.  The problem is not modern science as such but rather when modern scientists, such as Richard Dawkins, put on their philosopher's cap and start attempting to tell us about what their discoveries mean for questions such as the purpose (or lack of) of life, the existence of God etc.  "Creationists" make the same fundamental error when they essentially agree with the premises of atheistic scientism (really philosophy, not science) and instead of rejecting God and purpose, reject science.  

Out of curiosity...  Are most creationists here of the opinion that the universe is quite young (6-10,000 yrs old)?  Is that the "modernist problem" with Fr. Robinson's book?  

A couple quotes to keep in mind:
Augustin Literal Meaning of Genesis BK I, ch.19
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field in which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although "they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion."

<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-font-charset:78; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1791491579 18 0 131231 0;} @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073743103 0 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> St. Thomas Aquinas II Sent., dist. 12, q. 1, art. 2, corp.   Whether all things were created simultaneously, distinct in species?
“For certain things are per se the substance of the Faith, as that God is three and one, and other things of this kind, in which no one is authorized to think otherwise. Thus the Apostle says in Galatians 1 that if an angel of God preached diversely from what he had taught, let him be anathema. But certain things (pertain to the faith) only incidentally (per accidens), inasmuch, that is, as they are handed down in Scripture, which faith supposes to have been promulgated under the dictation of the Holy Spirit. And these things can without danger remain unknown by those who are not held to be knowledgeable about the Scriptures, for example, many items of history. In these things even the Fathers have thought differently and have explained the Scriptures in different ways. So, therefore, with regard to the beginning of the world, there is something which pertains to the substance of the Faith, namely, that the world was created to begin with. And this all the Fathers agree in saying. But how and in what order it was made does not pertain to the Faith except per accidens, inasmuch as it is presented in Scripture, the truth of which the Fathers retained in their varying explanations as they arrived at different conclusions.
 
 For Augustine maintains that at the very beginning of creation certain things were separated out by species in their own proper nature, such as the elements, the celestial bodies, and the spiritual substances, while other things were distinguished in seminal reasons only, such as animals, plants, and men, and that all of these latter things were later produced in their own natures in the activity by which after those six days God governs nature created beforehand. Concerning this activity in Jn 5:17 it is stated: "My Father works even until now, and I work." (For Augustine) in the distinguishing of things the focus is not on an order of time, but of nature and of teaching. Of nature, just as sound precedes song by nature but not in time, thus things that are prior in nature are recorded earlier, as the earth is mentioned before the animals and water before the fish, and so with the other things. And of teaching order, as is evident in the teaching of geometry, for although the parts of a figure make up the figure without any order of time, nevertheless, geometry teaches that the construction is made by extending line after line. And this was the example of Plato, as it is said at the beginning of the De caelo et mundo. Thus also Moses, in instructing an unlettered people regarding the creation of the world, divided into parts the things that were made at the same time.


 Ambrose, on the other hand, and other Fathers claim that an order of time was observed in the cutting out of things, and this position is both more common and seemingly more in keeping with the surface of the literal sense (littera). But the former opinion (that of Augustine) is more reasonable and defends Sacred Scripture more from the derision of non-believers, a factor which Augustine, in his Letter of Genesis (bk. I, ch. 19) teaches us is to be kept well in mind, so that the Scriptures may be expounded in such a way that they not be mocked by nonbelievers. This opinion pleases me more. Nevertheless, replies in support of both positions will be given to all of the objections.


Offline SeanJohnson

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My Dear Mr. Konkel-

If you can't even pay enough attention to the article to get my name right, what hope have I that you have paid enough attention to understand or reflect upon the arguments?

It seems your greatest argument against what I have written is the accusation of dishonesty pertaining to the alleged denial of knowledge regarding the content of the Foreward to Fr. Robinson's book (i.e., You accuse me of accusing Fr. Robinson of lying)?

First, let me point out to you that Fr. Robinson, to the best of my knowledge, has not said anything publicly on the matter of the Foreword: It has been the SSPX which has put the words into his mouth, and it is therefore with them that my accusation rests (on this count, anyway).

I had a good belly laugh when you responded that Fr. Robinson had placed disclaimers inside the copies of his book sold in St. Mary's.  Quite a long reach, doing that all the way from Australia (and doing it in St. Mary's, but nowhere else?)!  Any thinking person realizes that the District placed those disclaimers there.

But I do understand your reaction, since in your very own town, one with a name greater than mine has levied the very same accusation of lying against the District:

The following was posted on the Irish Resistance blog Tradcatresist.blogspot.com" by Mr. Andrew Senior (Professor at St. Mary's College, and son of the late, great Dr. John Senior, and man I hold in perpetual esteem):

"By a not so strange coincidence, I received in the mail today a fundraising letter from Fr. Wegner. It begins by saying: "It was tumultuous year, filled with great expectations and great confusion. . . Indeed it was a year in which so much confusion emanated from Rome that our own Bishop Bernard Fellay signed a public filial correction of the Pope for the grave errors presented in Amoris Laetitia." So far so good, but then he goes on to add to the confusion by saying: "In March, we received the surprise announcement that Pope Francis had taken the steps to remove all doubt concerning the validity of marriages celebrated by priests of the Society."

I contend that this announcement was not a surprise at all, it was a pre-arranged trap. And there never was any doubt about the validity of marriages, or confessions (or the bogus excommunication!) certainly not in the mind of Archbishop Lefebvre!"

In other words, Mr. Senior -a man from good stock- also sees fit to question the honesty surrounding these recent maneuvers and scandals.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Semper Idem,
Sean Johnson




Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

-I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


Offline SeanJohnson

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Sorry, the 14 second editing window closed before I could clarify:

Mr. Senior did not post the words on tradcatresist.blogspot.com, but rather, that blog posted his words.

Semper Idem,
Sean Johnson
Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

-I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-



Offline TKonkel

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Yes, please note the correction and my apology to Sean Govan insofar as I inadvertently typed Govan instead of Johnson.  

Offline Incredulous

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From the trad farm :farmer:

Rebuttal to TKonkel's critique of Miss Paula Haigh analysis of Fr. Jaki's "science"


Quote from: TKonkel
  Various sciences have their own proper subject matters, principles, and methods of proceeding and they proceed with different degrees of certitude.  This is pure Aristotle and St. Thomas.  In the Nic Ethics for instance Aristotle points out that it is a sign of a lack of wisdom to demand the same method and certitude be applied to one science as to another.  He also mentions, when looking for the good of man, that a consideration of Plato's Subsisting Goodness Itself really belongs to another science (metaphysics) and so it is inappropriate to consider in the Ethics.


You point out that the various sciences are distinguished according to their formal objects, foundational principles or laws, and methods. But all the branches of science, both speculative and empirical, are unified by their relationship to and participation in objective truth. Nothing calling itself a science can depart from truth and yet retain the name of "science."

The various branches of science are far from equal in dignity of formal object, source of knowledge, degree of certitude, and universality of principles. It does absolutely no good to point out that there are distinctions among the sciences, and that each science enjoys a certain scope and latitude within its own sphere of activity, if the fact that they exist in a real hierarchy, and the fact that the principles of the two highest sciences, Sacred Theology and Metaphysics, apply to and govern all of the principles, laws, axioms, and theses of the lower sciences, is not also brought forward.

I must point out that you are applying a strawman argument to the theses of Miss Haigh. In none of her papers does she "demand that the same method and certitude be applied to one science as to another." Rather she demands that all scientists - from the theologian to the philosopher to the biologist to the physicist - respect the hierarchy of the sciences, and give place to Sacred Theology, the Queen of all the sciences, and to Metaphysics, the Handmaiden of the Queen.

Sacred Theology is the highest of all the sciences because it has the Omnipotent Creator for its formal object, and because the source of its knowledge is Divine Revelation. See the Summa, Part 1, q. 1.

It is categorically impossible for a principle or axiom of any lower science to contradict Sacred Theology and be true. Likewise, Metaphysics, whose formal object, existence as such, is the most universal of all the formal objects of all the other sciences, and which is a speculative rather than an empirical discipline, holds the first place among the natural sciences; and its principles necessarily govern their inquiries and findings. 

As we find in all the legitimate endeavors of men, so we find in the sciences hierarchical structure and binding authority.

Paula Haigh's overarching thesis is simple, straightforward, and eminently Catholic: The truths and principles of Sacred Theology and Thomistic Metaphysics apply to, and are implicitly contained within the body of knowledge of each and every lower science. These two supreme sciences, one supernatural and the other natural, govern and oversee the operations of the lower disciplines, thereby maintaining order, clarity, and unification of truth.

If an axiom, hypothesis, or theory belonging to a lower material science contradicts Sacred Theology, Catholic Doctrine, or one of the Twenty Four Thesis of Thomistic Philosophy, they are categorically false, pernicious, and dangerously contagious.

Miss Haigh's overarching thesis is that the revolt against the Lord and against His Christ (the great apostasy prophesied in Psalm 2) is especially active and deadly in the sciences, from the top to the bottom. Modernism has infected Theology. Phenomenology, Hegelianism, and a host of other vicious falsities have invaded Metaphysis and Philosophy. Darwin has sullied the biological sciences. Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein and others have grossly perverted Cosmology, Physics and Mathematics. Came the revolt; came the chaos, came the disorder, came the distopia.

Quote from: TKonkel
Out of curiosity...  Are most creationists here of the opinion that the universe is quite young (6-10,000 yrs old)?


The age of the world is not the subject matter of opinion. It is the constant teaching of the Church. See the entire Patristic Deposit, the entire Sacred Liturgy (Mass and Divine Office), and the Roman Martyrology for December 25th. It is so difficult for us moderns to wrap our minds around the fact that the "long ages of the earth" myth has never, ever belonged to the mind of the Church. Only the children of this age find themselves perplexed.


Regarding your quote from St. Augustine on the disgrace of Christians who don't know their natural science.methinks you insert, by implication, a fact not at all in evidence; namely that creationists, in believing the silly things they believe, are ignorant of the grand and penetrating truths the evolutionists possess. You are arguing both from logical fallacies and from propaganda talking points, if you are arguing at all.   
"Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

Offline SeanJohnson

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  • Ps: Yes, I do believe the literal biblical account as determining the age of the world to be approximately 7,000 years-old.
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-



    Offline TKonkel

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  • The age of the world is not the subject matter of opinion. It is the constant teaching of the Church. See the entire Patristic Deposit, the entire Sacred Liturgy (Mass and Divine Office), and the Roman Martyrology for December 25th. It is so difficult for us moderns to wrap our minds around the fact that the "long ages of the earth" myth has never, ever belonged to the mind of the Church. Only the children of this age find themselves perplexed.
    Are you at all concerned that you pit all of modern science (physics, geology, chemistry, astronomy, biology etc) against your reading of what the Catholic Church teaches on the matter of the age of the earth and universe?  Is there not even just a little bit of fear and trepidation that you may perhaps be in the position of doing what Augustine and Aquinas warn us about, i.e. making a mockery of the faith by essentially telling others that their choice is between God and Catholic truth on the one hand and what reason seems to tell us regarding the natural world on the other?  Many (most?) who recognize that we do obtain truth through scientific analyses of the natural world are left with the choice of either denying what reason seems to show and accepting Catholic truth, or denying Catholic truth.  We can only hope that they will understand that your reading of Catholic truth might be a be a bit defective and that the choice is not faith or reason but faith and reason.        
    Prior to the 19th century, most everyone, including scientist with no particular religious bent had no reason not to assume that the universe was young.  Beginning in the 19th century evidence from all of the various sciences began to show quite conclusively that the earth and the universe was in fact very old.  This leaves two choices for a young earth proponent (1) recognize what reason shows with regard to the age of the earth as a truth revealed by the God of nature to man's rational faculty and incorporate that truth in our understanding of science, philosophy, and theology or (2) reject what reason seems to show and claim that reason's investigation of nature is faulty since it is at odds with our reading of Scripture, the Fathers etc.  
    Young earth creationists opt for the second.  It should be recognized that even most young earth creationists accept that all the evidence at least "appears" to indicate an old age.  For instance, one of the most famous young earth creationists, Henry Morris, in his "Genesis Flood," states the following:  "There are many cases now known where the age estimate has been checked by two or more different methods, independently.  It would seem improbable that the elements concerned would each have been altered in such a way as to continue to give equal ages; therefore such agreement between independent measurements would seem to be strong evidence that alteration has not occurred and that the indicated age is therefore valid."(p.343-344)
    How do Morris and others solve the conundrum?  They do a 180 and explain that this is exactly what we would have expected from the Biblical account:  "We reply, however, that the Biblical outline of earth history, with the geological framework provided thereby, would lead us to postulate exactly this state of the radioactivity evidence.  We would expect radiogenic minerals to indicate very large ages and we would expect different elements in the same mineral, or different minerals in the same formation to agree with each other."(p.344)  "...all such elements would, when created, give an "appearance" of the same degree of maturity or of age." (p.354)
    So scientists spent 100's of years to lay the foundation for modern geology, the discovery of radioactivity, the development of technology for radiometric dating, and the young earth creationists knew all along what the answer would be.  They knew all along that the earth would "appear" old.  This is curious. 
    So on this reading we go back approximately 10,000 years to creation week and God decided, not just to make the earth appear old, but to make it appear a specific age.  He intentionally fashioned the earth to look 4.5 billion years old.  
    When we look at stars millions of light years away we are looking into the past.  The nearest star other than the sun is 4 light years away.  So it takes four years for that light to reach our eye and what we are seeing is the star as it was four years ago.  The same goes for stars millions of light years away.  Since, it seems, God wanted Adam to enjoy the starry night sky, He not only created the stars, but He also created the intervening protons at the same time.  Further, every event witnessed at a distance (anything more than 10,000 light years away)by the Hubbell space telescope and other astronomical instruments are absolutely fictitious.  This includes the disintegration of stars, the gravitational effects of black holes, etc.  None of these things actually happened.  They were all constructed, artificially in order to give the cosmos an appearance of old age.  On this reading every astronomical event greater than 10,000 yrs old is a fiction.  The Creator intentionally fashioned a bogus astronomical history extending as far back into space as our instruments can probe.  
    This sort of view is anything but Catholic and it finds its roots in some of the worst strains of Protestant thought.  This sort of thinking has profound consequences for science as well as theology.  
    St. Thomas had very harsh words to say regarding those in his day who wanted to deny secondary causality in nature in order to attempt to elevate divine causality (See SCG BK III, ch 19).  This view undercuts the very attempt of reason to understand the world we live in insofar as it posits that reason cannot but be deceived in its investigations of the natural world.  And what does it say about a Creator who intentionally fashions a universe with a consistent but fictitious appearance of age seemingly meant to fool us as inhabitants of this universe?  
    I consider myself to be a Thomist and I take St. Thomas as my chief teacher in matters of philosophy and theology.  I am pretty confident that if St. Thomas was around today he would attempt to incorporate our scientific understanding of the world into his philosophical / theological principles.  He would no doubt take science to have corrected some of the scientific thoughts of his day which he accepted (though not necessarily his philosophical principles).  In today's world I would think that he would not hold, for instance, that light was instantaneous, that the heavenly bodies are eternal and incorruptible in themselves, that the most fundamental elements are earth, air, fire, and water, etc.  He would be very interested in hearing about new discoveries and what they tell us about our world and the amazing and vast Cosmos which God has given us wonder at and explore in an attempt to understand.  
    May I ask a serious question?  Are you at least open to the possibility that perhaps what reason seems to show us with regard to the age of the earth and universe (that it is very old) can be reconciled with a sound reading of Scripture and traditional Catholic thought?  

    Offline SeanJohnson

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  • Are you at all concerned that you pit all of modern science (physics, geology, chemistry, astronomy, biology etc) against your reading of what the Catholic Church teaches on the matter of the age of the earth and universe?  Is there not even just a little bit of fear and trepidation that you may perhaps be in the position of doing what Augustine and Aquinas warn us about, i.e. making a mockery of the faith by essentially telling others that their choice is between God and Catholic truth on the one hand and what reason seems to tell us regarding the natural world on the other?  Many (most?) who recognize that we do obtain truth through scientific analyses of the natural world are left with the choice of either denying what reason seems to show and accepting Catholic truth, or denying Catholic truth.  We can only hope that they will understand that your reading of Catholic truth might be a be a bit defective and that the choice is not faith or reason but faith and reason.        
    Prior to the 19th century, most everyone, including scientist with no particular religious bent had no reason not to assume that the universe was young.  Beginning in the 19th century evidence from all of the various sciences began to show quite conclusively that the earth and the universe was in fact very old.  This leaves two choices for a young earth proponent (1) recognize what reason shows with regard to the age of the earth as a truth revealed by the God of nature to man's rational faculty and incorporate that truth in our understanding of science, philosophy, and theology or (2) reject what reason seems to show and claim that reason's investigation of nature is faulty since it is at odds with our reading of Scripture, the Fathers etc.  
    Young earth creationists opt for the second.  It should be recognized that even most young earth creationists accept that all the evidence at least "appears" to indicate an old age.  For instance, one of the most famous young earth creationists, Henry Morris, in his "Genesis Flood," states the following:  "There are many cases now known where the age estimate has been checked by two or more different methods, independently.  It would seem improbable that the elements concerned would each have been altered in such a way as to continue to give equal ages; therefore such agreement between independent measurements would seem to be strong evidence that alteration has not occurred and that the indicated age is therefore valid."(p.343-344)
    How do Morris and others solve the conundrum?  They do a 180 and explain that this is exactly what we would have expected from the Biblical account:  "We reply, however, that the Biblical outline of earth history, with the geological framework provided thereby, would lead us to postulate exactly this state of the radioactivity evidence.  We would expect radiogenic minerals to indicate very large ages and we would expect different elements in the same mineral, or different minerals in the same formation to agree with each other."(p.344)  "...all such elements would, when created, give an "appearance" of the same degree of maturity or of age." (p.354)
    So scientists spent 100's of years to lay the foundation for modern geology, the discovery of radioactivity, the development of technology for radiometric dating, and the young earth creationists knew all along what the answer would be.  They knew all along that the earth would "appear" old.  This is curious.
    So on this reading we go back approximately 10,000 years to creation week and God decided, not just to make the earth appear old, but to make it appear a specific age.  He intentionally fashioned the earth to look 4.5 billion years old.  
    When we look at stars millions of light years away we are looking into the past.  The nearest star other than the sun is 4 light years away.  So it takes four years for that light to reach our eye and what we are seeing is the star as it was four years ago.  The same goes for stars millions of light years away.  Since, it seems, God wanted Adam to enjoy the starry night sky, He not only created the stars, but He also created the intervening protons at the same time.  Further, every event witnessed at a distance (anything more than 10,000 light years away)by the Hubbell space telescope and other astronomical instruments are absolutely fictitious.  This includes the disintegration of stars, the gravitational effects of black holes, etc.  None of these things actually happened.  They were all constructed, artificially in order to give the cosmos an appearance of old age.  On this reading every astronomical event greater than 10,000 yrs old is a fiction.  The Creator intentionally fashioned a bogus astronomical history extending as far back into space as our instruments can probe.  
    This sort of view is anything but Catholic and it finds its roots in some of the worst strains of Protestant thought.  This sort of thinking has profound consequences for science as well as theology.  
    St. Thomas had very harsh words to say regarding those in his day who wanted to deny secondary causality in nature in order to attempt to elevate divine causality (See SCG BK III, ch 19).  This view undercuts the very attempt of reason to understand the world we live in insofar as it posits that reason cannot but be deceived in its investigations of the natural world.  And what does it say about a Creator who intentionally fashions a universe with a consistent but fictitious appearance of age seemingly meant to fool us as inhabitants of this universe?  
    I consider myself to be a Thomist and I take St. Thomas as my chief teacher in matters of philosophy and theology.  I am pretty confident that if St. Thomas was around today he would attempt to incorporate our scientific understanding of the world into his philosophical / theological principles.  He would no doubt take science to have corrected some of the scientific thoughts of his day which he accepted (though not necessarily his philosophical principles).  In today's world I would think that he would not hold, for instance, that light was instantaneous, that the heavenly bodies are eternal and incorruptible in themselves, that the most fundamental elements are earth, air, fire, and water, etc.  He would be very interested in hearing about new discoveries and what they tell us about our world and the amazing and vast Cosmos which God has given us wonder at and explore in an attempt to understand.  
    May I ask a serious question?  Are you at least open to the possibility that perhaps what reason seems to show us with regard to the age of the earth and universe (that it is very old) can be reconciled with a sound reading of Scripture and traditional Catholic thought?  

    Dear Mr. Konkel-

    You are an interesting peerson to me.

    Kind of like a science project of sorts.

    May I ask you some questions?

    1) Are you an SSPX Catholic?

    2) Are you sure that a so-called "modern science" which opposes the common understanding of most of the Church Fathers is really science so-called?

    3) "Is there not even just a little bit of fear and trepidation" that most of the world's scientists who hold the "old earth" theory are not traditional Catholic (and that consequently, their work is not guided by the conclusions of faith)?

    4) Does that last question secretly revolt and embarrass you (i.e., to think that the conclusions of faith should set parameters to scientific inquiry)?

    5) Is there not just a little bit of fear and trepidation within you that the old earth argument -like the evolution hoax- is really a thinly veiled attack on the Faith, and that it is a necessary underpinning of evolution (i.e., no old earth, no evolution)?

    6) Is there not just a little fear and trepidation within you that if the nearly universally anti-Christ, anti-Catholic "scientific" community can "err" (in parenthesis because it is usually a deliberate attack, not a good faith err) in the matter of evolution, it can err in the matter of the age of the earth?

    7) Does it not fill you with at least a little bit of fear and trepidation that the global so-called scientific community accepts the legitimacy of evolution?

    8 Does it not fill you with at least a little bit of fear and trepidation that if the so-called "scientific" community arrives at conclusions like evolution (which directly contradicts the doctrine of monogenism), that by the very logic of your argument, you ought to be conforming to that opinion (rather than dismissing it in favor of the faith)?

    9) Do you accept evolution?

    10) Has you faith been damaged, such that were you forced to accept the Patristic understanding of the 6,000 year-old earth, you would apostatize?

    11) Is the old earth theory a dogma for you?

    12) If the faith must conform itself to the latest so-called scientific findings, and those findings are constantly changing, are you not thereby endorsing (at least implicitly and unwittingly) doctrinal evolution?

    13) Notice how evolution keeps popping up, in one context or another?

    14) When "scientific" discoveries arise which contradict previously "discovered" principles, will you have to disavow all those you so revere today, admitting they erred, and you were wrong to have sided with the atheists and modernists against the Fathers of the Church?

    15) Is there not even a little bit of fear and trepidation within you that many of those you revere as scientists offer arguments in favor of a young earth?  Are such as those somehow nonobjective, uneducated, and biased embarrassments to science, despite their credentials?

    16) Do articles like this one cause you not even a little fear and tredpidation, or are they somehow "unscientific" for having arrived at an undesirable conclusion: https://answersingenesis.org/evidence-for-creation/six-evidences-of-young-earth/

    17) Is there not even a little fear and trepidation within you that you have been deceived, and may be on the way to eroding your faith to the tenets of rationalism and modernism (of the Fr. Jaki variety) if you don't reconsider some of the fundamental errors of your false principles (e.g., That we must accept the so-called scientific conclusions of atheistic or modernist "scientists," and conform the faith to their conclusions, which is already evolution)?

    Thank you in advance.

    Semper Idem,
    Sean Johnson
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Offline SeanJohnson

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  • By the way:

    VLM has 24 posts in 21 months (all in defense of the SSPX)

    TKonkel has only 6 posts in 2 years (3 of which are on this subject in the last couple days), all of which defend SSPX priests.

    Are you smelling what I'm cooking?

    Looks like the trolls are bringing the "sleeper accounts" back to life.

    But is it really just the SSPX defending the SSPX again (i.e., Activating their assets to run damage control)?

    Does anyone with more than 200 posts have anything to say in favor of Fr. Robinson's book?
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Offline klasG4e

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  • Does anyone with more than 200 posts have anything to say in favor of Fr. Robinson's book?
    I'm in favor of the book being tossed into a fire where it may actually do some good in providing light rather than darkness.

     

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