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New book on the fallacies of the “historical-critical” method July 16, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in attachments, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, scandals, secularism, Tradition, Virtue.
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Some readers may already be aware, but for those who are not, the “historical-critical” method is a form of Bible study which has been around for perhaps 200 years in full force, but which really got going when Chancellor Bismarck of Germany needed to find a weapon to allow his protestant-Prussian dominated government to use to undermine the Catholic south of the recently amalgamated Germany (Germany not coming into being as a nation-state until 1870). Bismarck helped fund and direct efforts by proto-modernist protestants to attack Catholic views of Scripture. The prime one that was latched on had already been around for a while, but had not gained much traction until Germany’s state-funded scholars got formally underway in their attempts to undermine the Faith.  This was all part of a broader “kulturkampf,” or culture war, deliberately waged by Bismarck to undermine the Catholic Faith.

Since Bismarck’s heyday, modernists have latched onto the historical-critical method as a prime means of advancing their agenda and undermining traditional interpretations of Scripture sanctioned by the Church. For a very long time, the Church refused to recognize historical-critical methods as valid, but as modernism gained traction in the Church this prohibition fell, like so many others. By the time of Vatican II, modernist Catholic Scriptural exegetes were pretty much dominant, the various centers of Scriptural study at the Vatican being under the leadership of the likes of Cardinal Bea.  Since Vatican II, the Church has been kind of cat and mouse with the historical-critical method.  As an example, Pope Benedict used this method in some of his works, but also criticized it at times.  He essentially stated it’s use is “permissible” but that it should not be overly relied upon – I guess he added this because the H-C method so often drives people to conclusions antithetical to the Faith.

Anyway, enough background, Pertinacious Papist reports very excitedly about Scott Hahn’s new book that, to the Papist, shatters the erroneous presumptions of the historical-critical method:

So I am delighted that now, finally, someone has tackled head-on the overwhelming bias of modern “historical criticism,” long treated as though it were something scientific, neutral and objective. The authors have painstakingly analyzed and exposed the uncritically-assumed philosophical biases underlying modern “higher criticism,” showing in many cases how these assumptions were embraced for political reasons. From the late-medieval nominalist sources and concomitant univocal conceptions of God up through 17th century critics, the authors leave nearly no stone unturned.  Interestingly, their books ends where others usually begin, thus giving the sorely missing background to later developments.

The book, of course, is Scott W. Hahn and Benjamin Wiker’s Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture 1300-1700(Crossroads, Herder & Herder, 2013).

Chapters are devoted to Marsilius of Padua, William of Ockham, John Wycliffe, Machiavelli, Luther & the ‘Reformation’, England and Henry VIII, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinioza, the Enlightenment, Richard Simon, John Locke, and John Toland. I was surprised there was no mention of the indirect influence of Islamic traditions of Qur’anic interpretation on western Biblical interpretation,  [I had no idea islamic methods made up part of the rationale behind the historical-critical method] and I might have devoted far more attention to the influence of Kantian philosophical assumptions on the “Jesus of History” vs. “Christ of Faith” dichotomy, and of the neo-Kantians (and, later, of Heidegger) on thinkers like Barth and Bultmann.

Yet this is an invaluable and truly ground-breaking study, and one I recommend to ANYONE (and certainly students of Scripture) interested in making their way safely through the minefields of contemporary Biblical studies and the widely and uncritically accepted historical-critical assumptions such as the Documentary Hypothesis, ‘JEDP’ source criticism in the OT (which I have seen even in footnotes of NAB Catholic Study Bibles!), redaction criticism, form criticism, Q as the source of Mark, etc.

One final note. If you want a study Bible that is truly devoid of modernist influences – and I have gotten this recommendation from several very orthodox priests – get the Haydock Study Bible. It is available online for free (although, I think some of the notes are condensed a bit), or you can buy the excellent print version from Loreto Pubs. This print version also contains an extensive Scripture dictionary and a history of Scripture, neither of which I have found online.  It is absolutely essential for any faithful Catholic, to my mind, to have a truly orthodox study bible, and Haydock is certainly that.  I cannot recommend it highly enough – it is far superior to any other study bibles I’ve found, like Ignatius, and it blows the highly dangerous Jerome, New Jerome, and even New American Bible commentaries out of the water.

In my opinion.

At this point, shouldn’t the Jesuits be supressed? July 16, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, priests, religious, sadness, scandals, self-serving.
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Perhaps I should say, suppressed, again?  They were once, in 1773, for controversial reasons. But I see little controversy today.  The Jesuits are so completely, totally far gone, I have to wonder, can they be reformed under their present constitution, and with their present membership? Or must they go away for several decades, perhaps a lifetime, and then, possibly, be reconstituted in saner times, under saner conditions?

I could easily write a book on the depradations of the Jesuits against the Faith (indeed, Malachi Martin did write such a book).  The Jesuits are probably the group more responsible, collectively, for souls leaving the Faith, than any other.  Teilhard de Chardin was hardly an outlier- his mentor George Tyrell was extremely popular in the Jesuits, and was possibly even more devastating in his modernism than de Chardin. And Tyrell was removed from the order almost 100 years ago, at papal insistence. That is how long the Jesuits have been lost, and I’m sure it goes back well before that.

I think it reasonable to ask: have the Jesuits, over time, made an idol of learning and reason?  Such have always been foundational aspects of the Jesuit charism, but as time went on that foundation has, seemingly, consumed the order, to where reason and study, now almost wholly subsumed in condemned modernism, have become the sole focus of the Jesuits existence, even when that “reason” leads so many Jesuits to reject Dogma.  The Jesuits have thus long been in the vanguard of the explosion of modernism in the Church, and played key roles in the revolution unleashed on the Church several decades ago, because their learning led them to accept so many “scientific” principles like evolution.  Modernism was, in essence, an attempt to reconcile the Catholic Faith with evolutionary theory.  The devastating results of this effort speak for themselves: there is no quicker path out of the Faith than accepting modernist presuppositions.  Jesuits baneful influence was perhaps most felt in women’s religious orders, where it is now almost a cliche to attribute the fall of this or that order of nuns to some Jesuit influence.

Of course, there have remained a few good Jesuits slogging away, but they have had no influence at all over the general direction of the order. Men like Fr. John Hardon and a few others were simply not numerous enough to affect the order overall.

A couple of minor recent examples. An 80 year old Jesuit has left the order and renounced the priesthood, laicizing himself, over the Church’s unwillingness to accept the sexular pagan zietgeist by ordaining women and condoning homosexual simulation of marriage. I guess we should not be surprised, that even though this man has long held heretical views, he has been teaching impressionable young minds at ostensibly Catholic Creighton University for the past 14 years. I wonder how many souls he’s driven from the Faith?  His neo-paganism is evident from his parting screed:

In his letter, he strongly argues that the Church should place a much greater focus on environmental concerns, even stating that the Church should turn its attention “from saving souls to saving the planet.”  [For the committed leftist/modernist, there are no personal sins, only collective, “structural” ones.  Like gerbal worming, and non-socialist economic systems.  I fear he will have a terrible shock at his personal judgment]  He goes so far as to write, “Biocide is even more devastating than genocide, because it also kills future inhabitants of our precious Earth.”

In 2011, he served his last mass as pastor of St. John’s parish on Creighton’s campus, according to the Creighton Jesuit Community website. He is still listed as a “faculty ally” of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance on the university’s website.

Another anecdote from Rod Dreher (amazing, I’ve quoted him now twice in the last month!), is indicative of the destructive influence Jesuits at large have had on young minds:

During my years as a Catholic, more than a few times I would meet someone who had left the faith, and would credit their Jesuit education for having opened their eyes. Just now, I heard the Muslim scholar Reza Aslan on Fresh Air, talking about his new book. Terry Gross mentioned that he (Aslan) had been born into Islam, but his parents fled with him from Iranian Revolution. In America, his father became atheist, but Aslan became an Evangelical Christian. His mother followed him into Christianity. But then, studying at the Jesuit-run Santa Clara University, Aslan encountered Jesuit priests who encouraged him to go deeper into Islam, the religion of his forefathers.

Aslan did, and subsequently renounced Christianity to return to Islam.

Now, this man was always far from the Faith, but perhaps he was on a path that could have seen him enter the Church, before he ran into this Jesuit.

I myself have seen how Jesuits frequently drive young souls from the Church.  A couple of years ago, I did a post on a young Catholic girl who couldn’t be bothered to offer much penance for Lent, but her Jesuit-run school thought she was a hero for joining in the Ramadan fast of a Muslim classmate.  It all too often seems that, for the Jesuit, any religion is acceptable, save for the Catholic religion.

I stand in awe of the immense works of suffering, piety, and conversion so many Jesuits engaged in when that order was young and vibrant. Men like Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Aloysius Gonzaga, Isaac Jogues, and so many others brought millions of souls into the Faith and were hugely responsible for the conversion of many countries.  It is beyond tragic – it is an incalculable loss – that the spiritual sons of these Saints have so abandoned not only the mission their founder intended, but the very faith of the Church.

So I reiterate my wonder: is it time for the Jesuits to be supressed?  Would a Jesuit Pope perhaps be the ideal man to do so?


Some key Magisterial pronouncements on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus…and a question July 16, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Papa, secularism, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’ve been meaning to present some of the most prime, explicit Magisterial proclamations of the Doctrine/Dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus – outside the Church there is no salvation.  I will do so below, and then present some questions the last of these raise.thCAEW3GV2

First, in 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council, Pope Innocent III declared the following, as part of the conciliar declarations or formal definitions:

There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved.

That seems pretty cut and dried, but much would, of course, rest on one’s definition of “outside.”

But moving on, the following was declared by Pope Boniface VIII, that great but horribly mistreated Pontiff, who declared in his Bull Unam Sanctam in 1302:

We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

Alright, that seems even more specific.  Declare, say, define, and pronounce – notice how specific and forceful the language was!  And by “subject to,” one can assume a formal submission to the Church, and the Truth that Church contains, is inherent in that statement.

Finally, we have the following from Pope Eugene IV in the Bull Cantate Domino from 1441:

The most Holy Roman Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics [protestants, modernist former Catholics?]and schismatics [Eastern Orthodox?] , can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the Sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.

So, there you have three statements, each more explicit than the last as they proceed in time, defining formal, visible membership in the Catholic PapstEugenChurch as being required for salvation.  These statements are marked by their clear and direct language, in contrast to so many pronouncements from the Church in the last 50 years. I also have to note that these statements stand in marked contrast to several statements of the most recent Council, some of which were pointed out in this post from yesterday.  These statements, and dozens of others from various Popes, Saints, Fathers, etc., have led me to believe, very firmly, that formal, visible membership in the Catholic Church is required for salvation, even as much as it pains me to say so, as I am the only Catholic in my family.  But that is the conclusion I have reached.

But what I wanted to discuss was Pope Eugene’s seeming……..rejection?……of baptism by desire (implicitly) or baptism by blood (explicitly).  My understanding had always been that salvation from baptism by desire and/or baptism by blood were probably quite rare, but definitely means of salvation for those outside the Church. I’m not sure how to reconcile these words from Pope Eugene with that….Doctrine?  I always thought they were Doctrines, anyways. I know Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is a Doctrine, a Dogma even, even though it has only rarely been well taught in this country. And we all likely know that these “hard” beliefs regarding “denial” of salvatio to those outside the Faith have been essentially ignored, if not totally repudiated, by most int he Church since VII.  So, there is much confusion.

I guess one consideration is that a Bull is not as authoritative as a formal conciliar definition made by a Pope. That is about as authoritative as you can get, aside from an Ex Cathedra definition.  But still, I thought Bulls were somewhat more authoritative than encyclicals.  Certainly, that bull Cantate Domino forms part of the Magisterium – I’m not sure how to take it.

Your thoughts?

Non sequitur – Friends July 16, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, non squitur, sadness, scandals, Society, true leadership.
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Captains Dick Winters and Lewis Nixon somewhere in Holland, Oct. 1944:


I’ll say this much, they cast that show Band of Brothers just about perfectly. Ron Livingston had Nixon nailed.  As did Damian Lewis playing Dick Winters.

I love that miniseries. I’ve watched it dozens of times. But the last time or two I watched some of it, I was appalled at the profanity and blasphemy. I could put up with the profanity – if you’ve ever been near soldiers, you know that profanity is simply a way of life – but the blasphemy finally made me put the movie down.  I have wonderedif the men at that time really did blaspheme so much.  Most of those men were raised at least somewhat Christian, and being a Christian in 1943 meant much more than it does today.  And many of the soldiers were Catholics.  Sadly, it was the Catholic Guarnere – a character many who watched the series identified as a favorite – who does the most blaspheming.  Did he do that in the war?  I don’t know, war tends to bring out the worst in people, so maybe he did.  But I tend to think the producers of the series tended to exaggerate that aspect of soldierly life. And exaggerate greatly. Dick Winters, for one, would never have blasphemed, he was profoundly attached to his protestant faith.

At any rate, because of the blasphemy I won’t watch Band of Brothers anymore. I even spoke with a priest about it, and he was sort of equivocal if the blasphemy was done “in context,” but I just couldn’t stand it anymore. It’s sad that a program that was otherwise outstanding had to be ruined by the reflexive, unthinking amorality of our day.

We have had a professional army for so long (and isn’t that a sign of empire, maintaining a huge, professional armed force?), it’s difficult to remember a time when “ordinary” Joes went to war, when the army was made up of temporary draftees.  A very different time.  But the time that gave birth to the culture we have now.  Thus, I tend to discount hagiography like the “greatest generation” moniker.  A truly great generation would not have been very responsible for our culture falling so far downhill.  They didn’t start it, they certainly didn’t finish the fall, but they had their hand in it, and didn’t do much, or enough, to fight it.

Bah, how did this post turn so melancholy!

h/t Ace O’ Spades