Thursday, May 29, 2014

Only YOU Can Prevent Heresy

Bear as Watchman

Bears are known as "the watchmen of the forest." As the largest and mightiest of all the forest animals, they are divinely-appointed sentinels, protecting the woodland creatures against fire and foe.

Like Smokey.

Behold the Cunning Bear

What is surprising, given their reputation for laziness and the popular depiction as lovable rogues, is that they take things seriously. They may laugh at the world, the flesh and the devil, but the laughter comes from behind very large, sharp teeth. They are the second most cunning beast of the field God ever made.

Bears are also loyal and true, as anyone who has ever had a Teddy Bear knows. It pains them to mistrust their natural leaders, still more to criticize them.

Bless Me Father, For I Have Blogged

Bears are also very well versed in scripture, at least those who have been taught it. It is relatively common for holy men in Russia to teach Bears bible verses, and, of course, the Bear can read and write. He finds verses that say he must keep quiet, and verses that say he must speak out. The Bible pretty much says that all bloggers are going to Hell, except for the writer of Princess Fluffy Bunny's Pretty Flower Blog, and maybe her, if she says something nasty about nasturtiums.

Surely, it is better to keep quiet about the strange doings of a pope. The pope is in a better position to know and judge things, and is gifted by the Holy Spirit to avoid leading the Church into error.

Yet we, too, enjoy this priesthood of all believers that the progressives are always yammering about. The Bear meditates on two things; three does he consider.

  1. The, shall we say, more creative or lackluster Catholics seem to find little objectionable in Pope Francis' sayings and doings. Non-Catholics seem to really like him, especially those addicted to sin, e.g. sodomy. 
  2. The ones who are in the middle of the still-fresh current of Church history and teachings, who take the faith seriously, and not to change everything about it, either, but to preserve and defend it against all enemies, seem to be troubled by Pope Francis so far.
  3. The consensus of the second group seems coherent and worth broadcasting, so that an element of the Catholic blogosphere -- the magisterium of the keyboard -- stands up for Truth, employing all the rhetorical weapons at their disposal, including agitprop and even ridicule.

The problem with point three is that anyone who opposes Peter to his face by the means available to us in the 21st century may be buying a one-way ticket (is there another kind?) to Hell.

It is not enough to say, "Well, the Bear will keep his trap shut and let other bloggers do all the dangerous stuff." It seems that the only justifiable response is to sound the alarm or follow the Pope without question. Michael Voris has made his choice. The Bear has made his. Hopefully zeal covers a multitude of sins.

Know Your Enemy: Modernism

This is important stuff. We've seen our Church gutted like a fish before, and not long ago. Nobody stood up then. We didn't know. We do now. We are weary, yet capable veterans. We are on the alert, because heresy, like the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. This time, nobody gets away with anything. Not priests, not bishops.

Not the Pope of Rome.

If the Pope wants to change course for the Church, let him come out and say so. Let him stand up and cast out previous solemn pronouncements of the Church with bell, book and candle. 

The annoying and unending trail of "gestures" he leaves behind on his crooked path is not only stale, but appears to be leading toward the swamps on the edge of the forest where the woodland creatures don't go.

The heresy in question is Modernism, if we have to name it. (And the Bear thinks we do, otherwise it just seems like "stuff traddies don't like.")

Modernism is slippery. It is hard to pin down, because there is always an escape built in to every proposition and instance. You may hear something that doesn't seem right, but someone can always say, "but if you look at it this way, it is perfectly acceptable."

The Pope, for example, says he doesn't believe in a Catholic God. Why, of course not! God is God, he doesn't belong to the Catholic faith!  However, the meaning that is really taken away is that Catholics don't believe in God as taught by the Catholic Church for 2000 years.

Modernists are masters of ambiguity. They are rhetorical slight-of-hand artists, able to sound orthodox enough to deflect criticism, even as they subvert the faith on a daily basis.

Think about that for a moment. Is it acceptable to have a Pope whom we are always having to decode? Whose actions and sayings may just as well be anti-Catholic as Catholic? Why can nothing be clear and unambiguous? It smells fishy, doesn't it? With something as important as the Catholic faith, we deserve absolute clarity, not the weekly game of "what did the Pope mean?" 

Another pope gave us our briefing on Modernism. Nowadays, we cringe at the word "encyclical," because we imagine some long and gaseous opus we won't understand. They didn't use to be that way. That's why you can read Pascendi from St. Pope Pius X in just a few minutes and be much the wiser for it.

The Bear highly recommends it. Every woodland creature must do his part to educate himself and others. We cannot get by with just reacting. We need to be able to articulate our fears and objections.

Remember, only YOU can prevent heresy. Sad commentary, and call to action.


  1. It's good to know a good Bear is on the wall.

  2. I maybe oversimplifying something somewhere but it seems to me that when one is accused of being a modernist, one cannot ever defend oneself against the accusation. This can lead to witch hunts. Pope St. John XXIII was suspected of being a modernist.

    1. Granted modernism is slippery -- it is made to be. It is better to point out modernist actions or statements, to the extent they can be pinned down, rather than accuse someone of being a Modernist. St. Pope Pius X recognized what a difficult enemy the heresy of Modernism was, precisely because it wasn't over one doctrine, but the mother of all heresies. We don't want witchhunts. We just want the witchcraft to stop. For example, Modernism has a mania for ecumenism. Ecumenism has been condemned in the past in no uncertain terms. Perhaps not every ecumenist is a conscious Modernist. (Indeed, one doubts they think of themselves as that, and would probably laugh at anyone even bringing up the old heresy). But, most of what goes on these days in the name of ecumenism would properly be termed Modernism, wouldn't you agree?

  3. Good post, and you're spot on. I would note, as to our previous combox trades, that modernism may very well be exactly "stuff traddies don't like", in that that is what makes one a traditional Catholic-- in the sense that it means the faith as it was handed down. Now I get you want to avoid labels that can be politically charged and misconstrued. But think for a moment, when the topic turns to liturgy, just why it is that the new, immanentist rite is "stuff traddies don't like".

    Modernism, as St. Pius X said, is like the hydra.


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