Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Pantheism of Roman Catholicism

C.S. Lewis noted some time ago that in the end, only Christianity stood against pantheism.

Well, our friend Viisaus posted a whole bunch of items yesterday in the comments that illustrated the influence that pantheism has in the Roman church:

Viisaus said...

"David, one of the things I have noticed in my reading of Ratzinger is that he is functionally a pantheist. This is the unity that he desires. That is, we all get "fused" into God -- I believe that is the term he used in Called to Communion."


It seems that these Sedevacantists agree - rejecters of Vatican II can often provide best evidence for modern RC apostasy:

http://traditioninaction.org/ProgressivistDoc/A_120_RatzTeilhardl.html
(citing Ratzinger's words last year):

Benedict XVI praises the cosmic liturgy of Teilhard de Chardin

"The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host."

2:21 AM, October 28, 2010


Viisaus said...

A sharp-eyed critic like Isaac Taylor foresaw the coming of Vatican II spirit already back in 1849. He was able to predict how the RCC would eventually respond to the modernist challenge: by pantheistic pandering.

Taylor noticed how the Newmanian doctrine of development had an inherently "evolutionist" flavor, and could even foresee the rise of pantheist Jesuits like Teilhard de Chardin:

http://www.archive.org/details/loyolajesuitism00taylgoog

"Loyola & Jesuitism in Its Rudiments"
pp. 372-374

"It would be by no means difficult to sketch the outlines of a New Faith, well adapted to the prevailing notions and habits of Continental communities. Such a faith would retain everything belonging to Romanism that is sensuous and imaginative; — everything of costume and of ceremonial that does not offend good taste, or draw upon itseif sarcasm: it would retain, moreover, a shadowy, though not a dogmatic, orthodoxy: it might perhaps permit a Nicene profession to be "sung," but would never allow it to be "said."

The lately-divulged doctrine of "Development" would seem as if it had been now announced as the requisite preliminary to such a relinquishment of ancient practices and principles as we are supposing to be probable. It is manifest that if "the Church" be endowed with a creative or re-creative vital energy, enabling and authorizing it, from age to age, to evolve what is new in belief or in worship, or to bring to light what had previously slumbered in darkness; if, for example, the Church of the ninth Century ought to be thought of as an authentic product of the church of the third, although marked by new features — then this same vital force — this power of adaptation, may, as ages roll on, and as human reason ripens, show its energies in the mode of absorption or retrenchment. During the ninth Century the Church put forth a verdant top, darkening all the skies; but in the nineteenth century the tree may call in its sap from its luxuriant head, while it strikes its roots far in to a new soil.

If, in this age of reason, certain dogmas or modes of worship may seem to have fulfilled their intention, and to have become encumbrances, rather than aids, why may not the inherent "Development" power rescind, withdraw, remove, such adjuncts? It is not easy to see what difficulty, either logical or theoretic, stands in the way to prevent the Church's faculty of development from now shifting its position, and acting as a faculty of abrogation. Once it put its right hand forth to bring from its treasury things new: henceforward it will be pulling its left hand from its bosom, to withdraw these worn and faded articles from their places. In a rude age the Church — always wise in her day — became flagrantly polytheistic: in a philosophic, or rather a scientific age, the same Church, equally wise, will become pantheistic.

This is the very result that might seem highly probable, as consequent upon a well-calculated endeavor to reinstate spiritual power throughout Europe, by means of an alliance between that scientific pantheism which, at this time, is the prevalent belief of the continental nations, and the Church, professing its faculty of adaptation to the changing aspects of the world. Let the Church absorb or abrogate what, although held to be true and good, as related to an age long gone by, is now felt to be redundant, and which will not amalgamate with the present scientific temper of mankind. Nothing would be needed beyond that which such a faculty of adaptation might supply, for compiling a creed, and for instituting a worship, well adapted to the taste and propensities of the European Continental nations.

If an enterprise of this sort were seriously thought of, the Jesuit body might consider itself to be peculiarly qualified for attempting the task."

2:50 AM, October 28, 2010


Viisaus said...

One really does not even need to dig very deep to see the brazen pantheistic-evolutionist attitudes of the modern Vatican:

http://www.christorchaos.com/RevealingHisInnerTeilhardYetAgain.htm

"Though offered only in passing, and doubtless subject to overinterpretation, Benedict's line nevertheless triggered headlines in the Italian press about a possible "rehabilitation" of Teilhard, sometimes referred to as the "Catholic Darwin." That reading seemed especially tempting since, as a consummate theologian, Benedict is aware of the controversy that swirls around Teilhard, and would thus grasp the likely impact of a positive papal reference.

At the very least, the line seemed to offer a blessing for exploration of the late Jesuit's ideas. That impression appeared to be confirmed by the Vatican spokesperson, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, who said afterward, "By now, no one would dream of saying that [Teilhard] is a heterodox author who shouldn't be studied.""

4:18 AM, October 28,


I'd like to say, Viisaus, thanks for what you add here.

18 comments:

Viisaus said...

In his 1849 book on Jesuitism, Isaac Taylor also predicted the rise of leftist-RC "Liberation Theology":

pp. 370-371

"Once it was an all-important matter, in the view of those who would give direction, this way or that, to European politics, to command the ear and conscience of a monarch, or of his minister, or of his mistress. Of how much avail now may be any secret influence of this sort? It is less than nothing! Princes and statesmen themselves, with little inclination to listen to a conscience-keeper — stand aghast in front of those mighty evolutions of the social system which are shaking the world. Civilized communities were once as ships govemed by a band at the helm: — they are now as rafts, borne on the beaving bosom of an impetuous tide.

It is probable, tberefore, that the Jesuit Society, not slow to read the lesson which events are placing in its view, will abandon what it may deem a desperate endeavor to rule the world as from the depths of closets and cabinets, and may at once address itself to a task which, if it be more arduous and more perilous, is more stimulating — that of ruling it by placing itself in immediate communication with the masses of the people, and by offering itself to ride foremost upon the surges of popular agitation.

Henceforward, as we may surmise, it will not be in the way of intrigue that the Society will make itself felt; — for intrigue is not an engine that can be brought to bear upon millions of men; but as the promulgators of a political and social creed, acceptable to these masses in a sense of which it may seem to be susceptible, when expounded to rude ears: but which, in its inner and true meaning, carries entire the principles of an absolute despotism. In times gone by, Jesuitism sought to rule the world by pushing itself near and nearer still to thrones; or by actually edging itself on to seats of power. But in times to come, as we may imagine, it will seek to compass the same design by shouldering the mob forward in every popular assault upon thrones. So long as monarchies rested solidly in their places upon the field of Europe, the Jesuit Society wished to stand upon the same terra firma; but now that this ground trembles beneath the foot, it will commend itself, upon its own raft, to the mighty deep — the "many waters" — the people!"

Viisaus said...

In his 1849 book on Jesuitism, Isaac Taylor also predicted the rise of leftist-RC "Liberation Theology":

pp. 370-371

"Once it was an all-important matter, in the view of those who would give direction, this way or that, to European politics, to command the ear and conscience of a monarch, or of his minister, or of his mistress. Of how much avail now may be any secret influence of this sort? It is less than nothing! Princes and statesmen themselves, with little inclination to listen to a conscience-keeper — stand aghast in front of those mighty evolutions of the social system which are shaking the world. Civilized communities were once as ships govemed by a band at the helm: — they are now as rafts, borne on the beaving bosom of an impetuous tide.

It is probable, tberefore, that the Jesuit Society, not slow to read the lesson which events are placing in its view, will abandon what it may deem a desperate endeavor to rule the world as from the depths of closets and cabinets, and may at once address itself to a task which, if it be more arduous and more perilous, is more stimulating — that of ruling it by placing itself in immediate communication with the masses of the people, and by offering itself to ride foremost upon the surges of popular agitation.

Henceforward, as we may surmise, it will not be in the way of intrigue that the Society will make itself felt; — for intrigue is not an engine that can be brought to bear upon millions of men; but as the promulgators of a political and social creed, acceptable to these masses in a sense of which it may seem to be susceptible, when expounded to rude ears: but which, in its inner and true meaning, carries entire the principles of an absolute despotism. In times gone by, Jesuitism sought to rule the world by pushing itself near and nearer still to thrones; or by actually edging itself on to seats of power. But in times to come, as we may imagine, it will seek to compass the same design by shouldering the mob forward in every popular assault upon thrones. So long as monarchies rested solidly in their places upon the field of Europe, the Jesuit Society wished to stand upon the same terra firma; but now that this ground trembles beneath the foot, it will commend itself, upon its own raft, to the mighty deep — the "many waters" — the people!"

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

It's kinda weird.

From what I've been reading, some Emergers and LibProts are becoming enchanted with contemplative spirituality, bells and candles high church liturgy, ecumenical let's-all-be-one movement. The RCC welcomes this.

But on the other hand, the RCC is staunchly (and rightly so) against abortion and same-sex sin.

So that limits the appeal of the RCC for the liberal pantheists.
----

I laughed at the term "Catholic Darwin." That's hilarious.

Viisaus said...

Leftist collectivism and pantheism actually go well hand in hand.

Here is an interesting article on a famous early-19th century French cleric Lamennais, whom we might call as the first great RC "liberation theologian": he was, as if, the French equivalent of J.H. Newman, only his spiritual development led from hyper-Ultramontanism to outside the RCC:

http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/essays/lamennais.htm


"But it is true that Lamennais carried over into the nineteenth century what can only be called the revolutionary Averroism of the Left of the Revolution, the mystical notion of The People as the ultimate source of value and validation. We should not forget that Marx and Engels and Bakunin read everything they could get of Lamennais — enthusiastically — no matter how much they might disagree with him, and in the Revolution of 1848 he was incomparably more influential than all three of them put together.
...

Lamennais no longer trusts the state and has come to think of society in fundamentally apocalyptic terms. The only practical conclusion to be drawn from the book would be a complete papal theocracy in which the secular power would just be a government department with a cabinet post, the exact reverse of the Church in relation to the French Monarchy. But now there is a third power. Lamennais has seen the dark satanic mills, and he does not as yet know where to place them in what is becoming more and more the vision of a cosmic struggle. The people appear as an apocalyptic beast. Lamennais recognizes in them a supernatural dynamism. He cannot make up his mind whether they are one of the animals that draw the chariot in Ezekiel or one of the Great Beasts of Chaos in Revelation.

In the next book, Des progrès de la révolution et de la guerre contre l’église (1829), every secular power has been weighed and found wanting. Lamennais has become a complete apocalypticist. The communal society headed by the representative of the Messiah and governed by the sacraments is the Kingdom.
...

Saint-Martin was the leading mystical writer of the Revolutionary period, and translated almost all of Jakob Boehme during the very years of the overturn of all things by fire. To him the Revolution and Terror were a kind of sacramental showing forth of the Last Judgment. He was an apocalypticist if ever there was one. Furthermore, he believed in the withering away of the Church into a communal theocracy not unlike the Jesuit communes in Paraguay. The guiding principle of human association, action, and faith would be precisely Lamennais’s sensus communis. The great difference is that he interpreted this basic, initial motion of being and knowing as an overflowing of the infinite, uncontainable Divine Love. It is quite impossible that Lamennais could not have read him from the very beginning of his self-education in his library. In the latter days of his life he was to come to a not dissimilar belief. Saint-Martin, one of the saints of religious Freemasonry like Jacques de Molay, died uncensored by Rome, in the grace of the last sacraments.

Franz von Baader, one of the strongest of all apologists for Catholicism, combined Jakob Boehme, Saint-Martin, and anticipations of Kierkegaard, along with late medieval Rhenish mysticism, Ruysbroek, Meister Eckhart, and even St. Mechtild of Magdeburg and St. Hildegard of Bingen, into a unique synthesis. He too believed in a millenarian communal theocracy, ruled by grace flowing from the sacraments."

John said...

While I do not wish to debate the contention that B16 is a pantheist, I do not think one can help an argument in support of that notion by citing the two traditionalist sources that Viisaus used in his argument. Those two groups can be relied upon to say just about anything to discredit Benedict or the Church after Vatican II. A better approach to his argument would be to use more extensive quotes from B16 and sources that have more objectivity regarding the thinking of Benedict.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

John writes:

Those two groups can be relied upon to say just about anything to discredit Benedict or the Church after Vatican II.

That's a textbook case of ad hominem, John.

A better approach to his argument would be to use more extensive quotes from B16 and sources that have more objectivity regarding the thinking of Benedict.

Which sources did you have in mind as constituting "more objectivity"?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Pope Benedict XVI: ""The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host."

This is a very strange sermon by Pope Benedict XVI.

John said...

Matthew,
You are certainly entitled to view my comments as ad hominem. However when the motives of the two websites cited are understood, I am not sure it is unreasonable to question their effectiveness as evidence to support conclusions about Benedict's thinking. Perhaps we differ somewhat regarding the fullest undestanding ad hominem. As to sources more objective, I said previously I am not here to argue the issue of Benedict's supposed pantheism. That is not my argument and even if it was my argument, I am unaware of any objective sources that exist to support such an argument. But if you wish to believe the two sources in question are objective, that is fine with me.

Peace

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I hope folks would realize that quoting Pope Benedict XVI in sufficient context is objective.

John said...

"I hope folks would realize that quoting Pope Benedict XVI in sufficient context is objective."

Exactly right, sufficient context is most important. An atheist might say based on twenty or so lines lifted from scripture that Christianity promotes violence, and, if so, one would be correct in saying that that is an insufficient reading of scripture. It often takes a great deal of reading someones works to arrive at a fair assessment of their thinking.

Rob said...

Almighty and Merciful God. A Roman prayer, connected with the text of the Book of Wisdom, says: "O God, show your omnipotence through pardon and mercy".


“This is precisely the content of the first part of the prayer that follows: "Let Your Church offer herself to You as a living and holy sacrifice". This request, addressed to God, is made also to ourselves. It is a reference to two passages from the Letter to the Romans. We ourselves, with our whole being, must be adoration and sacrifice, and by transforming our world, give it back to God. The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host. And let us pray the Lord to help us become priests in this sense, to aid in the transformation of the world, in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves. That our lives may speak of God, that our lives may be a true liturgy, an announcement of God, a door through which the distant God may become the present God, and a true giving of ourselves to God. “

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20090724_vespri-aosta_en.html

Matthew D. Schultz said...

John writes:

You are certainly entitled to view my comments as ad hominem. However when the motives of the two websites cited are understood, I am not sure it is unreasonable to question their effectiveness as evidence to support conclusions about Benedict's thinking.

If you'd like, I'll crack open a logic textbook and demonstrate why it is unreasonable.

Perhaps we differ somewhat regarding the fullest undestanding ad hominem.

Just what would that "fullest" understanding be? You dismissed potentially valid argumentation simply by claiming that the sources were biased.

As to sources more objective, I said previously I am not here to argue the issue of Benedict's supposed pantheism.

Your actions belie your stated intentions.

And aren't you a card-carrying Catholic? For what other reason could you be here unless it is to undercut an argument against your Pope?

That is not my argument and even if it was my argument, I am unaware of any objective sources that exist to support such an argument.

Ignoring your confusing use of "argument," you suggested the use of "objective" sources. If you don't have any "objective" sources in mind, then why did you offer such advice? Is it because "objective" sources are defined by those which already agree with your position?

But if you wish to believe the two sources in question are objective, that is fine with me.

You impute without justification. I do not think they are "objective," but neither is such a standard (whatever that would be) necessary to entertain their arguments.

John said...

Matthew,

"If you'd like, I'll crack open a logic textbook and demonstrate why it is unreasonable." I would recommend that you do so. This from wikipedia (though sometimes not always the final answer): The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy, but it is not always fallacious. For in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue. Perhaps the text referenced on that site would be a good one to "crack open."

"And aren't you a card-carrying Catholic? Now, that might be approaching ad hominem.

"That is not my argument and even if it was my argument, I am unaware of any objective sources that exist to support such an argument."
"Ignoring your confusing use of "argument...," I do not think I can help you there. Perhaps read it slowly.

"If you don't have any "objective" sources in mind, then why did you offer such advice?" The fact that I have no objective sources does not invalidate the advice. An argument is bolstered by the use of objective sources.

"You impute without justification." My mistake. I am glad we can at least agree that those sources are not objective. Yes, I am sure we would no doubt be at odds as to what objective source would be acceptable.

steelikat said...

That de Chardin stuff is spooky weird. He says that the earth will be depopulated and the last man will achieve a union with the cosmos and become Godlike.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

John writes:

I would recommend that you do so.

"Of all the fallacies of irrelevance, the argument against the person, or ad hominem, is among the most pernicious. Such arguments are common, as many fallacies are. But these, in addition to being unfair to the adversary (as straw man arguments are also) are hurtful, often inflicting serious personal damage without any opportunity for the fallacy to be exposed or its author chastised...B. Argument ad hominem, Circumstantial The circumstances of one who makes (or rejects) some claim have no more bearing on the truth of what is claimed than does his character. The mistake made in the circumstantial form of the ad hominem fallacy is to treat those personal circumstances as the premise of an opposing argument.

"Thus it may be argued fallaciously that consistency obliges an opponent to accept (or reject) some conclusion merely because of that person's employment, or nationality, or political affiliation, or other circumstances...Circumstantial ad hominem arguments are sometimes used to suggest that the opponents' conclusion should be rejected because their judgment is warped, dictated by their special situation rather than by reasoning or evidence. However, an argument that is favorable to some group deserves discussion on its merits; it is fallacious to attack it simply on the ground that it is presented by a member of that group and is therefore self-serving. The arguments in favor of a protective tariff (for example) may be bad, but they are not bad because they are presented by a manufacturer who benefits from such tariffs" (Copi and Cohen, Introduction to Logic, 13th Ed. [Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009], 127, 129-130)

This from wikipedia

Your quotation from Wikipedia only succeeds if we beg the question and assume that your objection is one of those cases of valid application.

The fact that I have no objective sources does not invalidate the advice. An argument is bolstered by the use of objective sources.

I didn't say it invalidated the advice. The real issue, of course, is that I suspect you treat "objective" as whatever agrees with your position.

Yes, I am sure we would no doubt be at odds as to what objective source would be acceptable.

Perhaps now you'll address the material they offered (or simply leave this thread), instead of treating us to this smoke screen.

John said...

Matthew,

I have no issue with your wikipedia description of ad hominem, though it does not address the exception to labeling something ad hominem that I mentioned in my previous comment. Obviously we disagree. If you perceive my comments as ad hominem, then I apologise. My intent is only to point out that one's argument is stronger and more palatable when one uses sources that the parties involved agree are objective. If that does not make sense to you or you disagree, that is fine with me.

As to addressing the argument of Benedict's pantheism, I do not intend to address that issue, as I mentioned in my first comments. This is not because I think he has pantheistic tendencies, but because, frankly, I have not researched enough of Benedict's prolific writings and statements to offer a counter argument.

I do appreciate our conversation and, putting aside your "card carrying Catholic" comment, I also appreciate the civil manner in which you have presented your views. And now, as you suggest, I will leave this thread, and make preparations to watch the University of Washington, hopefully, triumph over Stanford in Husky Stadium.

Viisaus said...

"That de Chardin stuff is spooky weird. He says that the earth will be depopulated and the last man will achieve a union with the cosmos and become Godlike."


Yes, one can easily get antichrist vibes from him.

More on this sinister "grey eminence" of modern Romanism here - remember, this guy has now been officially endorsed by the Vatican:

http://moralphilosophyofcurrentevents.blogspot.com/2008/01/teilhard-de-chardin-trojan-horse-of.html


Teilhard de Chardin: Trojan Horse of Vatican II/Heretic Extraordinaire

"Unfortunately, Teilhard’s heretical New Religion has been embraced either in part or in whole by several generations of post-conciliar Catholics given that Teilhard’s spurious notions have never been formally repudiated.[6] Teilhardism effectively destroyed the Creation tenet of orthodox Catholicism, the Fall from Grace and with it the concept of Original Sin, the atoning death of Christ on the Cross and thereby the entire Salvation/Redemption tenet based as it is on Christ’s crucifixion and literal bodily resurrection. One can see the effect of Teilhardism on the Creation tenet displayed in the 1993 Catechism of the Catholic Church for example, an extremely meager treatment that. What is left after Teilhard is through bears virtually no resemblance to orthodox Christianity—at best he created a kind of pantheistic finite godism interspersed with elements of Hinduism.[7]

Moreover, it is remarkable that Teilhard was never de-frocked given his obvious heretical assertions. The notion that he could persist in calling himself a Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order in good standing is particularly disconcerting. The rank and file Catholic faithful are easily led astray when members of their clergy remain in service despite evincing either heresy or apostasy. While Teilhard was barred by the Vatican from teaching theology and from disseminating his views formally, he was never forced to repudiate them as heretical.
...

This writer’s opinion is that Teilhardism is no doubt of Satanic origin—a true “religion of man”, if ever there was one. It is clear from Wolfgang Smith’s writing in 1988 that he had a similar view but took great pains to state the case as respectfully and obliquely as possible. These however are exceedingly confusing and difficult times in which a certain almost crass directness is apparently necessary."


More creepy stuff here:

http://www.novusordowatch.org/expressions_of_the_same_faith.htm

"This notion of Christ as a visitor from beyond (in the science fiction sense) is manifest in a somewhat different version in the pantheistic "Cosmic Christ" that was promoted by the late Jesuit of France, Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (left, a New Age painting entitled "Cosmic Christ," in which our Lord is shown not as a Divine Person, but a demonic-looking energy grid). Teilhard was condemned by the Holy Office in 1946 by no less a personage than Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, only to be protected by the notorious then-Papal Nunico of France, Bp. Angelo Roncalli (aka John XXIII)."

Matthew D. Schultz said...

John writes:

I have no issue with your wikipedia description of ad hominem

I was quoting you when I wrote "This from wikipedia". I didn't read the Wikipedia article; I quoted from a standard logic textbook.