With the tension between Apostolic Catholics and modernist heretics reaching fever pitch this month, we have to return to the warning issued over 100 years ago by Pope St. Pius X on modernism, which he called “the synthesis of all heresies.”  Yes, I know we all get tired of hearing the term “modernism is the synthesis of all heresies.”  But we still have to stop and remind ourselves constantly that opposing modernism is not tantamount to opposing digital expressions of the Gospel or even opposing new “packaging” of the old-school Gospel in a digestible fashion to modern ears.  Rather, we must remember that modernism is opposing that which attempts to squash Divine Revelation that was destined to reach all nations.

The modern synthesis of all heresies is sneaky, so we have to consider four important but hidden differences between the Apostolic Gospel and the “Modernist Gospel” that has taken root in the minds of most clergy today.   To the best of my ability, I list below the four aspects of modernism:

1. Naturalism in place of Supernaturalism.  Fr. Alfred Loisy (top left picture) was the French seminary professor excommunicated in 1908 by Pope St. Pius X (top right picture) for teaching, for example, that Moses did not write the Pentateuch and that the first five chapters of Genesis were not literal history.  Traditional Catholics in 2021 might expect the beginnings of modernism to have something to do with liturgy or sexual morality, but the truth is that modernism began by doubting the miracles of the Bible.  Ultimately, modernism puts a natural religion in the place of the supernatural religion of the Old and New Testament.

2. Anthropocentric Theology.  Modernism is marked by the inversion of the two Great Commandments which Christ gave us here:   And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.—Mt 22:37-39.  But notice nowadays that when you speak to a modernist priest (even one who claims he is “pro-life) his main argument for anything he does will be what is “pastoral” more than what pleases God.  The “Modernist Gospel” will always be based on fulfilling love of neighbor as fulfillment of love of God.  But the Apostolic Gospel teaches that fulfilling love of God will always overflow into love of neighbor.

3. Loopholes in Moral Theology.  Modernist clergy always give nod to the Gospel of Jesus Christ but quickly find a loophole to accept Jesus without the Cross.  This loophole is often found under the title of “primacy of conscience” which means that any sin is okay as long as you have the approval of a spiritual director within the interior forum.  One of the most astonishing examples of “primacy of conscience” is when Cardinal Cupich implied to ABC 7 of Chicago that people in “irregular situations” including those committing sodomy can go to Holy Communion without confession or repentance as long as they have the internal-forum approval of a spiritual director.  This is just one example of dozens, but ultimately every moral rule in Catholicism can be broken by the modernist using a Pharisaical loophole in order to offer Jesus to others without the cross.  (It’s hilarious to see these modern men of legal loopholes then call Latin Mass Catholics “The Pharisees.”)

4. Opinion-Poll Theology.  For the modernist, the truth is found in what most Catholics believe on a topic, not what is found in Divine Revelation.  One reason why what I call “opinion poll theology” is so prevalent in the modernist mind is because of how ubiquitous today are the two brain cancers of feminism and evolution.  Feminism is more than just the overturning of the hierarchy of the family.  Feminism also places the immanent above the transcendent in theology.  (The feminine is immanent and the masculine in transcendent.  In Scripture, both are beautiful and complementary.)  But when the immanent takes full precedence over the transcendent, then the opinion of Catholics takes the place of Divine Revelation.  Hence, feminism feeds the destructive forces of opinion-poll theology.  Also, the erroneous scientific theory of evolution bleeds into theology by teaching especially young Catholic minds that an old theology will always evolve into a new and “better” theology.

Modernism is truly worse than Protestantism.  Why?  Because at least Protestantism adheres to some parts of Divine Revelation.  But in modernism, anything goes.  In modernism, man replaces God.  Modernism is truly “the synthesis of all heresies” which has infected every diocese of the world, not to mention the Vatican.