179: The Nine Lives of Modernism—Dr. WIlliam Marshner

179: The Nine Lives of Modernism—Dr. William Marshner

St. Pope Pius X called Modernism “the synthesis of all heresies” and strong condemned it in his 1907 Encyclical Pascendi. You’ve heard Modernist ideas before: Jesus is extremely important and special, but not the unique Savior; truth is not immutable; you don’t need the Church, only the Holy Spirit working in your conscience; the Bible is inspired and inerrant only when it comes to spiritual truths and lessons. You get the idea.

Dr. William Marshner, professor emeritus of philosophy at Christendom College (where he taught for 38 years!) has been teaching and writing about Modernism from every conceivable angle. It was an honor to sit down with him and learn the history of and magisterial response to, this pernicious set of “isms.”

In this episode you will learn

  • Biographical sketches of the first Modernists, like Alfred Loisy, SJ, Baron Frederick Von Hügel, George Tyrell, SJ, and Maurice Blondel
  • How Modernism was reborn as Neo-Modernism in the 1950s and 60s
  • How the sunny optimism of the 1960s, and the indirect influence of Neo-Modernist periti (experts), led to some ambiguities in the documents of the Second Vatican Council
  • The irony of the fact of “Trad dissent:” the early Modernists were all deeply attached to the Latin Mass
  • Specific examples of Modernist ideas in contemporary theology
  • How Modernism led to dissent in the sexual sphere
  • The importance of solid catechesis and thinking with the Church (sentire cum ecclesia, said St. Ignatius of Loyola)

Resources mentioned in this episode

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