Those popes who bear the name, "Pius," are the greatest guardians of the Church against heresy. This blog is a watchdog for modernism in the Church. In reality, outside this blog, the members of the board temper their criticisms and opinions with prudence and charity so as to help souls in their journey towards Christ. But sometimes, for the sake of their own sanity, the authors of this blog just need to blow off some steam. The result is Totus Pius.

05 November 2006

After a long silence...

We have deemed it necessary to speak on silence. Or rather silencing. It is quite obvious that modern philosophers (i. e. Descartes, Malbranche, Hume, etc.) are heretics, but one of the fundamental problems with their philosophy is not usually pointed out. It seems that a very large problem resides in the doubt with which they all begin their philosophy. Now to turn to Sacred Scripture, we remember Zechariah. You may be asking yourself, "How does Zechariah have anything to do with modern philosophy?" Well, we are about to tell you!

He began with doubt! When the angel Gabriel told him, "Thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son and thou shalt call his name John," Zechariah responded, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years." For this comment, Gabriel responded, "And behold, thou shalt be dumb and unable to speak until the day when these things come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."

Therefore, we respond to the modern philosophers, and those who do not see the need for an index of banned books, Holy Scripture gives us a very clear incident illustrating the necessity of banning the works of those who choose to doubt the truth, and We therefore declare that the Index ought to be reinstated and all those who begin their philosophy with doubt ought to be placed on said index. We also extend to those on this list a most needed ANATHEMA SINT!


Kevin Davis said...

Wow, you guys are something else. This verse hardly teaches that an index of forbidden books should be recreated. Your logic is as follows: Zechariah was punished for his unbelief by being silenced; therefore, those who do not believe should be silenced by the Church. The problem is that the Church has not been given a commission from God (as the angel did) to silence nonbelievers and ban their books. Of course, you believe that the Church's mission does entail this, but those are your own opinions, not revelation of God. And here's my opinion: A reinstatement of the Index would be a horrible idea. What better way to tell others that we're afraid of ideas contrary to our own than banning such ideas to be read. Of course, the Church can caution against certain books and ideas, especially for the novice, but heresies need to be studied and engaged, and the laity can play an important role in this (e.g., G. K. Chesterton read and was friends with several heretics).

As for doubt as a starting point, you must recognize that anyone who is a non-Catholic will necessarily start with doubt and proceed to faith. This does not mean that doubt must always be fundamental to all inquiry, but, for the non-Catholic, it will be part of all initial inquiry into the Church and her gospel of Jesus Christ. However, faith, by definition, is to not doubt; therefore, it would be wrong to ask the Catholic to doubt the Church and then "prove it" before coming back to faith. Difficulties in the faith can be honestly engaged, but doubt of the faith can hardly be promoted as a justified epistemic approach for the Catholic.

Papa Pius XI said...

Kevin, We find your post quite interesting, and We suppose that it may have been better to limit ourselves to such philosophers as Descartes and Malbranche (who were both Catholics, yet espoused some very horrendous errors). Yet, for the protection of the salvation of souls, it seems that even the works of non-believers ought to be silenced, at least for those who are not familiar with philosophy or theology.

Now, we do not mean to say that these works ought not be engaged. The precise reason to have the works be prohibited is to allow those who know how to respond to them to have access to them and respond to them, while preventing those of Our Flock who do not know how to respond to these works, but find them quite persuasive from being led astray. For this reason, a reinstatement of the Index, would not be a horrible idea, and would not imply that We fear these ideas, but rather that we fear the loss of even one soul to the fires of Gehenna.

About Chesterton and the heretics: Chesterton very obviously showed some sort of competence in philosophy and theology to some extent and he still was working in a time during which the index was still in effect (it was updated until the 1948 edition). Chesterton's responses to many of the heretics of his time were very important and valuable, and it would seem that if he needed to respond to some heretic that had been banned, then he ought to be able to petition his bishop to ask permission to read the book in question.

As for doubt, We agree completely that "Difficulties in the faith can be honestly engaged, but doubt of the faith can hardly be promoted as a justified epistemic approach for the Catholic." However, We ought to point out that we are not suggesting in any way that any Catholic doubt the Faith, "prove it to himself" and then come back to the faith. This is most definitely a disordered way of approaching genuine conversion. It may be the way that many find the true faith, but it is obviously not ordered correctly.

God bless!

Raindear said...

Good to have you back!

Kevin Davis said...

Thanks for the clarification, Pius XI. I still think an official Index would be a bad idea, but perhaps the CDF can do more to label certain works/ideas as heretical (as with Hans Kung, but there are many more). I think we agree to a great extent; I just don't see the wisdom in resorting to certain past methods (even if they were legitimate, which I can grant the Index was).