Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Elation and Encyclicals

I found this really great encyclical by Pope St. Pius X, delivered in September of 1907: PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS - "On the Doctrines of the Modernists"

one of my favorite parts:
And so they audaciously charge the Church both with taking the wrong road from inability to distinguish the religious and moral sense of formulas from their surface meaning, and with clinging tenaciously and vainly to meaningless formulas whilst religion is allowed to go to ruin. Blind that they are, and leaders of the blind, inflated with a boastful science, they have reached that pitch of folly where they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true nature of the religious sentiment; with that new system of theirs they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the holy and apostolic traditions, they embrace other vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, condemned by the Church, on which, in the height of their vanity, they think they can rest and maintain truth itself.

After reading this encyclical, I would not be surprised at all if Eric Voegelin had read it as well. Another Voegelin-esque, "don't immanentize the eschaton" encyclical is Pope Benedict XVI's "
Spe Salvi," in which he begins,

SPE SALVI facti sumus”—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24). According to the Christian faith, “redemption”—salvation—is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here?

The encyclical is well-written and beautiful--and, of course, you've got to love all the mentions of the logos! :)

Currently reading 'Father Elijah: An Apocalypse' by Michael D. O'Brien, as recommended by my good friend and new co-EIC of the Hillsdale Forum, Anna Williams. Anna and Matt Cole are taking over the paper next year. I am very pleased with the transfer.

At home: puppy is perpetually by my side, which is wonderful. I'm organizing and re-organizing; packing and re-packing; planning without a ready plan, and preparing for my move in two weeks. I start work in less than one, though, so I need to get this all sorted now. Megan put in "The Lion King" today and I felt so old when the voice-over said, "Coming Soon in Videocassette!" Dad and I are going car shopping tomorrow; I also get to drive Marianne to school tomorrow. She's in exams right now.

Life continues wonderful! I am glad to be home with my family.


  1. Voegelin did indeed read it, but you might not approve of his reaction!

  2. Well he wasn't a Catholic, so that's not terribly surprising, but Voegelin is definitely a mind worth reading, so I'll have to find his response! Thank you!