Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TFTD: St. Benedict on Humility

In light of the high profile cases of conflict between priest and bishop, I was struck by the relevance of this passage from The Rule of St. Benedict concerning the humility of the monks:

The fourth degree of humility is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind when in this obedience he meets with difficulties and contradictions and even any kind of injustice, enduring all without growing weary or running away.  For the Scripture says,

"The one who perseveres to the end, is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);

and again

"Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26[27]:14)!

And to show how those who are faithful ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord, the Scripture says in the person of the suffering, "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long; we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43[44]:22; Rom. 8:36).

Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense, they go on with joy to declare, "But in all these trials we conquer, through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).

Again, in another place the Scripture says, "You have tested us, O God; You have tried us as silver is tried, by fire; You have brought us into a snare; You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).

And to show that we ought to be under a Superior, it goes on to say, "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65[66]:12).

Moreover, by their patience those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command in adversities and injuries: when struck on one cheek, they offer the other; when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak; when forced to go a mile, they go two; with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26) and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

Now I recognize that not all religious orders follow the Rule of St. Benedict.  I also recognize that the diocesan priests are a different matter than religious priests.  However, when we have these cases of high profile disputes between priest and bishops, I find myself wondering what the saints of past centuries would think of the defiance against the lawful Church authority.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reflections on the Moral Responsibility in Determining the Lesser of Two Evils

How are we to determine the lesser evil when it comes to voting when both candidates fail in some aspects according to the teaching of the Catholic Church?

Preliminary Note: A couple of weeks back, when the Republican Debate was on CNN, I found myself morally troubled by some of the candidate's positions in terms of the Catholic teaching on social justice.  Since then, I was thinking of the whole concept of the lesser of two evils and how we need to view our faith in relation to the political parties.  While we're still over a year away from the elections, it is important for us to remember how we need to unite ourselves with Christ and what we need to consider in discerning what is a lesser evil.


To be honest I found myself with misgivings with some of the Republican candidates .  Their stands on certain issues of social justice seems to fall short of the Catholic teaching on social justice (not merely the liberal buzzword either).

On the other hand, Obama's position on abortion and homosexual "marriage" and religious freedom not only falls short of the Catholic position, but is utterly in opposition to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.  He actively supports things which the Catholic Church must call evil if she is to be faithful to the teachings of Christ.

So what is the candidate to do when, even if we should like some of the views of one candidate, his views are contrary to the teachings of the Church in critical ways?

We CANNOT Just Freely Vote for Whoever We Might Prefer

Ultimately, we must realize that in cases where neither political party is in line with the Catholic teaching, we are NOT free to simply vote for who we might otherwise prefer.  Certain actions are more harmful to individuals and to the state as a whole than others.  In other words, you can't vote for Mussolini just because the other party can't make the trains run on time for example.

If we are to endure the lesser evil, we must discern the greater evil that must be opposed.

It might be good to refer to a fundamental insight from Aristotle's Rhetoric (Book 1 Chapter 7):

A thing which surpasses another may be regarded as being that other thing plus something more, and that other thing which is surpassed as being what is contained in the first thing. Now to call a thing 'greater' or 'more' always implies a comparison of it with one that is 'smaller' or 'less', while 'great' and 'small', 'much' and 'little', are terms used in comparison with normal magnitude. The 'great' is that which surpasses the normal, the 'small' is that which is surpassed by the normal; and so with 'many' and 'few'.

So, when it comes to discerning the greater evil, it means it will do more evil than the lesser evil.

On Greater and Lesser Evil

We need to distinguish something first of all.  To say [A] is worse than [B] does not mean [B] is not evil.  It is simply to say that when being forced to choose between [A] and [B], [A] will do more harm physically or spiritually and therefore needs a more urgent effort than [B] if we cannot choose a selection which gives us neither evil.

In terms of Church teaching and politics, this means we recognize that both [A] and [B] run afoul of Church teaching, but [A] is a greater evil which we must witness against.  We must still oppose [B], but if it is impossible to have neither [A] nor [B] we must stop the greater evil first.

The Culture of Death

We must oppose the mindset that some human life is not worth protecting.

Abortion and Euthanasia are actions which come from the view that some life does not have value and is better off ended.  The unborn or the infirm/elderly are seen as not possessing life which is worth preserving.  Politicians who support these "rights" and enshrine them law are guilty of moving society in a direction which treats certain life as being without value.

So before we could label a candidate who supports abortion as a "lesser evil," there must be a case where candidate treats even more lives as having no value.  For example, a candidate who supports infanticide would be a greater evil than a candidate who only supports abortion.  However I would absolutely reject the idea that wanting to reduce the dollar amount given to social programs is a greater evil than saying the unborn and the elderly possess lives not worth protecting and sanctioning the arbitrary ending of these human lives.

Proportionate Reasons

We need to remember another Catholic teaching.  Even if one does not directly do an evil act (which is always forbidden) we can still have moral responsibility if our act aids an evil act, making it possible.  The more essential our action is to the performing of an evil act, the greater the justification is required to avoid culpability in sin.

For example, the gas station attendant who pumps gas into any vehicle that comes along is less responsible for supplying gasoline to a van which drives women to an abortion clinic than the driver of that van who willingly takes the women to that clinic or the owner of the building who rents space to the abortion clinic.

If we know that our actions will cause evil, we are obligated to oppose this evil and not enable it.  When it comes to voting for a candidate, Catholics must realize that a vote for a person who supports a thing the Church teaches is evil is an action which allows the politician to make this evil legally sanctioned by the government.

So it follows:

  1. The person who votes for a candidate BECAUSE he supports that evil undeniably sins.
  2. The person who votes for a candidate IN SPITE OF his support for that evil is obligated that he must justify his vote before God, and the greater the evil, the greater the justification must be.

Archbishop Chaput, when he was in Denver, wrote in 2008:

9. What is a “proportionate” reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life — which we most certainly will. If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.

That's a strong indictment.  He's saying that abortion is such a great evil, that to vote for a candidate supports abortion  requires such a strong reason that we will not be ashamed to explain it to Christ at the final judgment.

So the person who claims that they are justified to vote for a pro-abortion candidate has to give justification.  It's not enough to say you're voting for pro-abortion candidate [A] because you're opposed to candidate [B] because of his position on Social Security.

It's human life at stake with abortion.


Catholics need to stop thinking in terms of, "Well neither candidate is fully Catholic so I am free to vote for whoever I want."  We have the somber duty to reject (vote against) the greater evil while challenging the lesser evil to change their ways.

It is clear that right now, abortion is the gravest evil facing America because it is an evil which decides some human lives are not worth living.  If you want to vote for a pro-abortion candidate, you MUST be able to justify your position by pointing to the greater evil you think is a greater than the slaughter of over 1 million unborn children EVERY year in America.

Think of it.  Catholics must think of the unborn as human lives – not subhuman lives which mean less than adults.  So we must recognize that abortion is not merely one issue of many.

When Election Day 2012 comes around, we are all obligated to seriously consider these things and remember our vote has moral consequences which we must answer for before God.

Is this beginning the 5th year already?

I just noticed that today marks the beginning of the 5th year of the Arnobius of Sicca blog (completing the 4th anniversary today).  I must say I never expected this to last more than a few months.  A friend of mine suggested I take up blogging as something to do when I was on disability with a work-related injury.  I really thought 2011 would be the death knell of the blog, because I did not have time to write consistently.

Sometimes its embarrassing to go back and read the earliest entries in 2007.  I tended to be somewhat flippant back then and willing to bash the US bishops.  Hopefully I've gotten better over the years.  I think the study of philosophy and logic have allowed me to at least be more structured since then.  Ancients like Socrates and Aristotle; Patristics like St. Augustine, St. Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria and the site's namesake; Medieval writers like St. Thomas Aquinas, and modern writers like Popes Benedict XVI, Blessed John Paul II, Peter Kreeft, Msgr. Ronald Knox and many others have inspired me to write about the importance of the truth and the fact that the truth is with the Catholic Church.

One big change of the past year is abandoning Xanga for Blogger.  I decided the Xanga community made it too easy for abusive persons to dominate a column, and too difficult to control their activities.  Xanga seemed to be willing to turn a blind eye towards these abusive persons.

Writing on Blogger has been more peaceful.  While there are not nearly as many comments, the ones which do come generally seem more sincere – even the ones from people who disagree with me, who are generally much more polite than the ones on Xanga.

So the blog is still here, even if I don't write as much as I used to, dealing with different topics which seem relevant in defending the Church and looking at the attacks against her and why they don't debunk the Church.  Whether from atheists, the government, political groups, non Catholics or dissenters within the Church, the Church does stand in opposition to the world and must say "this is not right."

Who can say what will need to be addressed in the next year and what my obligations will require?

Thanks to all my followers and those who stop by the blog.

God Bless.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

URGENT: USCCB Action Alert on Conscience Protection

Please check out and take action at this link on an action alert concerning the (lack of) freedom of conscience for religious groups in the latest Health and Human Services directives.

The USCCB writes:

On August 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an "interim final rule" that will require virtually all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and related "patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity." These are listed among "preventive services for women" that all health plans will have to include without co-pays or other cost-sharing -- regardless of whether the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman herself objects to such coverage.

Concerned Americans have until September 30 to send their comments to HHS.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thoughts on Fr. Pavone–Updated

Update: Canon Lawyer, Edward Peters, has a good analysis of the situation HERE.  We should keep Fr. Pavone and his Bishop in our prayers.


There has been news going about that Fr. Pavone of the Priests for Life has been restricted by his bishop to ministry within his diocese.  Fr. Pavone has been obedient to this order, though differing reports indicate he may appeal to Rome (I cannot confirm this independently).

What I find problematic is that there is already an "it's about the money" response, similar to one which went about during the incident with Fr. Corapi.

Remember this is rash judgment at the very least to begin speculating about whether someone has done wrong.  Let us first be patient and learn the facts before we say either, "I knew Fr. Pavone was no good" or "Yet another case of a bishop suppressing a good priest."

After all, it might turn out neither accusation is true.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Partisan Secularism

I've been thinking about the concept of the "Separation of Church and State." In theory, it means the government gives neither favor nor hindrance to any religion.  Yet, in practice it means that the state silences religion when it comes to the matters of public affairs and shows favor to secularism which is antagonistic to religion.

So essentially, in America, we have a view which says institutions which believe in God should have no say in speaking on issues involving legislation while those which either deny the existence of God or else treat it as unimportant are allowed to interfere to the extent they choose without restriction.

So when one considers this, we can see that we have a legal system in America which stands the first amendment on its head.  Churches have to be careful about speaking out on abortion or gay marriage lest they suffer tax penalties for "lobbying."  Yet non-religious organizations can lobby without concern. 

I find it interesting that one common response I've seen in comboxes is the concept that since we're not treated like religion is being treated in China, we're not being treated wrongly.  Such a view is an either-or fallacy.

  1. Either Religion in America is [persecuted like it is in China] or it is [not treated unfairly]. (Either [A] or [B]).
  2. Religion in America is not [persecuted like it is in China] (Not [A])
  3. Therefore it is [not treated unfairly]. (Therefore [B])

The error of such a view is that one need not reach the levels of persecution in China to treat religion unfairly.

What is overlooked is that in modern times, religion is viewed as yet another institution when it comes to denying the existence and authority of God (it is not given any special heed) on one hand but treated as "pushing their views on others" when it comes to speaking out on the problems of society.

Essentially this means that a secular group is permitted to seek to influence others but a religious group is not.

When one view is permitted to act and speak freely but another is not allowed to do the same, we call this unjust and showing partiality.  We call it partisan.

Yet this partisanship and partiality exists in America today.  Religion is not free.  This doesn't mean we're overtly persecuted (as some atheists have mockingly used as a straw man).  However, it does mean the state has shown itself to show partiality to secularism – giving them a free range to speak and act while restricting how churches may speak out on issues concerning the nation.  When secular institutions which favor homosexual couples adopting children and restrict religious institutions which say this is wrong, this is in fact partisan behavior in favor of secular beliefs.

This is why I believe America is no longer a free nation in terms of religion.  Yes, I am free to write this blog, yes there is Catholic radio and TV out there which can broadcast without interference.  However, when the state shows partiality to one side it follows the other side is either hindered or not given the same rights.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Reflections on Modernism

The simpleton believes everything,

but the shrewd man measures his steps.

The wise man is cautious and shuns evil;

the fool is reckless and sure of himself. (Proverbs 14:15-16)


Occasionally, when I write about traditionalist dissent, I get questions about why I write about this instead of modernist dissent.  After all, isn't it a bigger threat to the Church than traditionalism?  That kind of a question demonstrates just who is being threatened by heresy.  "The Church" isn't threatened by heresy.  We already have Christ's promise on this.

The threat of heresy is to people within the Church.  Each one is a tool in the hands of Satan to deceive people.  However, a skilled workman doesn't use a hammer for everything.  He uses the right tool for the right job.  Unfortunately, the devil is a skilled workman in seeking to deceive people.  As a result, every heresy is a grave threat to people within the Church.  So is every schism and every error because "using the right tool for the right job" is how the devil seeks to deceive the individual to reject the Church and ease the individual's mind from thinking about that fact or by thinking they are right to do so.

However, even though I have been writing as of late about errors which can deceive those trying to be faithful to the Church, it doesn't mean I think Modernism is less harmful.  It can be terribly harmful. However the ones it harms are a different group of people than the people harmed by Traditionalist dissent.

The Difference between Modernist Error and Traditionalist Error

I am inclined to think that the difference is this. For those people who recognize that Christ made the Church necessary and that it is His will that we heed it, the idea that the Church has no authority is not likely to deceive him, but they may be deceived by those who claim to know the Church teachings better than they and claim there is a discrepancy.

What is commonly known as Modernism is more likely to snare those people either totally ignorant about their faith or those who dislike a certain Church teaching and would like an excuse to reject the authority of the Church either in part or totally.

With this in mind, let us take a look at the muddled waters of Modernism.

Grappling with a Definition of Modernism

One of the problems with defining Modernism, properly called, is that people often don't attack what is properly modernism but either an entirely different error or something which is not even an error at all.  So before one can say Modernism is a grave threat to the Church, one has to be aware about what Modernism actually is.

The Oath Against Modernism of St. Pius X

Actually, a good place to begin is with the oath of St. Pius X, which was required for all who were involved with teaching and spiritual direction.  The text affirms certain things all Catholics are to hold and rejects certain attitudes and theories which are contrary to the faith.  What I find significant about this Oath is that the things affirmed and the things rejected revolve around whether God reveals things to man and whether man can know these things with intellect and reason.

Here is the text of the Oath:

THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM Pope Pius X Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated.

Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.

Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.

Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.

Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .

The Anti-Modernist oath is a good oath (I would take it without qualms if asked) in rejecting attitudes which are contrary to our faith in Christ and our belief that He protects His Church from error.  The Oath requires the Catholic taking it to affirm certain truths and reject certain errors.

In the paragraphs of this oath, it requires the faithful Catholic to hold the following:

  1. God can be known from reason and from the evidence of creation.
  2. The acceptance of Divine Revelation
  3. The Church was established by Christ with the primacy of Peter.
  4. The doctrine of faith handed down to us by the Apostles continues with the same meaning and the same purpose.  Doctrines do not evolve from one thing to another.
  5. Faith is an intellectual assent, not a sentiment.

It also requires Catholics to reject certain mindsets:

  1. That we must reject the view that the Catholic faith requires us to hold contradictory positions between faith and science.
  2. Interpretations of Scripture contrary to tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See.
  3. That the teacher of the faith must put aside the belief of the supernatural origin of the faith and reject all authority of the Church in interpretation.
  4. The denial of the divine in Sacred Tradition, claiming that the teachings of the Church are merely a school of thought developed by the Apostles.

We can see from the Oath against Modernism that Modernism is a denial of the supernatural revelation and thus a denial of the fact that the Church has her authority from Christ.

What Modernism is NOT

Unfortunately, nowadays, Modernism is used by certain critics of the Church to mean, "to the left of me politically."  This is especially annoying because the Catholic teachings are beyond "left" and "right."  In fact Liberalism and Conservatism need to be judged by Church teaching and not vice versa.

To put it bluntly, if a Catholic claims that a Church doctrine is "too liberal" or "too conservative," that statement displays an error in understanding the nature and authority of Church teaching.

Even if it were true, which needs to be established as true, that all Modernists are liberal (all [A] are [B]), it does not mean that therefore all liberals are modernist (all [B] is [A]).  Therefore it would be an error to say that because Bishop So-and-So takes a position on social justice that a member of the laity thinks is motivated by liberal politics, it means this bishop is a modernist.



(Even if All [A] is a Part of [B], it does not automatically mean All [B] is a Part of [A])

Most of the throwing of "Modernist" around as an epithet involve issues which have nothing to do with actual Modernism.  American Bishops who speak out on social issues are called "Modernist."  Vatican II is sometimes accused of being "Modernist."  Such comments betray an ignorance not only of what Modernism is, but also on what the Catholic Church actually believes on the subject of social teachings.

Since Modernism is a rejection of the Divine origin and authority of the Church and a rejection that her teachings will be protected from error, a person who is to be accused to be accused of Modernism would need to display signs of rejecting the authority of the Magisterium and the denial that the Church teaches with divine authority unchanging truths. 

So, the following could be examples of Modernism:

  • To deny the Catholic belief of the soul being directly created by God on the grounds that Evolution "proved" human consciousness developed over time would be an example of a Modernist error.
  • The denial that Jesus Christ knew He was God and worked miracles on the grounds that "Science proves miracles can't happen" is also a Modernist error.
  • Because things tend to progress from simple to complex, the early Church was not hierarchical and sacramental but these things were added over time is another type of the modernist error.

However, the following would not be examples of Modernism by themselves:

  • Accepting Evolution within the parameters defined by the Church.
  • A Bishop speaking about social injustices in America.
  • A Vatican II statement saying the state does not have the authority to coerce what people must believe.

The difference is the first group shows a rejection of the Catholic teachings and authority.  The second group does not.

So ultimately, Modernism is a rejection of the beliefs and teachings of the Church, whether overtly or through subtle undermining.

Why Modernism is Dangerous and to Whom

Modernism is a dangerous error of course.  However, it is dangerous to a different group of individuals than radical traditionalism.  Radical Traditionalism is an error dangerous to people who accept the authority of the Church and are troubled by the current rebellion within her.  Modernism, on the other hand, is dangerous to people who are ignorant about their faith, to people looking to find a reason to disobey a Church teaching they don't like, and to people who excessive reliance on the Scientific Method in situations where it is not authoritative.

So the person who would want to find a reason why they could contracept, to the person who is so uninformed about the faith that they believe the educated modernist must know better than they or to the person who believes the scientific method can solve everything, Modernism can indeed form a stumbling block to the true faith.

Modernism is also dangerous to the faithful in a way.  Because there are still people out there who claim that Jesus "walked on a sandbar," people who claim that the feeding of the 5000 was nothing more than a big Potluck dinner and people who claim that the prohibition against contraception was the invention of priests, it becomes easy to suspect any Catholic who expresses the faith in a different way.

In that case, I would remind people that "a little knowledge is dangerous," and it is rash judgment to accuse the Church of being "soft on modernists" until one is sure they fully understand what Modernism is and whether the disliked person is actually guilty of Modernism.  Since it is the magisterium, not the private individual, who has the authority to make this decision, it is the Magisterium which decides whether there is an error and whether it is an error of modernism.

Defenses Against Modernism

Modernism is an error, but it is not one destined to triumph against the Church.  The person who seeks to be faithful to the Church established by Christ and obedient to those to whom He entrusted the responsibility and authority of leading it, can avoid the errors which lead to heresy or schism.  We do need to remember certain things.

First of all, we must remember that Christ protects the Church He established and protects her from teaching error.  Second, we must remember Christ gave the authority to the Pope and those Bishops in communion with Him the authority to bind and loose.

If we lose faith in these things, the devil has deceived us into disobedience.

We should also keep in mind the following points:

  1. The Church teachings are neither conservative or liberal and are not to be judged as being right or wrong depending on whether they are viewed by an individual as too liberal or conservative.
  2. Our personal interpretations of Church teachings can err and does not outweigh the Magisterial authority.
  3. The Bishop, Priest, religious or member of the laity who misuses or acts against Church teaching is not evidence of the whole being affected.
  4. Remembering that there is no dividing line on which the Church was right and then became wrong.  The Church was not wrong before Vatican II and right after,  Nor was she right before Vatican II and right after.  The same teaching is consistently taught from the Magisterium.

If we remember these things, placing our faith in Christ as protecting His Church, we will neither be deceived by Modernism nor by the fear that the "whole Church" is affected by Modernism.

So in conclusion, if we would be protected from error which would threaten our salvation we must remain within the Church, obedient to the Magisterium and recognizing that the authority and protection given her by Christ remains with her today in the Magisterium.