Dr. Rudolf Graber, Bishop of Regensburg, Germany and one of the "Council Fathers" of Vatican II, sent shockwaves around the world when on May 2, 1973, the 1600th anniversary of the death of St. Athanasius, he issued a short book entitled, Athanasius and the Church of Our Time. In this brief work, Dr. Graber revealed the true roots of the Council and the "diabolical plot" of the enemies of the Catholic Church to infiltrate her ranks and attempt to destroy Her from within. The book has been largely ignored, but fortunately an English translation was published.
Having exposed the plot of secret societies to infiltrate the Church with the goal of having a "pope" and a "council" to further their ends, Dr. Graber now turns the focus on Modernism:
Looking back on the 19th century one cannot help noticing that the Church as a Whole took little notice of these goings-on. At the First Vatican Council the Rock of St. Peter was so well cemented and shielded on all sides that no storm could shake it – or so it was thought. Only one man's perception went deeper, that of Pope St. Pius X, with whose struggle against Modernism we must now deal with in greater detail...
We shall now quote, as a flash-back to what we said about the secret societies, the following passages from the novel Il Santo by Antonio Fogazzaro (1842-1911; see image left – Fogazzaro, like Chardin, tried to mingle Catholicism with Darwinism), which was put on the Index of Forbidden Books soon after its publication in 1905: "There are," says Don Paulo, "a number of us Catholics both inside and outside Italy, clergymen and laymen, who are striving for a reform of the Church. We wish to see this reform carried out without rebellion by the legitimate authorities. We wish for reforms in the sphere of religious instruction and that of worship, a reform of the discipline of the clergy, indeed even reforms in the supreme regiment. Hence we must create a public opinion which will induce the legitimate authorities to take steps accordingly even if this is not for 20, 30 or 50 years (!). We who hold this opinion are, however, in reality individual persons living isolated from each other. We know nothing of each other except for those few who publish articles and books. There are probably a large number of religious and highly educated people in the Catholic world who think like us. I thought it would be beneficial for the propagation of our ideas for us at least to know each other. This evening we are gathering here, only a few of us, for a first exploratory discussion..." "He added, raising his voice and speaking more slowly with his eyes fixed on Abbé Marinier, that he considered it advisable for the time being not to disclose anything about the meeting or the decisions that had been made and he requested all present to consider themselves bound on their word of honor to silence. Then he developed his concept and the aim of this meeting again in somewhat greater detail than over dinner."
"We probably all agree that the Catholic Church can be compared with an old temple which, originally of noble simplicity and great religious spirituality, has been disfigured and overloaded with all kinds of ornamentation and stucco-work during the course of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Perhaps the malevolent among you will remark that only a dead language is spoken aloud in it, that the living languages are hardly spoken audibly at all, and that the sunlight entering through the windows is colored. But I cannot believe that we all agree as to the quality and quantity of the remedial measures. And I therefore hold it to be more appropriate to come to an agreement on the nature of the reforms before proceeding to the establishment of this Catholic Freemasonry. Indeed, I wish to go even further. I believe that even if your ideas were in complete agreement, I should not advise you to bind yourselves by a tangible bond... You confidently believe that you can swim well under water like cautious fish and do not bear in mind that the sharp eye of the exalted Fisherman or one of His representatives can very well detect you and catch you..."
The aim, then, was a secret association of all those with similar ideas, a Catholic Freemasonry, in the course of which a remark was made which sounds almost prophetic: "The reforms will be carried out one day; ideas are stronger than men and win through." They have won through in precisely 50 years. But the other prophesy came true, too: the great Fisherman in Rome pulled the fish to the surface. It was St. Pius X who gave voice to the condemnation of Modernism in His encyclical Pascendi on September 8, 1907.
Let us now begin with a brief outline of the contents of the encyclical. The Pope regrets that the Modernist errors "have arisen in the lap of the Church and even amongst the clergy. These enemies of the Church set themselves up as 'reformers of the Church' and with blasphemous impudence debase the Divine Person of the Redeemer to a mere miserable human being." The Modernists are therefore"worse than all other enemies of the Church" because they "attack the root, the Faith and deepest fibers of the Faith. They are extremely skillful and cunning." "They assume the role of the rationalist and the Catholic in turn so skillfully that they find it easy to draw the guileless over to their errors." They no longer acknowledge any authority and are unwilling "to tolerate any further restriction. The Catholic Faith itself is in jeopardy. It would be a sin to remain silent any longer. We must speak out, we must unmask them in front of the whole Church."
After this spirited introduction the Pope takes up the errors individually. Since according to the Modernists God is not revealed in visible phenomena, the so-called motives of credibility are discarded – they are hardly ever mentioned today either. As far as history is concerned it would have to be explained "as if God had not in fact intervened." Hence it is also necessary "to eliminate everything which seems to be Divine" from the history of Christ, too. "There are Catholics, there are even a number of priests, who publicly profess this and imagine they can renew the Church with such madness. It is certainly impossible to do away with all supernatural order more thoroughly than this." As far as dogmas as a whole are concerned "they are merely inadequate signs... symbols" which in no way "embrace the Truth absolutely." They are subject to "change" and are "necessarily variable and short-lived." "In order to be vigorous they must continually be accommodated to an equal degree to both the Faith and the Faithful."
The Pope concludes this section with the sharp words: "In the frenzy of their conceited conviction that they know so much, these blind leading the blind have even turned upside down the eternally true concepts of truth and religion; they have founded a new system and in their wild, unbridled chase after new ideas they have forgotten to seek the truth where it dwells in safety; holy, apostolic traditions are scorned and in their place other doctrines resorted to which are idle and empty and uncertain, and which do not possess the sanction of the Church; and with such things they believe, in their delusion, that they can uphold and preserve truth itself."
We should be surprised if it had not already been maintained at that time that "all religions are true." The same is true of the question of "whether Christ really performed miracles, really prophesied future events, whether He really rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven." Just as is done today, God was already transferred into man at that time: "God is immanent in man." Like the dogmas mentioned above, the sacraments, too, are "mere symbols and signs." At this point the Pope inserts a remark which could have been written today: "In order to exemplify how they work, certain slogans can be pointed out, which, to use the common expression, 'draw' because they possess great appeal as propaganda for powerful and exciting ideas."
(To be continued in future issues.)
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