Modernism

On the Strange Function of Absolutes

Most people today “absolutely” maintain that they do not hold or live by “absolutes.” They live by their desires and choices, which are readily changeable. No one is much bothered by the “logic” of his own views. The proposition that “No absolutes exist” is itself an absolute. If it is true, an absolute exists. If [...]

Protestantism, Modernism, Atheism

“The reality of the apostasy of faith in our time rightly and profoundly frightens us,” said Cardinal Burke in honor of Fatima’s centenary. In 1903, Pope St. Pius X declared himself “terrified” by humanity’s self-destructive apostasy from God: “For behold they that go far from Thee shall perish” (Ps. 72:27). How much more “daunting,” said [...]

Father Bosco and the Monsters

Last week—amidst the filial correction of Pope Francis for the spreading of heresies—I paused to read about St. John Bosco and the monsters. Father Bosco’s dreams were haunted by them—monsters swooping at boys too “numb” to defend themselves; monsters turning their backs to the Blessed Sacrament before trampling souls; monsters clawing at flowers symbolizing purity [...]

A Portrait Of The Artist At 100

James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man turns 100 this year. Not bad for a book that, like some of the stories in Joyce’s Dubliners (1914) and Ulysses (1922) almost didn’t get published at all. Now that the copyright is up on Joyce’s work, the Joyce estate, which has been protected [...]

Pokémon Go Is the Least of My Parish’s Problems

A couple weeks ago as my wife and I approached the entry doors to our parish’s “Gathering Space,” which leads to the church proper, the parish social hall, and the parish offices, we couldn’t help but notice the signs that were prominently placed on all the doors: “Please refrain from playing Pokémon Go while inside [...]

Rockwell and Modernism: The Case of “The Art Critic”

It is often assumed that Norman Rockwell did not like “modern art.” This is definitely false. He liked it very much. On his studio wall, Rockwell had a print of a work by Picasso: on the bookshelves in his studio he had books on painters such as Roualt, Matisse, Munch, Seurat, Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec and other [...]

Pope St. Pius X: The Great Reformer

When most Catholics hear the name of Pope St. Pius X, they think of the great saint who pulverized modernism, that “synthesis of all heresies” in the early twentieth century.  Many are also aware of his Eucharistic reforms, which promoted frequent communion and communion for young children.  Some may also be aware of his conflict [...]

Assessing Vatican II: A Response to My Critics

It’s ironic to me that my recent article, "Fifty Years Later—Vatican II's Unfinished Business," has provoked anger among many traditionalists, because for most of my priesthood I have angered liberals who consider me an arch traditionalist. Nevertheless I want to respond to those traditionalists who include both the SSPX and my fellow Catholics still fully [...]

A Tale of Two Cathedrals: Why “Traditional versus Modernist” Tells Only Part of the Story

Here we have two recent Cathedrals of similarly grand scale and with contrasting architectures. The juxtaposition of the two styles makes an interesting case study for the “traditional versus modernist” debate over which architectural style is most appropriate for worship. Debates of this kind usually begin over obvious characteristics of style. But following a close [...]

Should the Bishop Have Bought the Crystal Cathedral?

Three miles from Disneyland there is another famous theme park, which proclaims itself as “America’s Television Church.” The Crystal Cathedral, perhaps the first mega-church in the United States, is about to undergo conversion classes so that it can finally get the cathedra and bishop it has always wanted. The Diocese of Orange, California, has purchased [...]

Why Contemporary Architecture is Against God and Man

Architecture is the setting for how we live and the expression of how we think. It reflects our shaping of the world in order to inhabit it, and the geometry of what we build is far from neutral. The built environment, like the biological and other natural systems that it engages, needs to function reliably [...]

Biblical Illiteracy and Bible Babel

One of the disappointments of the post-Vatican II period has been the glacial pace of the growth in Catholic biblical literacy the Council hoped to inspire.  Why the slow-down? Several reasons suggest themselves. The hegemony of the historical-critical method of biblical study has taught two generations of Catholics that the Bible is too complicated for [...]

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