NEW PHILOSOPHY OF MAURICE BLONDEL
now take a look at the "holy fathers" of this new
theology. The first step they take in their liberation
from traditional Catholic theology and dogma is by abandoning
scholastic philosophy. It is thus hardly surprising to hear
Urs von Balthasar stating, "Hell exists, but is empty!"
Balthasar bases himself upon the philosopher Maurice Blondel
- who occupies a small place in the history of philosophy,
but a very important place in the history of this modernist
new theology of the Church
GHOST - LIKE PHILOSOPHY
his life (1861-1949), the Frenchman, Maurice Blondel, was
a center of controversy, especially as one couldn't pin him
down to his errors - since, like all modernists, he would
wriggle and slither out of such attempt. This attitude was
stigmatized by an adversary of Blondel's, Fr. Tonquedec O.P.,
in the Dictionnaire Apologetique de la Foi Catholique:
efforts to base my arguments with Blondel on documentary evidence,
I soon realized that the public did not have access to his
works. The texts I quoted were from books that were no longer
available on the library shelves; nor the brochures that contained
his most important articles. Furthermore, his doctrines, in
being the continual object of controversy, were continually
re-explained, modified, etc. The result being that his doctrine
cannot be nailed down or grasped, since it changes with time
and differing circumstances. Very few persons, even amongst
those who study religious philosophy, are capable of grasping
the meaning of the statements and writings of Blondel and
Blondel's friends? The answer is Fr. Lubac and his gang: Bouillard,
Fessard, von Balthasar, Auguste Valensin, etc. In other words,
the founding fathers of the new theology, condemned
by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis. This new theology
was, in the words of Fr. Henrici SJ., elevated to the position
of the "official theology of Vatican II."
PSEUDO - APOLOGETICS DESTROYS CATHOLIC DOGMA
followers, Lubac and his gang had their reasons for wanting
to leave Blondel's philosophy enveloped in a vague fog. This
would give birth to a new, vague, "Christian" philosophy.
Blondel presented his philosophy as an apologetical method
of winning over modern man. He says that classical proofs
fail to penetrate the minds of modern men, which are penetrated
by Kantian positivism. If you want to save souls, then you
must go to where they are and if they have fallen into subjectivism,
then it if through subjectivism that they must be sought.
subjectivist philosophy typical of Protestantism and Modernism,
so ruinous to Catholic dogma, was already condemned by Pope
Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi. For Blondel, Catholic
Truth rests more on the level of subjectivity than objectivity.
Truth is more related to the will and experience, rather than
intelligence. Hence truth is what we want and feel it to be.
Faith does not pass from the mind to the heart, but from the
heart to the mind! This leads us into the field of scepticism
and agnosticism, which is the foundation of modernism. With
this elevation of the will and feelings, man believes what
he wants to believe, relying on his feelings and impressions,
devoid of all objectivity. This explains the current exaltation
and preoccupation with personal religious experiences such
as the charismatics, pietists, pseudo-mystics, etc. The majority
of the Church is tainted with this subjectivism.
does not bother with rational arguments to prove the existence
of God and credibility of the Christian religion. He prefers
to give the unbeliever an "effective experience
" of Catholicism, to make the unbeliever who has no faith
"to act as though he had the faith."
In other words, to "experience" God - which is exactly
what Pope St. Pius X condemned as modernism, in Pascendi.
also falls into Immanentism (the essence of modernism) when
he insists that "there is nothing that goes into man
that does not come from man and that does not correspond
in some way with his need for personal growth and expansion."
This is the very basis for modernism, wherein the human mind
is the central reality around which everything else revolves.
For in modernism, the religious soul's beliefs and reasons
for belief come from its own experiences and feelings - it
will not accept objective arguments that are beyond its own
realm of experience. If this attitude is followed to its logical
conclusions, then such a soul will inevitably deny all external
Divine Revelation and the divinity of Jesus Christ Himself.
NEW CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY
what Blondel has done, is to go and seek-out "modern-man"
in his place of habitat - the sickbed of subjectivity and
skepticism. Yet, rather than helping him leave this sickbed
of grave errors, he lets him wallow in those self-same errors.
Blondel's new "Christian philosophy” and its offspring,
the "new theology of the Church" of his followers,
will replace the perennial philosophy of the Church - an objective
philosophy, based on reality, carefully formed and perfected
throughout the course of many centuries, by the greatest philosophical
minds the world has ever seen, a philosophy that reached its
summit in what we now call Thomistic Philosophy.
Pius XII warned us of these new theologians in his
encyclical Humani Generis, and stressed the importance
of Thomistic philosophy as an aid against deviation in Catholic
dogma. In his book The Intelligence In Danger of Death,
Marcel de Corte, one of the most lucid thinkers of his time,
echoes this same view on the importance of Thomistic philosophy:
is linked to Greek philosophy, which is, itself, a philosophy
based upon common sense, reality and a human intelligence
faithful to its purpose (i.e. to know objective truth). Whenever
philosophy wanders from this, it suffers the consequences!
Vatican II threw out this realist philosophy which the Church
had always guarded...this 2,000 year-old solidarity between
supernatural reality of the Faith and the natural reality
of man's mind...a philosophy which was the axis and pivot
of the Church, who is the custodian of Faith, Intelligence
and Morals. All this has been swept away by the tempest of
all tempests - the subjectivity of man."
had his critics and supporters. Amongst the former were the
Catholic theologians Garrigou-Lagrange, Labourdette and De
Tonquedec. One of Blondel's public defenders was Fr. Auguste
Valensin SJ., who would present "doctored" quotes
of Blondel when speaking in his defense. Thus opportunely
eliminating anything that might serve to incriminate Blondel,
before a public that was largely unaware of the true content
of his doctrine. His writings were not freely available, and
so people had to accept these "misquoted quotes"
as being true.
Valensin takes Blondel's quote of "there is nothing
that goes into man that does not come from
him and that does not correspond in some way for
personal growth and expansion" and twists
it into "there is nothing that goes into man that
does not correspond to his personal growth and expansion."
The opportune removal of "…that does not come
from him…" is a move clearly designed to protect
Blondel from the accusation of lmmanentism and Modernism.
good and sound theologians, such as Garrigou-Lagrange, Labourdette
and De Tonquedec, spotted Blondel's errors and raised the
alarm. They refuted this "new Christian philosophy"
and pointed out its ruinous consequences for Catholic dogma
and its incurable opposition to the Magisterium of the Church.
Today, "those who think they've won" try
to reduce all this to a mere personal feud between several
theologians and deny it as being of any importance for the
Church. Yet this is far from being the case. The enlightening
refutations of Blondel's philosophy, by the above-mentioned
theologians, prove the contrary and the present crisis in
the Church shows how right those "clairvoyant" theologians
CRUX OF THE MATTER
the celebrated Dominican theologian, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange
publicly refuted Blondel's errors and privately wrote to him
asking him to "retract his (false) definition of
truth before dying - if he didn't want to spend too long
in Purgatory." Publicly, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange had
said: "It is not without a serious responsibility that
he (Blondel) has called the Church's traditional definition
of truth, which has been accepted for centuries, a figment
of the imagination. Furthermore, by substituting this true
notion of truth with an erroneous notion of truth, will inevitably
bring error to anything that is built upon that false notion."
these erroneous fruits that grew out the capital error of
Blondel is what the present-day Church calls "the Living
Tradition." This erroneous notion of Tradition ignores
the Church's logical and indispensable link that must exist
between what the Church teaches now and what the Church has
always believed and taught. This is because, based on Blondel's
false notion of truth, progress in dogma and understanding
of truth is in a continual state of evolution or development.
due to this continual development, there can be no fixed,
definite, unchangeable truths.
in 1924, Fr. De Tonquedec had pointed out a remarkable resemblance
between Blondel's ideas and the ideas condemned by Pope St.
Pius X in the encyclical Pascendi. Tonquedec says that
Blondel managed to wriggle out of a personal anathema by his
characteristic vague expressions, hesitations and contradictions.
A seemingly heretical statement would be contradicted a page
or so further on.
in good faith? Fr. Tonquedec thought not, with good reason.
For Blondel would often deform the teaching of St. Thomas
Aquinas and twist it round to mean the opposite. Added to
this we have his categorical denials of ever having been opposed
to orthodox Catholic thought. The typical modernist plea of
"You don't understand me!" with repeated
attempts at explaining himself to his critics or those who
refuted his erroneous doctrine. In fact, his whole life was
one long attempt at giving his ideas an orthodox sense or
meaning. This continual wriggling and self-justification under
the microscope has produced a host of differing opinions of
Blondel. Some believed that he was sincere in his explanations,
yet the wiser and better-informed critics were not fooled
journal L'ami du Clerge (March 4,1937,p.137) wrote
that the later works of Blondel were nothing else but a reflection
of his earlier erroneous ideas - going on to say that "he
has not changed an iota of his doctrine."
was of the same opinion, who also said of Blondel's later
works: "Unfortunately, I find it impossible to accept
Blondel's present interpretation of his works…which defends
the orthodoxy of his writings.... Nobody who has read his
entire works can accept that.... This philosophy is very new,
very bold, very exclusive and on the whole erroneous."
comes to the same conclusion in his article "Where
is the New Theology going to?" With regard
to Blondel's new notion of truth, Fr. Lagrange asks: "Have
Blondel's latest works corrected this false notion of truth?
We have to say that they have not!"
CONFESSIONS OF "THOSE WHO THINK THEY'VE WON"
tenacious critics of Blondel were not wrong! Today, the "new
theologians" confirm their fears. We quote from the
Central Archives of Maurice Blondel: “After his two works
entitled ‘Action' (1893) and Letter' (1896), Blondel was often
accused of being a 'modernist' by persons who misunderstood
everything. In the face of these detractors, Blondel too often
gave a too weak and minimal interpretation of his works."
20, 1931, in a letter to De Lubac, Blondel asked him if he
thought that some of his (Blondel's) theses "went
over the top." In his letter of April 3, 1932, De
Lubac replies to the contrary. He chides Blondel for being
too timid in the face of the criticism and restraint that
came from other theologians. De Lubac asserts that all this
impedes the free development of a spontaneous Catholic mind.
He goes on to say: "I admire the painstaking care
by which you criticize yourself and I am saddened by the thought
that this might delay future important works, that
we await with such impatience." (Henri De Lubac,
Memoire autour de mesoeuvres, p.21).
by the magic flute of his "friend," Blondel takes
courage and by return of post (April 5, 1932) he confesses
that: "It's now over 40 years since I started tackling
these problems, at which time I was not sufficiently armed.
At that time, Thomistic philosophy was reigning intransigently.
Had I said then what you want me to say now, then I would
certainly have been too reckless and would have jeopardized
the cause we defend - for I would have incurred many inevitable
censures. It was necessary to take my time, in order to let
my thought mature and in order to tame the minds that rebelled
against it. The delays that sadden you are, in view of this
double aspect, excusable... It is necessary to embrace traditional
ways and views, so that they may be used as a point of departure
or a springboard for a 'renewal'... Therefore, I am not totally
to blame for the prevarication and timidity that you so deplore
in this child of a 'new generation' and master of a theology
that I have not yet managed to possess!"
we see Blondel, using the usual modernist ploy, of deliberately
hiding his true thoughts so as to officially remain with the
bosom of the Church and to attempt a "renewal" from
within. In this correspondence between Blondel and De Lubac,
we see exposed all the secret maneuvers of modernism - which
seek to avoid exposure and censure. It was to his own misfortune
that Blondel ran into De Lubac and his gang. For the latter
saw in Blondel's new "Christian Philosophy" the
foundations for their "New Catholic Theology." And
in Rome, they could count on the sympathy of the Vice-Secretary
of State, a certain Msgr. Montini - the future Pope Paul VI.
We'll speak of that later!
from Courrier de Rome April 1993
fascinating series of articles is appearing in the
periodical si si no no. Fascinating, because
they take us down into the engine-room of the apostasy
devastating the Church.
of apostasy? Just as in the great ocean-going liners,
at the beginning of this century, there could be thousands
of people on board and action going all over the ship,
but the real action, driving the ship over the ocean,
went on in the engine-rooms deep below the decks of
the ship, populated by relatively few man. So in the
ship of the Catholic Church, millions of Catholics,
in all parts of the ship are now being shaken to pieces
by something which started with a handful of men a
long way below the decks, out of public view.
si si no no articles present six architects
of the slippery heresy neo-modernism…The first of
the six is a French philosopher, living from 1861
to 1949, whose name will be known to very few readers
- yet without whom, there would have been no Vatican
II - Maurice Blondel.
can philosophy be so important, when everybody with
any good sense knows it is all nonsense? Answer, philosophy
is the mechanics of the human mind, grasping natural
reality…Now over the last several hundred years, modern
man has been more and more turning his back on reality
- because it is governed by God, because it comes
from God. Modern man prefers the fantasy of which
he himself is creator and master. That is why modern
philosophy expresses, not a grasp of reality, but
a hundred different ways of refusing reality. This
is why philosophy has justly got itself a bad name.
Catholic Church acknowledges God, loves His reality
and expresses its submission to that one reality by
one philosophy - today best known as Thomism, named
after St. Thomas Aquinas…The modern world, being marinated
in liberalism and steeped in revolt, refuses Thomism
as it refuse reality…Thinkers, too much in love with
the modern world, want a way out of the Church’s classical
thomistic theology and philosophy - they want a philosophical
justification of fantasy. That is what Maurice Blondel
gave to Fr. Henri de Lubac, S.J., father of the “New
Theology,” which was the charter of Vatican II.
starts from the desire “to win over modern man” who
is unimpressed by a philosophy of submission to reality.
Blondel’s next step is to argue that Faith comes from
“experience” inside, which is modernism - the Faith
is what I feel. St. Paul says the Faith comes from
outside [of ourselves], “from hearing.” Hence the
third step, the supernatural is a need or demand of
human nature, because “nothing can enter a man, which
does not come out of him and correspond in some way
to a need he has of expansion.” His naturalism subverts
everything supernatural and the whole order of grace
transcending nature is pulled down within nature!
si si no no quotes Blondel changing the very
notion of truth…Instead of the classical definition
of “the matching of mind and reality,” Blondel’s
definition is “the real matching of mind and life.”…Truth
evolves…with nothing ever determined or fixed.
knew exactly what he was doing. He was deliberately
deceiving the Church authorities as to his real thinking,
in order to be able to continue working from within
the Church to reform it. Some “reformer”! Some “reform”!
Surely Blondel himself sincerely believed in his work
of rediscovering “authentic Christianity”? Yes, and
the whole modern world lines up to congratulate him
on his planting of the mines to blow sky-high the
antiquated Church. But did his conscience congratulate
him, or did it rebuke him? Fr De Lubac the priest,
assured Blondel the layman, that his thinking was
spontaneously Catholic enough to need no timid cover-up.
Ah, the responsibility of a priest!
within the ranks of Protestantism originating in the reaction
against the fruitless Protestant orthodoxy of the seventeenth
century. It aimed at the revival of devotion and practical
Christianity, including private assemblies in people’s houses
for pious reading and mutual edification, with an emphasis
on the universal priesthood of the people. A basic idea of
pietism is the importance of interior religious experience
in the form of feelings and emotions.
of any action, which begins and ends within itself. It denies
anything transcendent in the supernatural which according
to this theory, is only a conception springing from an irresistible
need of the soul, or “the ceaseless palpitation of the soul
panting for the infinite, product of our interior evolution”;
it is of immanent origin for “it is in the heart of mankind
that the Divine resides. (Bouisson)”
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)