Si Si No No Title

October 1993 No. 4

They Think They've Won Part II



Let is 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

Maurice Blondel
Maurice Blondel



Throughout 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:

"Despite 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 his friends."

Who were 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."



Blondel's 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.

This 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.

Blondel 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.

Blondel 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.



In effect, 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.

Pope 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:

"It 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."



Blondel 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.

For example, 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.

However, 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 were!



In 1946, 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."

One of 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.

Consequently, due to this continual development, there can be no fixed, definite, unchangeable truths.

Already 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.

Was Blondel 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 at all!

The ecclesiastical 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."

Fr. Tonquedec 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." (Dictionnaire Apologetique)

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange 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!"

Fathers of the "New Theology"



These 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."

On December 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).

Bewitched 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!"

Thus 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!

Translated from Courrier de Rome April 1993



A 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.

Engine-room 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.

The 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.

How 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.

The 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.

Blondel 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!

Finally, 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.

Blondel 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!

Bishop Richard Williamson






A movement 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.


The quality 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)”


They Think They've Won! <<Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, PartVI,
Part VII
, Part VIII, Part IX
La Civilta Cattolica Puts out the Fires of Hell <<First article


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)

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