Ever wondered how the darling of Catholic higher education arrived at Sunday’s disgrace?
Notre Dame alum Paul Schlicta writes in the American Thinker‘s blog, providing a quasi-timeline of how things spiraled out of control. The sad part: this has been brewing for a very long time:
The process started a century ago, when the Catholic Church was attacked by a group of internal heresies that Pope Pius X collectively defined as “modernism”. This vague and polymorphous movement, which one might call “Catholicism Lite”, was a rationalistic reduction of the Bible to mythology and of Catholic doctrine to tentative opinions that could be changed to suit the mood of the times.
Pius X attacked modernism within the Church so vigorously that for over half a century, Catholic clergy and schoolteachers had to take an anti-modernist oath. But there was always an underground movement of modernistic liberal theologians, waiting for an opportunity to “bring the Church up to date.”
Failure to cut the Catholic Church down to size with Vatican II and throughout Pope John Paul II‘s conservative reign forced these dissidents to enter through the back door…
This underground liberalization movement was apparently successful at Notre Dame. A salient example was the enthusiasm with which radically liberal Jesuit theologian Michael J. Himes (he doesn’t like to be called “father”) was received when he gave a series of lectures and workshops while a member of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology in 1987.
These lectures were eventually published as a book called Doing the Truth in Love, which included an enthusiastic back-cover endorsement by ND’s president emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh. Consider the following excerpts, which I assure you were not insidiously taken out of context:
“Our Father in Heaven doesn’t especially care whether you are good or wicked or whether you are just or unjust.” [p. 11] “And astonishingly, not once does Jesus tell his disciples to love God.” [p. 18] “…no religious motive is the basis for the last judgment. Not only are specific religious acts beside the point, so are specifically religious motives.” [p. 51] “God loves this book as much as he loves you or me; otherwise it would not exist.” [p. 102] “Indeed, treating these formulas as the operative elements of the sacraments would reduce sacraments to magic-as long as you say the right words, poof!” [p. 100] “That is not what Christianity is about at all. We do not claim that there is a being ‘out there'” [p. 18] “God is not another person out there.” [p. 55] “There is no all-wise, all-powerful person named God who has a plan for us…” [p. 55]
And that is just the appetizer.
Things that make you go hmmm….
[Image attribution: Infibeam.com]