Consequences of Vatican II

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Intellectual Bunco

Lyle J. Arnold, Jr.

Since Vatican II, Progressivism has engendered in the Church a half-century of intellectual bunco (aka swindle, trap, trick, ruse). The latest installment came in the Pope's Easter Vigil address, which made a big splash in both the secular and Catholic press. The blooper in Pope Ratzinger's address is so transparent as to be deciphered by even the shallowest of thinkers.

According to the secular press, "Pope Benedict XVI marked the holiest night of the year for Christians by stressing that humanity isn't a random product of evolution. ... The Vatican, however, warns against creationism, or the overly literal interpretation of the Biblical account of creation." (1)

Papal vigil - 2011

Do not accept creationism...
Turning to the Catholic press, on page one of the May 15th issue of The Remnant it states, "In a significant Easter Vigil address, Pope Benedict repudiated the evolutionist's explanation of the origin of man and the universe and instead reiterated support for the Biblical account of creation." (2)

So, from the secular press, we get the contradictory message of the Pontiff; from the Catholic paper only one side of the story is reported, trying to cover Benedict XVI’s contradiction.

By saying that man is not merely a “random” product of evolution, Benedict XVI presumably is criticizing Darwinian evolution, hardly electrifying news. But there is a nuance here, because it is public knowledge that Ratzinger himself has been during his whole life an evolutionist, albeit of the theistic variety.

In any case, we are dealing with a forked tongue, a blatant example of contradiction, saying something is and is not at the same time. (3) When the contradiction is made on purpose, we should ask if we are being fooled. In this case it surely seems that we are being led into an intellectual trap. Catholics are presented with two conflicting ideas that they are asked to believe simultaneously: Catholics must reject Genesis. Catholics must accept Genesis.

Neither the secular nor the Catholic comments mentioned that Benedict is an evolutionist, but this fact is in principle confirmed in his book Creation and Evolution. (4) Ignatius Press, which published the book, points out praise from the public sector for Ratzinger’s acceptance of theistic evolution.

We should not forget that Benedict himself has praised the "great vision of Teilhard de Chardin," who "set out to make it intellectually possible for a Christian to accept the theories of Darwinian evolution and still retain his Christian faith."'(5)

Let me recall here that Pope St. Pius X did not distinguish between one or the other varieties of evolution when he singled out evolution as the principal doctrine of the Modernists in his Encyclical Pascendi and condemned it. Also, the famous declaration of the Holy Office on the interpretation of the first chapters of the Genesis – issued under the command of the same St. Pius X - is quite clear, affirming that they should be understood literally (Denzinger 2121-2123). A strong support for creationism.

Maurice Blondel & Teilhard de Chardin

Maurice Blondel, left, and Teilhard de Chardin are "Catholic" partisans of evolutionism endorsed by Benedict

Whether it is "random" or theistic evolution, both directly violate the literal interpretation of Genesis. This is precisely why the secular press could report that with Benedict’s Easter vigil talk, "the Vatican warns against creationism." Creationism is tantamount to Catholic belief.

God created the universe from nothing. This is an article of Faith, not science. Notwithstanding, the theistic evolution accepted and promoted by Pope Ratzinger has it that God did not, properly speaking, create the universe from nothing, but rather transformed what already existed in a different stage. When you go further back and ask about the first action of God - Did He create the first element of the universe? - the progressivists give you blurry answers. They do not want to reveal the foundation of their doctrine, which is this. They believe that God and the universe entered existence simultaneously. God and the universe would be mixed together, which means that God is immanent in the universe and the universe is divine. This is the presupposition of Teilhard de Chardin, shared also by the present day Pontiff.

According to this Teilhardian theory, the universe develops in an evolving process of Christogenesis, not at random. It is needless to say that this theory denies creationism as well. Thus, here is the “logic” of the Ratzinger-Teilhard bunco.

It is almost beyond comprehension that a Catholic paper, The Remnant, in one issue quotes Pope Ratzinger denying that we "evolved randomly" and praises his defense of theistic evolution. In another issue, it criticizes theistic evolution for holding that "God acted billions of years ago. ... (Afterwards He) left the material world to operate according to random chance and natural selection." (6)

There are many varieties of bunco con games. The sweetheart con, the snake-oil con, the pyramid con, the big con, the short con, to list just a few. We are looking at a big con. Catholics are told to accept Genesis and to reject Genesis. I hope this explanation will help to backfire the intellectual bunco and the progressivist cons to be laid bare.
1. "Pope extols the divinity of man," Contra Costa Times, April 24, 2011, page AA3.
2 Quote is from Badford Gow of Greenville, Mississippi, who submitted the article to The Remnant's "News Watch."
3. “The Laws of Thought and the Heresy of Progressivism," posted August 3, 2007, Tradition in Action.
4. Ignatius Press, originally published in German in 2007.
5. Progressivist Document of the Week, "Benedict XVI praises the cosmic liturgy of Teilhard de Chardin," Tradition in Action, 8-29-09.
6. Peter Wilders, "The Theological Time Bomb,” The Remnant, April 30, 2011, page 10f.
Posted June 8, 2011

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