La struttura dell’ Enciclica
pp. 541 - 554
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II principio generatore degli errori indicato dall’ Enciclica.
The Primary Generator of the Errors Indicated in the Encyclical.
Our purpose is not to do a simple analysis of this pontifical document of Wednesday, April 12, 1950, by numbering the damaging tendencies of which he [Pius XII] speaks. Likewise, we do not cite those which were admitted according to a diverse gradation.
What we try to do is to stress the principle error from which all the others derive and, through the force of the contrast, to show that which is the fundamental Truth that avoids these deviations because Divine Providence does not permit errors unless it is to put the Truth into a better light, as in a chiaroscuro; so too Divine Providence does not permit evil, and sometimes even greater evils, unless it is for the purpose of a superior good which we will perfectly discover only in Heaven.
Now, both philosophically and theologically examining this Encyclical, one sees that the fundamental error condemned [in Pascendi] is philosophical relativism, which leads to dogmatic relativism, from which is necessarily derived a whole complex of deviations which are herewith reviewed.
I. Contemporary Relativism and the Various Dogmas
The principle error condemned by the Encyclicalis relativism, according to which human knowledge does not ever have a real, absolute, and immutable value, but only a relative value. And this means various things according to the theory of knowledge that is admitted.
From where does this relativism, that has had its influence in these recent times in certain Catholic environments, originate? It derives as much from empiricism, or positivism, as from Kantianism and from the evolutionary idealism of Hegel.
Empiricism does not see the essential difference and the immense distance between the intellect and the senses, between the idea and the image, between judgement and the empirical association, and by this it strongly reduces the value of the first notions of being, of unity, of Truth, of goodness, of substance, of cause and the value of the first correlative principles of identity, of contradiction, of causality, etc. According to empiricism, these principles do not have an absolute necessity and are simply empirical associations confirmed by heredity, nor do they exceed the order of phenomena.
The principle of causality would affirm only that each phenomenon supposes an antecedent phenomenon, but it does not allow us to raise ourselves up to certain knowledge of the existence of the first cause beyond the phenomenal order.
Kantianism is opposed, it is true, to empiricism inasmuch as it recognizes the necessity of first principles, but according to this system the principles are only subjective laws of our mind, which come from us applied to phenomena, but they do not allow us to raise ourselves up beyond some phenomena themselves. From this point of view, according to the Kantian system, the existence of God can be proved only with a moral proof founded on the indemonstrable postulates of practical reason, whose proof gives us only an objectively insufficient certainty.
Therefore, one cannot admit the Traditional definition of Truth according to Kantianism, which, on the contrary, all Dogmas suppose.
One cannot say:
because the Truth would not be the conformity of our judgment with being and with its immutable laws of contradition, of causality, etc., but one would need to content himself by saying that the Truth is the conformity of our judgement with the subjective exigencies of moral action, expressed by indemonstrable postulates of practical reason. One does not give an objectively founded metaphysical certainty, but only an objectively sufficient moral and practical certainty. One does not escape from relativism.
Now Hegel says:
If one cannot prove with objectively sufficient certainty the existence of God really and essentially distinct from the world, it is better to say that God is made in the humanity that keeps evolving itself and in the mind of the men that passes continually from one thesis to an antithesis, then to a superior synthesis, and so on. According to the diverse movements of evolution, today the thesis is true, tomorrow it will be the true antithesis, the day after tomorrow the synthesis, and it will always be like this. There cannot be immutable truth, because God, supreme truth, is made in us and will not ever be actuated in full, as becoming cannot stop itself.This last proposition is the first of those that are condemned by the Syllabus of Pius IX.
Contrary to the principles of identity, of contradiction and of causality, to become is, for itself, its proper reason, without a superior cause. In this ascending creative evolution, the more perfect is always produced by the less perfect, which is evidently impossible. It is the universal confusion of being with non-being in becoming without cause, confusion of the true with the false, of the good with the evil, of the just with the unjust, as Pius IX affirms in the beginning of the Syllabus (Denzinger, # 1701).
These three relativist systems “empiricism, Kantianism and Hegelian idealism” have unfortunately distanced many intellectual people from their salvation. One cannot joke with the “one [thing] necessary”.
For how much it can appear surprising, this relativism has influence on some theologians to the point that one of them, Guenther, in the XIX century, said that the Church is infallible when she defines a Dogma, but it is an infallibility relative to the current state of science and philosophy at the moment of its definition. Under this aspect Guenther put in doubt the immutability of the Definitions of the Council of Trent, maintaining that one cannot affirm if that Council one day can be replaced by a definitive enunciation of the ministers of Christianity.
[Editor's Note: This heresy helped to pave the way for Synod Vatican 2 [Thursday, October 11, 1962 - Wednesday, December 8, 1965] by which some Prelates hated and/or ignored the Infallible Roman Catholic Council of Trent, and instead taught some errors and heresies contrary to the Council of Trent.]This dogmatic relativism appeared again at the epoch of Modernism, as the Encyclical Pascendi of 1907 demonstrates. Thus it has always tended to appear more in some of the sages of the NEW Theology, in which it is said that the notions used in the conciliar definitions in the long run grow old, that they are no longer conformed to the progress of science and philosophy, and then they need to be substituted by other “equivalent” declarations, but these are equally unstable.
[Editor's Note: Therefore, based upon the heresies of Modernism and the NEW Theology, all of the so-called declarations of Synod Vatican 2 are worthless because these are equally unstable!]For example, concerning the definition of the Council of Trent regarding Sanctifying Grace, namely, that Sanctifying Grace is the formal cause of justification, was a good formula at the time of the Council of Trent, but today it would need to be modified. But, from saying this was true back then, to today saying that this is no longer true, the distance is great. Under this aspect on earth there could be only provisional formulae.
Hence, too often is the evidence in need of the principle of causality, which is the foundation of the traditional proofs of the existence of God, as if a free choice were necessary for admitting the ontological value and absolute necessity of this principle, and that it would take from the proofs their truly demonstrative efficacy.
Finally the traditional definition of Truth is said to be chimerical [unreal; imaginary; wildly fanciful; highly unrealistic.]:
Adaequatio rei et intellectusthe conformity of judgement with extra-mental being and with its immutable laws, and one wants to "substitute for it" this new definition:
[Truth is the] equation of thought and thing
Conformitas mentis et vitae, the conformity of our judgment with life and with its subjective exigencies, and this leads to an insufficiently objective certainty regarding the existence of God, as in the proof proposed by Kant.Some have even maintained that Jesus Christ did not teach a Doctrine, but that He only affirmed with His life and with His death this fact, namely: that God loves humanity and wants our salvation. But if Jesus did not teach a Doctrine, then how could He have said:
"My Doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me." (John 7:16).If one does not speak of the teaching of Revelation, how could one even speak of the teaching of the Church for proposing to us, and infallibly explaining to us, the [unchangeable] Revealed Doctrine?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away." (Mark 13:31)?
Contemporary relativism in the religious field is apparent especially in the applications to the following questions: creation of the first man, the notion of the supernatural, the mystery of the Incarnation, of the Redemption, and of the Eucharist.
Some writers have proposed the following question:
Although the Holy Scriptures, all of Tradition, and all of the Councils, consider Adam as an individual name, could he not be considered instead as a collective name, and, by conforming oneself more closely to the theory of evolution, claim that humanity did not start with a first individual man, but with many men, with thousands of men, whatever first superior beings sufficiently evolved could produce, with a certain act of God, a human embryo?This would certainly require, they are wont to tell us, a notable modification of the Council of Trent regarding Original Sin, so why could not the Church correct herself? Even this is a clear consequence of relativism.
It is even maintained that the supernatural life of Grace, granted to man, is not gratuitous in the sense in which it is commonly taught, and that God could not have created man without giving him a supernatural end, namely - eternal life, the Beatific Vision. Such Grace would not be truly gratuitous, as the name implies, and instead makes one think that God Himself has the need to grant such Grace to us.
Even the Mystery of the Incarnation was proposed by some as a moment of the evolution inasmuch as we say that souls, being tied to the senses and to the animal life, have needed some of the influence of the universal Christ, of the cosmic Christ, as the head of humanity, Who preceded the progress of the world by many thousands of years.
Moreover, even the new interpretation of Original Sin, per se, and of sin in general as being an offense against God, requires that the current teaching of the Church must be changed about the Mystery of the Redemption.
And finally, it has been proposed to understand the Real Presence of the Body of Christ in the Eucharist without insisting anymore on the old notion of substance, and not to speak any more about the Mystery of Transubstantiation in the ontological [being; sine qua non] sense of the word. It is claimed that it suffices to say only that:
"the consecrated bread and wine become: a) the efficacious symbol of the Sacrifice of Christ; and, b) ONLY designates His spiritual presence; this change completely removes the Mystery."This heretical symbolism is very similar to that admitted by Calvin for the Eucharist and, at the very least, obfuscates the reality of the Mystery of Transubstantiation.
Somebody proposed one of these innovations without accounting for those proposed by others. Now that the Encyclical has collected them into one single panorama, one sees better the radical principle from which they proceed, namely realitivism accentuated by an historicism that sees only the becoming, from an existentialism that does not see the essence of things, but only their existence, and from a wanton irenicism which seems to believe in the reconciliation of contradictory things in and among themselves.
II. What Does the Encyclical Say Regarding These Diverse Problems?
It not only puts us on guard against dangerous tendencies, but also condemns many errors, although it recognizes the legitimate liberty of the sciences in their proper fields.
First of all what does the Encyclical tell us regarding relativism in the philosophical field and then in that of dogma? It tells us that:
“29. It is well known how highly the Church regards human reason, for it falls to reason to demonstrate with certainty the existence of God, personal and one; to prove beyond doubt from Divine signs the very foundations of the Christian Faith..... But reason can perform these functions safely and well, only when properly trained, that is, when imbued with that sound philosophy which has long been, as it were, a patrimony handed down by earlier Christian ages, and which moreover possesses an authority of even higher order, since the Teaching Authority of the Church, in the light of divine revelation itself, has weighed its fundamental tenets, which have been elaborated and defined little by little by men of great genius. For this philosophy, acknowledged and accepted by the Church, safeguards the genuine validity of human knowledge, the unshakable metaphysical principles of sufficient reason, causality, and finality, and finally the mind's ability to attain certain and unchangeable truth.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 29.)Among the first principles of reason, Saint Thomas with Aristotle (Metaphys., book III, chapter 4 ff) elucidates the evidence in need of the principle of contradiction founded on the opposition between intelligible and non-intellegible being.
St. Thomas constantly says that the intelligible being is the first object known by the intellect, just as color is the object proper to sight and sound is the proper object of hearing. When the sensible object is presented, while the sight affirms the colored being inasmuch as it is colored, the intellect affirms being, namely that it is, and that it opposes itself to nothing.
Furthermore, against absolute evolutionism, it is above all evident and certain that the more perfect cannot be produced by the less perfect. One cannot imagine a greater absurdity than saying that the intellect of the greatest geniuses and the goodness of the major Saints originates from a material and blind fatality, or from a confused and senseless idea, which would be the lowest grade of intellectual life.
The principle of causality is the most certain foundation of the traditional proofs of the existence of God, and the proofs are likewise objectively founded.
The Encyclical Humani Generis adds:
“They say that this philosophy upholds the erroneous notion that there can be a metaphysic that is absolutely true.... they seem to imply that any kind of philosophy or theory, with a few additions and corrections if need be, can be reconciled with Catholic dogma. No Catholic can doubt how false this is.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 32; emphasis added by the Author.)Sometimes it is said that one needs to baptize the modern philosophical systems like St. Thomas did with the Aristotelean system. But to do this there are two necessary things. One would need first of all to have the genius of Saint Thomas and then he would need philosophical systems to have a soul. A system that is founded entirely on a false principle cannot be baptized.
This judgement on the relativism in philosophy is completed by this important observation:
“However, it is one thing to admit the power of the dispositions of the will in helping reason to gain a more certain and firm knowledge of moral truths; it is quite another thing to say, as these Innovators do, indiscriminately mingling cognition and act of will,One would arrive at, so to say, (ibid.) that:that the appetitive and affective faculties have a certain power of understanding,and that man, since he cannot by using his reason decide with certainty what is true and is to be accepted, turns to his will, by which he freely chooses among opposite opinions”. (Humani Generis, ¶ 33; emphasis added by the Author.)
“theodicy.... [cannot] .... prove with certitude anything about God, ... but rather to show that the Truths which Faith teaches about a personal God and about His precepts, are perfectly consistent with the necessities of life” (Humani Generis, ¶ 34; emphasis added by the Author.)in orderr to avoid desperation and to preserve the Hope of Salvation.
In this way the Traditional Definition of Truth, as conformity of our judgement with extra-mental reality, would not be preserved, but only as conformity with the subjective exigencies of life and action.
In this way, the Encyclical speaks regarding relativism in philosophy.
* * *
But the Encyclical is less explicit regarding dogmatic relativism. Here one reads:
“16. It is evident from what We have already said, that such tentatives not only lead to what they call dogmatic relativism, but that they actually contain it. The contempt of Doctrine commonly taught and of the terms in which it is expressed strongly favor it.... Nevertheless, the things that have been composed through common effort by Catholic teachers over the course of the centuries to bring about some understanding of Dogma are certainly not based on any such weak foundation. These things are based on principles and notions deduced from a true knowledge of created things. In the process of deducing, this knowledge, like a star, gave enlightenment to the human mind through the Church. Hence, it should not be surprising that some of these notions have not only been used by the Œcumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong to depart from them.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 16; emphasis added by the Author.)All this clearly shows what the Church thinks about relativism in philosophy and also in theology relative to Dogma itself.
“17. Hence to neglect, or to reject, or to devalue so many and such great resources which have been conceived, expressed and perfected so often by the age-old work of men endowed with great talent and holiness, working under the vigilant supervision of the Holy Magisterium, and with the light and leadership of the Holy Ghost, in order to state the [unchangeable] Truths of the Faith ever more accurately - yet to have done all of this so that these things may be replaced by conjectural notions, and by some formless and unstable tenets of a NEW philosophy, tenets which, like the flowers of the field, are in existence today and die tomorrow; all of this is nothing less than supreme imprudence and something that would make Dogma itself a reed shaken by the wind. The contempt for terms and notions, habitually used by Scholastic Theologians, leads of itself to the weakening of what they call speculative theology, a discipline which these men consider devoid of true certitude because it is based on theological reasoning.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 17; emphasis added by the Author.)
* * *
What does it tell us of the application of relativism to the most discussed questions in these recent times?
What does it say regarding the creation of the first man? - Can one admit that Adam is not an individual name, but a collective name that does not indicate simply the first man, but thousands of first men, wherever some sufficiently evolved primal beings have produced with a certain concourse with God a human embryo? In other words, can one substitute polygenism with monogenism?
The Encyclical responds:
“37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either, that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to Original Sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual - Adam - and which, through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 37; emphasis added by the Author.)Regarding this error:
“26. Some also question whether Angels are personal beings, and whether matter and spirit differ essentially.”The Encyclical maintains:
“38. Just as in the biological and anthropological sciences, so also in the historical sciences there are those who boldly transgress the limits and safeguards established by the Church. In a particular way must be deplored a certain too free interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament. Those who favor this system, in order to defend their cause, wrongly refer to the Letter which was sent not long ago to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies. This Letter, in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, although properly speaking not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense, which, however, must be further studied and determined by exegetes; the same chapters, (the Letter points out), in simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured, both state the principal truths which are fundamental for our salvation, and also give a popular description of the origin of the human race and the chosen people”. (Humani Generis, ¶ 38; emphasis added by the Author.)Does one need to preserve the traditional notion of the supernatural and of the gratuitousness of the elevation of man to the Life of Grace, which is the seed of eternal life?
The Encyclical responds with great precision:
“Others destroy the gratuity of the Supernatural Order, since God, they say, cannot create intellectual beings without ordering and calling them to the Beatific Vision.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 26; emphasis added by the Author.)In this case Grace is not strictly gratuitous, though the name itself designates the gratuitousness. There is no longer nature in the true sense of the word, nor, therefore, Supernatural, strictly so-called.
What must one think of the innovations related to the notion of Original Sin and to the Mystery of the Redemption?
The Encyclical says:
“Disregarding the Council of Trent, some pervert the very concept of Original Sin, along with the concept of sin in general as an offense against God, as well as the idea of satisfaction performed for us by Christ.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 26; emphasis added by the Author.)What must one finally think of the innovations of some exponents of the NEW Theology regarding the Eucharist?
The Holy Father responds:
“Some even say that the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, based on an antiquated philosophic notion of substance, should be so modified that the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist be reduced to a kind of symbolism, whereby the Consecrated Species would be merely efficacious signs of the spiritual presence of Christ and of His intimate union with the Faithful members of His Mystical Body.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 26; emphasis added by the Author.)The Council of Trent, which has defined, Infallibly, the Mystery of Transubstantiation, speaks in a manner completely different.
The Pope adds:
“Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the True Church in order to gain eternal salvation.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 27; emphasis added by the Author.)The Encyclical concludes:
“28. These and like errors, it is clear, have crept in among certain of Our Sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls, or by false science. To them, We are compelled with grief to repeat, once again, Truths already well known, and to point out, with solicitude, clear errors and dangers of error.”(Humani Generis, ¶ 28.)To prescribe the remedy the Holy Father recalls that a return to the Doctrine of St. Thomas is needed:
“31. If one considers all this well, he will easily see why the Church demands that future Priests be instructed in philosophy ‘according to the method, doctrine, and principles of the Angelic Doctor,’ since, as We well know from the experience of centuries, the method of Aquinas is singularly preeminent both for teaching students and for bringing Truth to light; his Doctrine is in harmony with Divine Revelation, and is most effective both for safeguarding the foundation of the Faith, and for reaping, safely and usefully, the fruits of sound progress.” (Humani Generis, ¶ 31; emphasis added by the Author.)All this shows us that the Saviour did not only affirm the fact that God loves men, but that He taught a Doctrine, when He said:
“You call Me Master, and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.” (John 13:13).Revelation was given to us per modum magisterii, (by the method of the Teacher) as the Word of God, as Revealed Doctrine about God, His nature, His infinite perfections, the free creation, our gratuitous ordination to the Supernatural End - the Beatific Vision, and about the means for attaining it. This teaching of Revelation is the foundation of the teachings of the Church which defend the integrity of the Faith.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31).
* * *
First of all, that the Encyclical is not content with putting us on guard against dangerous tendencies, but it also condemns some errors, especially philosophical and dogmatic relativism and many of the consequences that derive therefrom, particularly the error that warps the true notion of the gratuitousness of the supernatural, and the polygenetic hypothesis, which is irreconcilable with the Faith.
The Church certainly admits that there is a progress in the intelligence of Dogma, through always more explicit definitions, but she defends the immutability of the Dogma, which is known always more explicitly, although remaining always the same.
Some have objected regarding polygenism: It seems that the Church does not recognize the liberty of science, which is necessary for its progress.
On the contrary, it is clear that the Encyclical recognizes perfectly the legitimate liberty of the sciences, when one remains faithful in his own environment to its certain principles and to its method. To convince oneself of this it is sufficient to read in the Encyclical itself the preceding paragraph [Humani Generis, ¶ 37] regarding polygenism.
The paragraph [Humani Generis, ¶ 37], about the origin of the body of the first man, does not reject the hypothesis of evolution, but only on the one and only condition that it is to be understood that only God, IF God so chose, could have created the spiritual and immortal Soul of the first man, and also that, only IF so, that then it was by a very special intervention of Divine Providence because, in an animal embryo, the superior disposition required by the creation of the human Soul was present.
An animal of a species which is inferior to man cannot, in fact, through its own virtue, give to the embryo that from which proceeds a superior disposition to that of its species. Otherwise the more would be produced by the less and the more perfect would be produced by the less perfect, and there would be greater perfection in the effect that is not in the cause. This is clearly contrary to the principle of causality.
Instead of limiting the liberty of science, the Encyclical encourages its progress and invites whosoever to closely study the inherent errors in order to ascertain whatever tiny portion of the Truth which may still be there in order to see exactly where the actual variance is to be found. It could happen that, in some cases, in certain very manifest errors, there is also an indirect proof of the Truth which such errors reject.
So Hegelian evolutionism, which admits an universal becoming without a superior cause and a God that is made and that will not ever be, is a an indirect proof of the existence of the true God, because Hegel cannot deny the True God without also denying the real value of the principles of contradiction and of causality.
Likewise today the universal desperation and nausea to which atheistic existentialism leads are an indirect proof of the value of Christian Hope. These indirect proofs have some tiny value in and of themselves. They are like some formulated confessions from the conscience of the major adversaries, as when Proudhon and Clemenceau were speaking of the grandness of the Church from their little fight.
But the Encyclical reminds us, almost as if we had forgotten it, of the importance of the logical principles of contradiction and of sufficient reason that almost nobody denies.
The response to this objection is also easy. The Encyclical recalls the importance of these principles, not only as logical laws of our mind, but also as immutable laws of the extra-mental reality. It recalls that their real value, ontological and transcendent, is absolutely certain, while instead phenomenalism and especially subjectivism deny it. Through natural intelligence a square circle or a triangular ellipse are not only unimaginable and inconceivable [and the fallacy of a contradiction of terms], but also unfeasible outside of the mind.
To understand the sense and the importance of the Encyclical it would be necessary to reflect one good time, both seriously and profoundly, at what the proper object of natural intelligence is, whose object [which is, of course, Truth]is very superior, and, of course, is immensely superior to that of the external and internal senses such as the imagination.
While the senses perceive only sensible external and internal phenomena, natural intelligence perceives the intelligible being of sensible things and the immutable laws of being and of the extra-mental reality, the laws of which can be perceived by ontology, or by general metaphysics. Now ontology, which has for its object the extra-mental being, differs essentially from logic, because logic has for its object beings of reason, which is to say, conceivable, but it is unfeasible outside of the intellect, as for example the laws of the syllogism.
Ontology also differs essentially from the positive and experimental sciences which study phenomena and their phenomenological laws.
Those who do not comprehend the importance of this Encyclical, more or less, confuse metaphysics with logic since for them Saint Thomas is only a great logician, whereas, outside of logic, they do not see, as is the case with nominalists and positivists, any progress of the postive sciences, which they claim that the Encyclical retards. In reality, the Encyclical recalls the real and absolute value of the first principles of natural intelligence, which is then advanced by metaphysics. Yet, without these same principles, every certainty would disappear.
“No being can at the same time exist and not exist,” or, as one reads in the Gospel [paraphrased]:
It was also said that the Encyclical supposed the philosophy of being, but that does not contradict those who admit the philosophy of the good.That which is, is; that which is not, is not.It is the fundamental law of reality. Therefore the theologians who doubt the real value of the principle of contradiction respond to Kant:
It is easy to respond to this insofar as the good presupposes the true, otherwise it is not a true good, and the true consists in affirming that which is while it denies that which is not.
* * *
It is forgotten that the most elementary Truths, like the principle of causality, and the Pater in the order of Faith, are the most vital, the profoundest and the highest Truths. But to realize it, first, one needs to meditate on it, and, second, to put it into practice.
His Eminence, the Archbishop of Florence, in a Pastoral Letter, had in mind the subject of Religious ignorance which concerned an Italian Count who, being very close to death, and hearing his Wife reciting the Pater Noster with profound contemplation, said to her:
“Countess, have you composed this prayer yourself?”Having had recited this prayer frequently, although mechanically, she had yet to understood its profound meaning.
Therefore, in like manner, the Encyclical reminds us of the profundity of the Truths we have forgotten. Before criticizing these grand Traditional Doctrines, as Kant, Hegel, and their successors have done, one needs to be absolutely certain of first having clearly understood them.
If one truly and sincerely desires to understand these profound Truths, one will be both greatly recompensed and amazed at the Truths which the Supreme Pastor teaches us in this Encyclical.
Those who sincerely search for the Truth, and who humbly pray to God the Holy Ghost for His enlightenment, fulfill this aphorism:
“You would not need to search for me, if you had already found me.”The grave and solemn warnings of the Magisterium of the Church are given to us in the name of Christ in Truth and in Charity.
This Truth not only frees us from errors and from doubts, but also unites the minds, the hearts, and the wills, to God, in the peace of Christ, of which all of us have great need in our conflict with the world which battle is not yet finished. Let each of us beseech the good God to give it to us through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, for the Greater Honor and Glory of His Holy Name and for the Salvation of Immortal Souls.
Editorial Notes by Patriarch Jacobus Maria DeJesus, D.D.
Encyclical Humani Generis: Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli [Thursday, March 2, 1939 - Thursday, October 9, 1958], Infallible Papal Encyclical Humani Generis, “On Human Origin, Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine The Foundations of Catholic Doctrine”, Wednesday, April 12, 1950.
You will find this
Encyclical on this web site at:
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. was born Gontran-Marie Garrigou-Lagrange at Auch, France, near Toulouse, in Southwestern France, on Wednesday, February 21, 1877 and died at Rome, Italy on Saturday, February 15, 1964. While studying medicine at Bordeaux, in Southwestern France, he experienced what he described as a religious conversion after reading “Life, Science, and Art” by Ernest Hello [b. at Tréguier, Brittany, France on Tuesday, November 4, 1828 - d. on Tuesday, July 14, 1885].
Abbeye Le Saulchoir
He joined the French Dominicans and first studied, and then taught classes, at the Dominican Abbey, Le Saulchoir, before moving to Rome, Italy.
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. was a leading neo-Thomist of the 20th Century who
taught Dogmatic and Spiritual Theology at the Dominican Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a.k.a. The Angelicum, in Rome, Italy from 1909 until his retirement in 1960. In 1917 a special Professorship in Ascetical and Mystical Theology was created for him at the Angelicum, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. He is the author of a number of excellent books on Theology and on the Spiritual Life, as well and hundreds of Articles.
Here is a link to some of his books, some of which can be downloaded in several different file formats, including the text.pdf file format, as well as an extensive bibliography of his works in 73 pdf file pages, etc., all of which are at this primary link to his works:
The Three Ages of the Interior Life (vol. 1) - Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald, O.P__text.pdfThere are 11 Books by Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., in Latin, which you can download in several file formats at:
The Three Ages of the Interior Life (vol. 2) - Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald, O.P__text.pdf
1. 'La struttura dell'Enciclica Humani Generis' - Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald, O.P_
Note: This is the Italian version from which the above Article, “The Structure of the Encyclical Humani Generis,” has been translated into English. It is entitled:
Appendice IIa, La struttura dell’ Enciclica “Humani Generis”, pp. 541 - 554. External Link for free download in text.pdf file format at:
2. Le virtu eroiche nei bambini - Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald, O.P_
He synthesized the writings of the Dominican Priest, Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P., with those of the Carmelite Priest, Saint John of the Cross, O. Carm., which proved them to be in mutual concord.
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., the leading proponent of “strict observance Thomism”, attracted wider attention when, in 1946, he wrote against the Nouvelle Théologie [New Theology] theological movement, criticising it as Modernist Heresy.
Certain credible sources claim that in 1950 Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. wrote the draft of the Papal Encyclical Humani Generis for Pope Pius XII. This Papal Encyclical is subtitled: “Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine”.
IF this is True, then this fact would clearly explain his intimate knowledge of the Encyclical Humani Generis, and, therefore, it explains why he is the one and only person totally qualified to have written this present Article: “The Structure of the Encyclical Humani Generis,” which is to be found in his work entitled: La struttura dell’ Enciclica “Humani Generis”, referenced above.
Of course there are various sources for his various books and Articles. These include:
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. wrote 28 books plus hundreds of articles, such as this current web page: “The Structure of the Encyclical Humani Generis”.
Some of his works
that are linked are available here:
A source which claims
it has 75 books, etc., of Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. is at:
A pdf file which
claims it has a complete bibliography of all works of Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange,
O.P. is at:
Here is a partial listing of some of his books by subject matter, a few of which are available online at one or more of the above sources, and others in print format, usually softcover:
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.: Commentaries on the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas:
chiaroscuro: strong contrasts between light and dark; better light.“The One God, Commentary on Summa Theologica I. 1-26". Softcover.Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.: Other Theological Books:
“The Trinity and God the Creator, Commentary on Summa Theologica I.27-119.” Softcover.
“Christ the Saviour, Commentary on Summa Theologica III.1-26, 31-59.”  Softcover.
“Grace Commentary on Summa Theologica I-II.109-114”. , scanned version. Softcover.
“The Theological Virtues, Volume 1: Faith, Commentary on Summa Theologica II-II.1-16.” 
“Beatitude, Commentary on Summa Theologica I-II.1-54.”  Softcover.“God, His Existence and Nature: A Thomistic Solution of Certain Agnostic Antinomies.” Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.: Philosophical Books:
“Christian Perfection and Contemplation according to Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint John of the Cross.” 
“The Love of God and the Cross of Jesus.”  Softcover, Volume 1 Softcover, Volume 2
“The Three Ages of the Interior Life: Prelude of Eternal Life.” 
“A Synthesis of ‘Christian Perfection and Contemplation’ and ‘Love of God and the Cross of Jesus’.” (online)
“The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life.” 
“Essenza e attualità del tomismo.”  (Italian)
“Life Everlasting Life Everlasting and Immensity of the Soul.” 
“The Priest in Union with Christ.” 
“The Mother of the Saviour and our Interior Life.” 
“Beatitude.” “Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought.” Softcover. Hardcover. Free Audiobook.Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.: Books in Latin (originals):
“Principles of Catholic Apologetics.” Translated and rearranged by Thomas Joseph Walshe from Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.'s “De Revelatione”.De Revelatione per Ecclesiam Catholicam proposita – Theologia Fundamentalis secundum S. Thomae Doctrinam (Volume I & Volume II)Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.: Books in Spanish (translations from originals)“Dios: Su existencia solución tomista de las antinomias agnósticas.” (Volumen I & Volumen II)
“El realismo del principio de finalidad.”
“El Salvador y su amor por nosotros.”
“El Sentido Común.” (Original in French: Le sens commun)
“El Sentido del Misterio.”
“La Madre del Salvador y nuestra vida interior.”
“La Predestinacion de los Santos y la Gracia.”
“La providencia y la confianza en Dios.”
“La Santificacion del Sacerdote.”
“La síntesis tomista.”
“Las tres edades de la vida interior.”
“La Unión del sacerdote con Cristo Sacerdote y Victima.”
“La vida eterna y La profundidad del alma.”
Kantianism; Kant: Kantianism is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant [b. at Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) on Saturday, April 22, 1724 - d. at Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) on Sunday, February 12, 1804] who was a German philosopher. Kant is considered the central figure of modern philosophy. Kant argued that fundamental concepts of the human mind structure human experience, that reason is the source of morality, that aesthetics arises from a faculty of disinterested judgment, that space and time are forms of our sensibility, and that the world as it is, in-itself, unknowable. Kant asserted that, because of the limitations of argumentation in the absence of irrefutable evidence, no one could really know whether there is a God and an afterlife or not. His beliefs continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and aesthetics. The terms Kantianism, or Kantian, are sometimes also used to describe contemporary positions in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics.
Hegel: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [b. at Stuttgart, Württemberg on Monday, August 27, 1770 - d. at Berlin, Prussia on Monday, November 14, 1831]. Hegel has influenced many thinkers and writers whose own positions vary widely. Karl Barth described Hegel as a Protestant Aquinas [“Why did Hegel not become for the Protestant world something similar to what Thomas Aquinas was for Roman Catholicism?” (Karl Barth, “Protestant Thought From Rousseau To Ritschl: Being The Translation Of Eleven Chapters Of Die Protestantische Theologie”, Im 19. Jahrhundert, 268 Harper, 1959)], while Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that “All the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, phenomenology, German existentialism, and psychoanalysis - had their beginnings in Hegel.”
Syllabus of Pius IX: “1. There exists no Supreme, all-wise, all-provident Divine Being, distinct from the universe, and God is identical with the nature of things, and is, therefore, subject to changes. In effect, God is produced in man and in the world, and all things are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing with the world, and, therefore, spirit with matter, necessity with liberty, good with evil, justice with injustice.” (“Dogmatic Canons and Decrees”, New York the Devin-Adair Company 1912, “The Council of Trent”, Imprimatur + John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, June 22, 1912, Pope Pius IX, Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti [Tuesday, June 16, 1846 - Thursday, February 7, 1878], “The Syllabus of Pius IX”, I., Condemnation of Pantheism, Naturalism and Absolute Rationalism, ¶ 1, “Allocution ‘Maxima Quidem’, June 9, 1862”, p. 187; emphasis added.)
Denzinger 1701: “1. No supreme, all wise, and all provident Divine Godhead exists, distinct from this world of things, and God is the same as the nature of things and, therefore, liable to changes; and God comes into being in man and in the universe, and all things are God and they have the same substance of God; and God is one and the same as the world, and therefore, also, spirit is one and the same with matter, necessity with liberty, the true with the false, the good with the evil, and the just with the unjust (26).* [Letters of His Holiness, our Lord Pope Pius IX].” (Father Heinrich Joseph Dominicus Denzinger [b. at Liège, Belgium on Sunday, October 10, 1819 A.D. - d. at Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany on Tuesday, June 19, 1883 A.D.], Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum, Sources of Catholic Dogma: # 1701 1; emphasis added.)
Guenther: Guenther,a.k.a. Günther: Anton Günther [b. in Austria on Monday, November 17, 1783 - d. on Tuesday, February 24, 1863]. Jesuit Novice [1822 - 1824], Theologian, Censor in Vienna [to 1848]; Founder of the peculiar philosophy Güntherianismus, which sought to use anthropology to prove that Catholic Dogma was a science, thus proving that Revelation was in agreement with reason which is why this heresy was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. His main thesis was: Vorschule zur spekulativen Theologie des Christentums (Preschool for the Speculative Theology of Christianity), 2nd Edition published in 1848.
Pascendi: Infallible Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius X, Giuseppe Sarto [Tuesday, August 4, 1903 - Thursday, August 20, 1914], Infallible Papal Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Sunday, September 8, 1907 A.D.
You will find this Encyclical on this web site at: http://www.traditionalcatholicmass.com/home-m25.html
Irenicism: Irenicism is the determination to attempt to unify different Christian apologetical systems by using reason as an essential attribute while ignoring objective Truths. The word derives from the Greek word eirene which means peace. It is a concept related to natural theology. Irenic theology attempts to find areas of agreement in order to promote a false and fake unity by which process it downplays the need to determine the existence of unchangeable Doctrinal Dogmatic Truths.
It is ultimately a form of Religious Indifferentism in which one religion is just as good as any other religion. This conviently ignores unchangeable Dogmatic Doctrines. It attempts to create an artificial consensus in order to create a false peace vis-à-vis a false one-world religion.
In actual practice, it prefers any/all errors of unguided subjective reason to objectiveTruths. Such a practice is irational and hence passive/aggressive which is a contradiction to its false philosophy of pacifism which holds that any kind of violence, for example - a defensive war - is unjustifiable under any circumstances, and that any and all disputes, including theological variances, should be settled by peaceful means in order to create their utopian world of dreams where a reconciliation of contradictory things in and among themselves is the ultimate objective.
At first glance, it would seem such a process is doomed to failure? However, some frustrated passive/aggressive Irenicists resort to propaganda in order to try to force a consensus on the majority of people which makes it more difficult for the minority - those who defend the Truth - to resist conforming to the errors of the feigned “majority” as one Author has noted in his work:
“I have described and documented in my book, ‘Pope John’s Council’, the manner in which the Fathers of Vatican II were caught up in an artificially created consensus, which resulted in most of them abandoning the attitudes of a lifetime almost overnight. There can have been few more dramatic examples of mass conditioning since Hitler hypnotized the German people. It still seems hard to believe that almost all the three-thousand [almost totally orthodox] Catholic bishops who entered St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 11, 1962, would emerge from it on December 8, 1965, as little more than programmed puppets, men who were happy to abandon the accumulated wisdom and spirituality of 2,000 years in favor of the clichés fabricated by the Liberal ‘experts’ [Editor’s note: including - Irenicists, Innovators, and Infiltrators], and repeated ad nauseam in the media they controlled as ‘new insights’ in tune with the contemporary mentality. If any proof is needed that the bishops have made themselves the creatures of their own ‘experts’, it can be found in the imposition of Communion in the Hand upon the Faithful at the command of these ‘experts’.” (Michael Treharne Davies, a.k.a. Michael Davies [b. at Yeovil, Somerset, England on Friday, March 13, 1936 - d. on Saturday, September 25, 2004], “Communion in the Hand and Similar Frauds”, An Artificial Consensus, ¶ 2; emphasis added.)
Polygenism: Polygenism is an erroneous theory of human origin which claims that the human race is of many (several) origins (Greek: poly - many). which is part of the Heresy of Evolution - to wit: the Heresy of Modernism and the Heresy of the NEW Theology. This Heresy denies that God created ONE man (Adam) and ONE woman (Eve) as Divine Revelation, teaches in the written Word of God, Sacred Scripture:
“1:26. And He [God] said: Let Us [Holy Trinity] make man to Our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.Monogenism: Monogenism is contrasted with Polygenism. Monogenism holds that human origin comes from one human race and is consistent with Genesis 1:26-31. It is contrary to the Heresy of Evolution. (Greek: mono - one; only).
1:27. And God created man to His own image: to the Image of God He created him: male and female He created them.
1:28. And God Blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
1:29. And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:
1:30. And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.
1:31. And God saw all the things that He had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:26-31; emphasis added.)
Proudhon: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon [b. at Besançon, France on Sunday, January 15, 1809 - d. at Passy, Paris, France on Thursday, January 19, 1865] was a French politician and the founder of the so-called mutualist philosophy. He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist and is widely regarded as an influential theorist.
Proudhon is considered by many to be the father of anarchism. He became a member of the French Parliament after the revolution of 1848, whereafter he referred to himself as a Federalist. His best-known assertion is that Property is Theft!, which is found in his first major work, What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government (Qu'est-ce que la propriété? Recherche sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement), published in 1840.
He made no public criticisms of Marx or Marxism, because during his lifetime Karl Marx was a relatively minor theorist. Marxism became a large movement after Proudhon's death. Proudhon criticized authoritarian socialists of his period which included the state socialist Louis Blanc, concerning whom Proudhon said:
"Let me say to M. Blanc: you desire neither Catholicism nor monarchy nor nobility, but you must have a God, a religion, a dictatorship, a censorship, a hierarchy, distinctions, and ranks. For my part, I deny your God, your authority, your sovereignty, your judicial State, and all your representative mystifications."It was Proudhon's book What is Property? that convinced the young Karl Marx that private property should be abolished.
Clemenceau: Georges Benjamin Clemenceau [b. at Mouilleron-en-Pareds, Vendée (a department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in West-Central France on the Atlantic Ocean) on Tuesday, September 28, 1841 - d. at 16th Arrondissement, Paris, France on Sunday, November 24, 1929] was a French statesman who led the French nation during the First World War.
Benjamin Clemenceau [1810 - 1897] was his Father who came from a long line of physicians, although he lived off his lands and investments and did not practice medicine. Benjamin, the Father, had a reputation as an atheist and a political activist and was arrested and briefly held in jail in 1851 and again in 1858. It was the Father who instilled in his Son a love of learning, devotion to radical politics, and a hatred of Catholicism.
Georges Benjamin Clemenceau played a central role in politics during the Third Republic as a leader of the Radical Party, and he served as the Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909, and again from 1917 to 1920. He preferred a total victory over the German Empire, and, therefore, militated for the restitution of Alsace-Lorraine to France.
He was one of the principal architects of the Treaty of Versailles at the French Peace Conference of 1919. Nicknamed Father Victory (Père la Victoire), and The Tiger (Le Tigre), he took a harsh position against defeated Germany, though not quite as much as President Poincaré, and won agreement on Germany's payment of large sums of money for reparations.