When your Excellency asked me as a student of history whether I agreed with you that the agnostic phenomenism condemned in Pascendi is the greatest single clue-in to the modern scene, I briefly concurred. Then I asked myself how men, especially learned men, could ever take seriously such nonsense as the mind knowing nothing beyond the phenomena, or appearances. And I recalled how, after sitting in University classrooms for the past 3 1/2 years, and listening carefully to some brilliant professors who seem to have a sense of reality, and to many who do not, I myself had begun to wonder why some have a great sense of reason and others with the same or similar Doctorate Degrees have adopted such wild and unreasonable ideas. Let me give you the answer of this long-time observer of the academic scene . . . .
It dawned on me after a little thought that the professors who were the most logical were Catholics, because they may be conservatives at best, but they have a realistic view of the world. The ideas and concepts they teach are, for the most part, sensible. On the other hand, the instructions of a majority of professors are muddled, confusing, and nonsensical. They profess bizarre and outlandish ideas and back them up with half-truths. They adopt almost any trendy notion, such as Global Warming or Climate Change ( the new “Evolution”), and present it as truth. Their reasoning behind these notions is pure nonsense and cannot stand up to close scrutiny. I began to wonder, how can such learned men be so ignorant? After much thought I came up with what I am sure is the true answer.
Since the professors who are more sensible are men at least striving to be Catholic, it would stand to reason that they possess something that the heathens do not. Before the revolt by Martin Luther, most scholars or learned men were Catholics who used their reason and possessed common sense, so that most taught and believed the same truth. When Luther ravaged the Church, he also ravaged many learned clerics and university professors. In particular, his new religion eliminated the Sacrament of Confirmation by which we know that Catholics receive the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, four of which are for the mind: Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding, and Counsel. All four are now lacking to today’s agnostic professors. These may be well-educated, learned people, but they cannot use their learning in a reasonable way, or apply it to reality. As Pius X says, they develop fantasies and present them as truths, and furthermore convince themselves that they are brilliant, when in fact they are wallowing in ignorance. They are the 2+2=5 cult! And proud of it.
On this theory, today’s destruction of academia would go back to Luther’s abandoning of the Sacrament of Confirmation, and to Europe’s universities becoming less and less Catholic. Eventually thousands of professors were unleashed on the world of academia who were educated beyond their ability to reason. Lacking Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Counsel in their highest sense as Gifts from God, they developed in universities the panoply of today’s errors, or “isms.” For instance, to claim that Global Warming will destroy man and the world is sheer nonsense, yet it is taught and believed in modern Universities, as if it were 2+2 = 4. And these poisonous ideas are gobbled up by the wide-eyed youth in Universities, like biscuits at High Tea, especially the idea that Truth is merely what each of us believes it to be, and Reason be damned.
So it would follow that when Vatican II chose to follow in Luther’s footsteps by abandoning Tradition and by so “renewing” the sacrament of Confirmation as to threaten its validity, Catholics too imperilled the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, and lost correspondingly the ability to reason, because Newchurch Confirmation is now meant simply to make them “better Christians.”