On the blog-site of a certain Fr. John Zuhlsdorf appeared this week a number of comments provoked by “Difficult Discussions” appearing here a week ago. Many of these comments were relatively thoughtful – a compliment to Fr Zuhlsdorf. One went straight to the point: “Bishop Williamson is using terms without defining them. I’d really like to know if I am a Neo-modernist.” Joe Pinyan further wanted to know, “in order not to be in league with Baal,” whether he should be worshipping God rather at an SSPX Chapel than at a parish where both the “extraordinary” and “ordinary” forms of Mass are celebrated.
To offer Joe an answer, let me begin by defining Neo-modernism. It is the revival (“Neo-”), let loose within the Catholic Church by Vatican II (1962–1965), of the all-embracing heresy of Modernism. Modernism is the dreadful system of mind-rot, emerging over a century ago within the Church and solemnly condemned by St. Pius X in his Encyclical “Pascendi,” whereby the Catholic Church must be adapted to fit the modern world, as shaped by Protestantism and Liberalism. It is in fact the ultimate form of Liberalism, because by its Kantian principles it pretends to liberate man’s mind (and will) from any truth (or law) whatsoever.
Modernism is an especially hypocritical and dangerous error because it can leave intact the appearances of Catholicism even while emptying out its reality. Thus Jesus Christ is not really God, but I am free to make him God (for me) if I want to. Thus Catholic Truth and Law become whatever I care to make of them. Thus out of the Ten Commandments, I become free to obey none or all ten, because either way I am only obeying me. Neo-modernism is even more dangerous than Modernism, because by it the very highest of churchmen, instead of continuing like St.Pius X utterly to condemn Modernism, adopted it to establish it officially inside the Church!
Thus today Catholics have been made free to attend either the “extraordinary” or the “ordinary” form of Mass, according as they prefer the unchanging real God and his essentially unchanging true Mass, or both of them as suited to today’s world. Now this recent freeing of attendance at the true Mass may have proceeded from the best of intentions of Benedict XVI, but the real God imposes on all of us to worship him as he really is, and not as he has been downsized by modern man. So I hardly expect you to believe me against Rome, Joe, if I tell you to flee the “ordinary” form of Mass, but if you want nothing to do with the worship of Baal, then that is, objectively speaking, what you should do.
However, if you do wish to believe me, you must read! Alas, Pius X’s Pascendi makes for difficult reading. Start here on Dinoscopus with those “Eleison Comments” that treat of religion. Then graduate to the two books, soon to be four, advertised alongside. Then read anything written by Archbishop Lefebvre. Most important to obtain light, pray the Rosary to the Mother of the real God. And may God bless you.