Thursday, April 16, 2015

When Our Lord Returns, Will He Find Faith?

Writing in what is essentially a college or graduate level textbook, Atila Sinke Guimaraes develops the thesis that, based on the Council, progressivism denies the fixed, immutable character of the Catholic Faith. His book, Will He Find Faith (Inveniet Fidem?), is the sixth of an eleven volume encyclopedic study of the sufferings of the Church since the Second Vatican Council. The book details the transitional and evolutionist character that progressivists have imposed upon the faith. This new faith is no longer objective, but subjective; no longer absolute and universal, but relative and adaptable to history.

In a section dealing with new meanings given to infallible, dogmatic formulas, one of the particulars that Guimaraes cites concerns the dogma of Jesus Christ as true God and true man. The rejection of the truth that Jesus is God is the notorious Arian heresy, which denies the divinity of Jesus. This error “. . . denies that the Son is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of the Deity.”

The refusal to accept the other half of the dogma, that Jesus is true man, is the heresy of Docetism, which denies the humanity of Jesus. The Docetists were a sect that taught that Christ only “appeared or seemed to be” a man. “Some denied the reality of Christ's human nature altogether, some only the reality of His human body or of His birth or death.”

In a subsection of his book, under the heading The Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Guimaraes sets his sights on a volume written by Joseph Ratzinger in 1971, when he was at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria. While there he co-founded the journal Communio, along with Hans Urs von Balthasar, Walter Kasper, and others. In this book Fé e Futuro (unavailable in English), the future pope wrote: “But is it possible for God to be a man? A man completely human and at the same time true God, and hence entitled to demand faith from all and in all ages? Or is this not simply a case of overestimating a moment from the past? Once again, are we not encountering a mentality that we no longer share?” [quoted in p. 217, Will He Find Faith?]

Guimaraes asserts that with these remarks, Ratzinger “calls into question the dogma of Christ as true God and true man.” It should be noted here that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is fond of stating that he sees no change in his views over the years, e.g.:
Since Guimaraes presents the above excerpt in a section dealing with the Humanity of Jesus, he apparently sees this as an attempt to deny or at least revisit the concept that Jesus Christ is true man. Spiritual writers and mystics present clear reasons why it is crucial to accept that the Lord, although a divine Person, was truly human:

“Beware, therefore, My child, lest thou hearken to them that say that there is a higher and better road for more perfect souls; a way, not of My Heart, but of the mere Godhead. A way which, setting aside or overlooking My Humanity, can lead thee in a sublime manner to thy end, through the Divinity alone. Whoever says this to thee, be he a man or an angel, believe him not, trust him not. For, through My Humanity I came to men, and through this same Humanity, must men come to Me.” [The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt, TAN Books, chapter 26, book 4.]

“I assumed a Humanity which, moderating the rays of the light of the Divinity, was a means to instill trust and courage in man to come to Me. By placing himself before my Humanity, which spreads temperate rays of My Divinity, man has the gift of being able to purify, sanctify and even to divinize himself in My Deified Humanity. That is why all good things for man come from My Humanity.”
Book of Heaven, Luisa Piccarreta, Volume 3, entry of Aug. 1, 1900]

When Our Lord returns, will He find the Catholic Faith?

Will He Find Faith (Inveniet Fidem?) by Atila Sinke Guimaraes, 2007, Tradition in Action, Inc., is available here:

Posted 04/16/2015 by Frank Rega  (my Mom would have been 100 today, a prayer for her please).

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