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lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

Descubriendo al Verdadero Cristóbal Colón


 Parte 1  



Por Solange Hertz (RIP)
(Artículo tomado de un capítulo de su libro On the Contrary)


Traducido del inglés por Roberto Hope

Retorno de la Leyenda Negra.
Este año de Nuestro Señor 1992, quinto centenario del descubrimiento de América por Cristóbal Colón, se tropieza con una Leyenda Negra demostrablemente renovada en vigor y propósito. Conforme se acerca el día del aniversario, la añeja hispanofobia, tan apreciada por los enemigos de Cristo Rey toma un nuevo atractivo. Ya el Jueves Santo del 28 de marzo de 1991, cediendo ante presiones sin precedente desde afuera de la Iglesia, Roma suspendió el proceso de beatificación de la Reina Isabel, que había comenzado en 1972 y estaba llegando a una conclusión favorable. Conforme los escritos difamatorios de Colón condenando el que haya abierto los continentes americanos a la despiadada explotación española, llegan a un crescendo en los medios, nuestro preciado 12 de octubre parece producir más controversia que celebración.


Desde muy al principio, los maestros de la desinformación pusieron su atención en excitar la indignación de los jóvenes. El número del pasado diciembre del Accuracy in Academia Campus Report (Reporte sobre los Recintos Universitarios de Accuracy in Academia) llevaba un artículo de portada sobre la condenación de Colón por estudiantes radicales intitulado: “Descubra el Legado de Colón: 500 años de racismo, opresión y terreno robado.” Ya el gobierno estudiantil de la Universidad de Illinois había proclamado el último aniversario del descubrimiento como “Día de Recordación del Genocidio de la Gente de Color,” que, declaraba, "marcó el inicio de la esclavitud, el Colonialismo y otras manifestaciones de la Supremacía Blanca." Indios nativos americanos, judíos, musulmanes y hasta asiáticos han sido ahora inspirados a unirse a las filas de aquéllos que vociferan sus protestas contra la transgresión colombina de sus derechos, pasados o futuros, reales o imaginarios.


La pandilla entera parece haber encontrado un vocero en Kirkpatrick Sale, autor del popular y malicioso libro The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy (La Conquista del Paraíso: Cristóbal Colón y el Legado Colombino). Por lo menos da muchas citas, muy a propósito. El diario Houston Chronicle lo reporta informando a una reunión de profesores, que "el explorador fue un marinero descuidado y cruel con su tripulación. El viaje de Colón al Nuevo Mundo expandió el colonialismo europeo, la esclavitud, el capitalismo y la degradación ecológica, entre otras cosas." [1] Debe haber habido muchas otras cosas, pues el Consejo Nacional de Iglesias aprobó una resolución calificando la llegada de Colón como una invasión a ser conmemorada con duelo más que celebración.


El encabezado de un artículo por Hans Koning, autor de Columbus: His Enterprise (Colón: su Empresa), en el diario Long Island Newsday, va más lejos preguntando "¿Merece Colón un Día? El hombre fue un tirano cruel, codicioso, que llevó al suicidio masivo a los amigables indios". ¡Vaya! Según Koning, el Descubridor "mandó ahorcar a jefes indios y a asarlos a fuego lento para quebrar toda resistencia contra las fuerzas que recogían polvo de oro en los arroyos.. Hombres, mujeres y niños en la Hispaniola de Colón (hoy Haití y República Dominicana) fueron cortados en pedazos y los trozos vendidos en puestos a los soldados españoles para que alimentaran a sus perros, siendo considerada una buena política militar el dar a esos perros el gusto por los indios." [2] Hasta los católicos están comenzando a creerse estos cuentos.


Antes de que termine el año quizás sean acusados los españoles de retrasar los transplantes de órganos 500 años por interferir con la práctica de los aztecas de arrancar los corazones de donantes vivos. ¡Qué pérdida tan irreparable el que estas técnicas tan antiguas, parte del gran legado americano, no hayan sido transmitidas a la posteridad! En un artículo de antecedentes intitulado “Conmemorando 500 años de Cristianismo en las Américas," publicado por los obispos norteamericanos, leemos que "la historia ha sido estropeada por intolerancia, intransigencia, insensibilidad y crueldad... Por esos males, la Iglesia busca el perdón y la reconciliación ... Nuestra más antigua historia enseña que la evangelización nunca debe volver a estar ligada a una conquista ... Esta conmemoración del quinto centenario presenta al Cristianismo una ocasión para una reevaluación profunda de la misión de la Iglesia en el mundo."


El verdadero objetivo.
No es de sorprenderse que el artículo de los obispos termine con una cita de Hegel, algo acerca de que el buho de Minerva vuela solamente a la caída del sol, 'al término de una era'. Y ciertamente, ahora por fin el objetivo de la leyenda negra llega a la vista por completo: Esos estereotípicos personajes de la historia según Hollywood, los codiciosos frailes, el lascivo Papa Borgia, el desdeñoso Felipe II vestido de negro y plata, siguen frecuentando las cámaras de tortura de la inquisición y alardeando de los autos de fe, pero ahora se nos dice que eso no era otra cosa que la punta del iceberg. La batalla entre los anglosajones protestantes blancos, decentes, adustos, amantes de la libertad, de pelo corto, y los papistas latinos, emplumados, libertinos, de pelo largo, conducida con tanto ardor por ya dos siglos en los libros de texto, en las novelas baratas y en los escenarios del cine, ha abierto el paso a un conflicto mayor.


De repente, el villano de la Leyenda Negra ya no es sólo el español; en 1992, contra el telón de fondo de todo el solve et coagula [3] — que ahora está, por cierto, estableciendo un nuevo gobierno secularista mundial, surge el verdadero villano. Es el conjunto de la creyente, multiplicante, civilización católica, la civilización de la cual la española no fue más que la representante elegida y la punta de lanza en el nuevo mundo. En otras palabras, el objetivo de la Leyenda Negra es, fue, y sólo puede ser, la Cristiandad Católica, de cuyos ‘errores’ los obispos norteamericanos están ahora pidiendo perdón humildemente.


Informada por la vitalidad sobrenatural que le fue comunicada por la Iglesia, la Cristiandad sola produjo la civilización europea y la nutrió durante mil años. En la persona de Cristóbal Colón, la Cristiandad descubrió, es más, conquistó América para Cristo. Su sistema político ha sido desmantelado por la democracia, su vida económica envenenada por la usura, y su vida moral debilitada por el humanismo, pero la Cristiandad Católica sigue viviendo y respirando. Su cuerpo flácido, lacerado, todavía tiene que ser tomado en cuenta pues, débil como está, es, hablando humanamente, lo único que todavía es capaz de entorpecer la victoria final del Novus Ordo Seclorum. La ponzoña provocada por la memoria de Cristóbal Colón lo prueba.


Este nuevo orden de los siglos, que primero echó raíces en el continente con el establecimiento de los Estados Unidos, ahora comanda satélites en todo el mundo, aun en países comunistas. El utopianismo judeo-masónico no puede soportar siquiera un recuerdo del antiguo orden de los siglos, que es el de Dios y de Cristo Rey, y menos aún conmemorarlo. El pecado imperdonable de Cristóbal Colón no fue el racismo ni la codicia del oro, como lo arguyen sus detractores. Como al español, se le declara culpable de ser un hijo leal de la Iglesia Católica, cuya causa era la suya propia. No puede perdonársele el que haya reclamado a todo un nuevo continente en nombre de Cristo Rey y plantado la Fe en sus playas trescientos años antes de que la nueva república hecha por el hombre pudiera siquiera alcanzarlas.


A su iniciativa, con la ayuda de la Beata reina española, Isabel — llamada la Católica para su honor eterno — a la conspiración utópica llamada Reforma Protestante le fue arrebatada la victoria que creía asegurada en Europa. El dominio de Cristo Rey sobre este mundo, que sus adversarios esperaban que pronto menguara hasta extinguirse, de repente se extendió más allá de todo cálculo natural. Gracias a los entusiastas españoles que sucedieron a Colón atravesando el mar, los millones de almas que se perdieron en favor del protestantismo en Europa más que se repusieron por otros millones que se convirtieron a la fe en las Américas. Hoy en día, más de la mitad de los católicos del mundo se encuentran ahí.


Grandes porciones de Europa también fueron salvadas, pues las riquezas de América hicieron posible a España poner recursos militares y políticos sin precedente al servicio de la Cristiandad. El oro americano no solamente financió la derrota del Islam en Lepanto, bajo la bandera de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, también proveyó de fondos para detener la difusión del protestantismo, conteniendo las ambiciones de Inglaterra y Holanda. Pudiera decirse que Colón e Isabel fueron la respuesta de Dios a la angustiosa plegaria de la Iglesia ante la floreciente Reforma.


La iglesia puso un hasta aquí
A estos dos salvadores de la Iglesia Militante, un tercero debe ser agregado: Rodrigo Borgia, otro español, quien, como Papa Alejandro VI, solemnemente ratificó los descubrimientos de Colón y formalmente extendió la soberanía de Cristo sobre el viejo mundo para incluir también al nuevo. Mediante tres bulas en mayo y septiembre de 1493, este pontífice trazó de norte a sur en el Atlántico la famosa Línea de Demarcación que dividía el nuevo hemisferio entre España y Portugal, confiando a perpetuidad su evangelización a los dos rivales.


La línea misma fue probablemente sugerida por Colón, pues es sustancialmente la línea que no tiene variación magnética, en la que su brújula señaló al norte geográfico por primera vez en la historia, estando en conjunción el polo magnético y la estrella del norte en ese punto. Debido a que había sido establecida por el Vicario de Cristo, el mismo Colón escrupulosamente la respetó en sus viajes posteriores. Sin embargo, otras naciones católicas pronto la vieron como un obstáculo importante para sus ambiciones, y las naciones protestantes, ansiosas de establecer a toda costa una cabeza de playa del otro lado del Atlántico, abiertamente se negaban a respetarla. La Bula Inter cetera fue modificada posteriormente pero nunca ha sido abrogada por autoridad apropiada alguna y supuestamente todavía rige.


“No nos sorprendería,” escribió el Arzobispo Kenrick de Baltimore, “que el derecho de dar, cual si fuera, una carta de autorización para el descubrimiento de tierras desconocidas, a una corporación nacional en una confederación cristiana, debe serle reconocido a aquél cuyo cargo le imponía el deber de esparcir el Evangelio por todas las naciones.”[4] El poder que ejerció Alejandro como cabeza suprema de la humanidad nunca ha sido definido formalmente por la Iglesia, pero se había reconocido universalmente, desde los tiempos más antiguos, que los Papas tenían el poder para disponer de tierras paganas, al igual que de reinos cristianos. El famoso mosaico del siglo VIII en la Basílica San Juan de Letrán, que muestra a San Pedro confiriendo con su mano derecha un palio al Papa León II y dándole al mismo tiempo con la izquierda un estandarte secular a Carlomagno, corroboraría lo anterior.


En su encíclica Il fermo proposito San Pío X llama a la Iglesia “guardiana y protectora de la sociedad cristiana. Ese hecho era reconocido y admitido en otros períodos de la historia; de hecho, constituía un fundamento sólido para la legislación civil... Qué excelente gobierno podría conseguirse y mantenerse en el mundo si uno pudiera ver en la práctica el ideal de la civilización cristiana! Sin embargo, admitiendo la batalla continua de la carne contra el espíritu, de la oscuridad contra la luz, de Satanás contra Dios, eso no se puede esperar, por lo menos en toda su plenitud. De ahí que se cometa pillaje en las conquistas pacíficas de la Iglesia.”


Impotentes para  hacer a un lado la Bula, estas fuerzas hostiles descargaron su furia contra su autor. Así como Colón e Isabel, Alejandro VI fue objeto de calumnia al grado de que hasta entre católicos, el mero nombre de Borgia se ha vuelto sinónimo de infamia. Esa es otra historia, como lo es la de Isabel, pero baste decir que las peores acusaciones contra la vida privada de Alejandro permanecen lejos de haber sido probadas, y no han faltado sus defensores.[5]

¿Colón qué? ¿Era griego?
No sabemos quién era Colón. Por ser un marinero hábil, descrito por sus contemporáneos como alto, rubio y de ojos azules, se le ha atribuido, entre otras, ancestría vikinga. Hay mayor evidencia, sin embargo, de que pudo haber sido un noble bizantino griego que halló refugio en Italia luego de la caída de Constantinopla ante los turcos en 1453. Posiblemente descendiente de los emperadores Paleologos, sería por consiguiente, según la tradición, de la línea de David, como nuestro Señor, los Gonzaga, y los monarcas verdaderamente cristianos. Aun cuando Colón sabía el griego, esta teoría es difícil de conciliar con su falta de familiaridad con la liturgia y las devociones populares griegas.


Un argumento más convincente sería su conocimiento de la geografía y las ciencias naturales, que era considerablemente mayor que lo que normaba en occidente. Su supuesta correspondencia con el famoso geógrafo de Florencia, Toscanelli, no le habría suministrado información útil sobre América. En su juventud, habría sido imbuido en la tradición del geógrafo del siglo II, Claudio Ptolomeo, quien no sólo sabía que la tierra era redonda, sino también sabía cómo viajar alrededor de ella. Las enseñanzas de Ptolomeo, cimentadas en Pitágoras y Aristóteles, nunca habían sido abandonadas en Bizancio. Tampoco las del gran Eratóstenes y de su seguidor, Strabo, quien en el siglo I DC declaró que era posible navegar desde España hasta las Indias, opinión en la que Colón se apoyaría fuertemente.


Estaba plenamente enterado de la tradición en el Este acerca del gran continente que yacía más allá de Gibraltar, que aparece en los escritos de Platón, Aristóteles, Theopompus, Diódoro, Pausanias y muchos otros. Su descubrimiento había sido previsto desde mucho tiempo antes, como se prueba en la profecía que Séneca incorporó en el segundo acto de su Medea: “En una época futura, llegará un día cuando el océano romperá las uniones de la naturaleza y una tierra majestuosa será revelada a los hombres. Y a ellos Tethys les revelará mundos nuevos, y ya Thule no será más el punto más lejano de las regiones habitadas.” Colón cita estas palabras en su famoso Libro de las Profecías, obra  que él compiló con la ayuda de Fray Gaspar de Gorricio de pasajes de la Escritura y de otras fuentes que él creía que predijeron su descubrimiento del nuevo mundo [7]. En una anotación a Medea, su hijo Fernando dice, “Esta profecía fue alcanzada por mi padre, el Almirante Cristóbal Colón en 1492.”


Ningún erudito hoy en día argüiría que Colón haya sido el primero en descubrir América, por divinamente inspirada que su misión hubiera sido. Su conocimiento de los antiguos por sí solo llevaría a Colón a desconocer esa idea, especialmente luego de que encontró reliquias europeas en la Isla de Guadalupe. Por cierto, se inclinaba por la noción que prevalecía en esa época, de que América era el continente en cuya tierra había estado ubicado el Jardín del Edén. Como Aristóteles y Teofrasto y sus sucesores, aceptó como históricas las crónicas de la antigua Atlantis citadas por Platón en su Critón y Timeo, que relata la derrota de los atlantianos por los atenienses y el gigantesco terremoto que duró día y medio y que hundió todo en el mar. Cuando Colón se hizo a la vela, sabía que la impenetrable extensión de algas llamada Mar de los Sargazos, ocasionada por el lodo y los bajíos con la turbulencia creada por el hundimiento de Atlantis, se habría reducido lo suficiente para entonces para permitir su paso por ella hacia el occidente.


Es improbable que él haya jamás tenido la intención de llegar a la India, pero sí es posible que haya considerado prudente ocultar su verdadero objetivo al público general. Los únicos bienes que llevaba consigo eran cuentas de vidrio baratas y tela teñida, de ninguna manera apropiadas para el variado comercio con la India. No se topó con América por accidente, y esperaba encontrar ahí nativos relativamente primitivos. Tampoco era el viaje previsto por el Almirante siquiera cercano a las 10,000 millas que habría tenido que recorrer para llegar a la India, sino apenas 3,500, aproximadamente la distancia entre las Islas Canarias y las Bahamas. La india no está mencionada en su capitulaciones finales con Isabel, que sólo especifica alguna tierra en el Atlántico, donde se lee: “....en todas las dichas tierras firmes e islas que, como dicho es, él descubriere o ganare en las dichas mares…”


O ¿era judío?
Si no griego, hay todavía más evidencia convincente de que Colón pudo haber sido de ascendencia judía. En una biografía del explorador publicada en 1939, el Profesor Salvador de Madariaga, miembro del Exeter College, fue de los primeros en explorar esta posibilidad a profundidad. Fue retomada nuevamente en 1973 por Simon Wiesenthal en La Vela de la Esperanza, La Misión Secreta de Cristóbal Colón. Estos autores argüían que Colón de hecho era un Marrano español que vivía en Italia, cuya misma firma delata una familiaridad con la cábala. Porque es sabido que aspiraba a usar la riqueza de América para liberar a Jerusalén del Islam, infieren que de hecho deseaba recobrar la Ciudad Santa para los judíos. Mucho se ha dicho del hecho de que Colón salió de España a “navegar el mar azul” en agosto de 1492, el mismo mes en que los judíos fueron expulsados de España, como si estuviese abandonando España por temor a la Inquisición.


Eso es pura especulación. Si de hecho Colón hubiese sido judío, habría sido uno converso, católico descendiente de judíos convertidos a la fe, de los que sumaban miles en la España de ese tiempo. Como tal, no habría tenido razón para temer la Inquisición o la expulsión. Esta opinión fue confirmada en 1967 por el padre Nazario Muria, agregado cultural de la embajada de Venezuela en Madrid, quien llevó a cabo una investigación de los orígenes de Colón. [8] Él creía que el nombre de pila de Colón era Juan y que realmente había nacido en Palma de Mallorca, pero que había huido de la isla cuando tenía 21 años para evadir una sentencia de muerte por haber tomado parte en una revuelta.


Al sopesar estas argumentaciones debe tenerse en cuenta que el antisemitismo dirigido a la ascendencia de una persona era virtualmente desconocido en los dominios de Isabel. Su propio confesor, Talavera, era de extracción judía, así como lo eran su secretario privado, Pulgar, el canciller de la casa real, Luis de Santángel, su tesorero general, Gabriel Sánchez, y casi todos sus consejeros privados. En el viaje a América que ella patrocinó iban dos doctores judíos y el intérprete oficial. Difícilmente un español hoy en día puede estar seguro de no tener sangre judía en parte alguna de sus ancestros. La razón por la que había tantos judíos en España es que habían sido muy bienvenidos a esas tierras. Desafortunadamente, conforme aumentaba su número, así también aumentaban las tensiones entre ellos y los cristianos, pero esto era una cuestión religiosa que nada tenía que ver con la raza.


Esa violencia que estalló en Valladolid an 1470, en Córdoba en 1474 y en Sevilla en 1478, que lamentablemente llevó a Isabel a decidir su expulsión como única manera de proteger a los propios judíos de la masacre. Decretó la pena de muerte para cualquiera que los dañara en su persona o en su propiedad, y se sabe que prorrogaba la fecha de la partida cuando especiales  circunstancias así lo ameritaban. Al  adoptar esta medida, Isabel estuvo muy atrás que otros monarcas cristianos. Los judíos ya habían sido expulsados de Inglaterra más de dos siglos antes, en 1290. Francia los había expulsado en 1306 y Alemania en 1348. La primera Inquisición no fue establecida en España, sino mucho tiempo antes en Francia, en 1233. Su ejemplo eventualmente fue seguido por todas las demás naciones cristianas, no sólo católicas, sino también protestantes.


La Inquisición papal que Isabel solicitó a Roma tenía jurisdicción solamente sobre los católicos. Jamás fue dirigida hacia los judíos como tales pues, a menos de que se declarasen católicos, el Tribunal carecía de autoridad para juzgarlos. Los que se profesaban mahometanos también estaban eximidos. Se imponía castigo solamente a aquéllos encontrados culpables de profesar falsamente la fe y que nunca habían tenido necesidad de hacerlo. Aun así, las ejecuciones que realmente se llevaron a cabo fueron relativamente pocas. William Thomas Walsh señala: “A la larga, la Inquisición Española demostró ser un organismo que salvó vidas, en el sentido de que evitaba más muertes que las que causaba. No solo se libró España de las terribles guerras religiosas que costaron cientos de miles de vidas en los países donde el protestantismo logró afianzarse, sino que también se libró del terror de las cacerías de brujas, que arrebató 100,000 víctimas en Alemania y 30,000 en Gran Bretaña.”


(Continuará)

sábado, 18 de noviembre de 2017

About Christian Progressivism

Part 5

By Father Julio Meinvielle



Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope

Progressivism and the Second Vatican Council

To formulate a definitive judgment on this topic it would be necessary to await the final conclusions to which the Council should arrive. Because a Council is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit does not really manifest Himself other than in the conclusions to which the unanimity of the Council Fathers should arrive under the direction of the Roman Pontiff.


However, from the start, we have to say the following:
  1. The Council, in the mind of the Church, is a great act of charity of the Church itself, which seeks now to save the world and unite all men in the faith and in the charity of Christ.


  1. This great act of charity of the Church, to save the modern world from the state of spiritual poverty in which it finds itself, takes place in the precise moment in which the world, proudly gets overexcited with his scientific and technical conquests, in which it is moved to reorganize itself, rejecting God and asserting a militant atheism of a global scale, with which it does nothing but bring the ruin and destruction of the human species, because a world without God, having at its disposal an immense technical apparatus, will use it for nothing other that the destruction of man. This is why the Church intends to put this modern world in contact with the vivifying and permanent energies of the Gospel. It is the world which needs to be saved by the Church; not, as the progressivists imagine, the Church to be saved by the modern world.


  1. This great act of charity of the Church presupposes the keeping of the Truth of the Church, intact and complete because, in the Church, charity flows from Truth. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Word who is the Truth.


  1. This great act of charity of the Church coincides with a great confusion which has been stirring the Catholic world for over 30 years and with an anxiety, not always legitimate, of making changes and attaining progress.


  1. The progressivist movement to which we have referred in the preceding talks has been operating in organized blocs all over the world, but especially in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, and wants to make use of the Conciliar Assembly to impose their dangerous progressivist views.


  1. Communism is not absent from this sinister purpose. In the Spring of 1963, the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Roman Pontiff has made known to the nuncio in Paris, for him, in turn, to make it known to the episcopate and to the top superiors of religious orders residing in France, of the sinister purposes of the Pax movement, which operates in Poland and is led by Piasecki, a Polish progressive Catholic; a movement which has as its purpose to spread progressivism in France, and, in this moment, to take advantage of the Conciliar Assembly to exercise dialectics among the Conciliar Fathers themselves. This Pax Communist movement has inexhaustible means to exert influence on the world communications media. With that influence, it has been able to put dialectics in practice, making the Council Fathers appear divided into two opposing camps, good and evil, progressivists and integrists, open and closed in attitude, innovators and reactionaries. In reality, in an assembly of almost 3,000 people, many are the groups and hues, and these, very flexible; so, it is not fair to divide them precisely into two, and only two, antagonistic tendencies, such as Communist dialectics demands. This has been the result of world propaganda which in that manner has made all Catholics in the World appear to be divided into two adversarial groups, of progressivists and integrists.


  1. This psychological war being waged with a display of the world propaganda apparatus has the effect of creating in many a fear complex for the fact that they may be labeled reactionary, troglodytes, narrow and integrists.


  1. Catholics should not let themselves be given a complex, but instead, should keep their faithfulness to the Magisterium of the human Cathedra, since this is the condition of the authentic fidelity to the faith in Christ.

lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

About Christian Progressivism

 Part 4  



By Father Julio Meinvielle


Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope


The progressivism of Emmanuel Mounier
Maritain had drawn up an entire theory of personalism which fed the myth of a new Christendom. Emmanuel Mounier was to constitute himself as the prophet of this new messianism in France. With his journal Esprit, he would inspire an entire Catholic generational movement which would arouse a new spirit — the spirit of Christian progressivism — in the works of the Catholic apostolate in France and in Europe. The Christian progressivism that now dominates the Catholic realm in France and even in the world can be considered to be the work of Mounier.


He has influenced decisive Dominican and Jesuit groups of theologians and sociologists, so that it is not an exaggeration to assign to them a first-level influence in the progressivist current which dominates the Catholic circles nowadays, and in which it has created a powerful structure to which Catholics, even sometimes the episcopate, willingly or unwillingly, have to give in.


Mounier begins by re-valuing the notion of progress as a substantial idea of Christianity. But in this, he is wrong because, even though it is true that there is a growth in the Mystical Body of Christ until reaching the fullness of the perfect age, it does not follow that there is also a progress in the civilization supporting such progress of the Mystical Body. Mounier does not make the pertinent distinction and in his study ‘Christianity and the notion of progress’, he upholds the error, as if progress were to be translated to the same temporal reality. In this, he coincides fully with Lammenais and Maritain. On this erroneous idea of progress, Mounier is to build up all the entire system of his personalism which is to constitute a new civilization or new Christendom, to substitute the civilization emerged from the Renaissance.


To understand the significance of Mounier's Revolution of personalism it is necessary to be attentive and see against which realities he struggles, And his struggle develops especially against the world of capitalism, of the bourgeoisie, and of money. These are the principal figures which serve him as a contrast. Against Capitalism, he deploys his most powerful weapons. In the same way that he castigates strongly the bourgeoisie and capitalism, he has strong words against fascism.


But the harshness that Mounier displayed against capitalism and fascism was not the same as what he had with Communism. With the latter, he demonstrated a significant complacency. He has written innumerable pages and leaves the impression that Communism exerted a true hypnotic suggestion as though it were an authentic humanism. In the first volume of his works, on page 515 we read “Marxism´s denunciation of bourgeois idealism and of its social ideology was or could have been a considerable contribution to the humanism sought, with which, especially Christians, felt a historical fraternity.” With respect to his complacent position in the face of Communism, nothing more suggestive than what André Dumas wrote on October 9, 1949, on the subject of the Holy Office decree of October 13, 1949, whereby severe sanctions were applied to those which lent their support to Communism.


Mounier insinuates that this is an abusive act of worldly meddling incurred by the Church, following Constantine and Gregory. And so he writes: “So, all those Catholics are currently combating against the crystallization of a certain «defense of the Christian civilization» of a certain agglutination of the Church with the capitalist and American West, of which the Church is not entirely responsible (she is pushed from the East) but of which she is firstly responsible. That the forces coming from that blasphemous tendency should push our Church's attitude before Communism in the current direction, there is no doubt. That she be anguished, among other threats, by the threat that Communism poses on her post-Constantinian or post-Gregorian power there is not the least doubt, and this we should combat without reticence.”


Mounier was the first one to invent this Constantinian character alluding to Constantine and this Gregorian character, alluding to Gregory VII, to label the Church's determination to defend Christian civilization. To Mounier, Christian civilization, Catholic city, Christian social order, are nothing but abusive remedies of Constantinian and Gregorian Christianity which should be combated just like the gentrification of the Church. This is why the letter to André Dumas we refer to ends with this suggestive close: “with all my heart, yours in Christ (not in Christian civilization)”


The theory wrought by Lammenais and Maritain and disseminated by E. Mounier wound up by imposing itself in Catholic circles. There is no longer the need to strive for Christian civilization to reign, no need to resolve to have the right be recognized of the Kingship of Christ to rule over the schools, the workers' unions, the social groups, the public power. Allow instead that everything temporal be left in the hands of secularism. And if all of such temporal order has fallen in the hands of liberalism, socialism or Communism, leave it there, because that way nothing has taken place but attainments in the progress of the majority of age in current society, which has passed from the old childish and naive state, and hence from the Constantinian and Gregorian sacred character, to the perfect maturation of adulthood of the current modern society.


Together with this underrating of the authentic Christian civilization and of a public social order in accordance with the Gospel as has always been held by Christendom, the idea is spread that, ridding it of its atheism, Communism might be a system compatible with the Catholic faith. They want to make us forget that Communism is intrinsically perverse as a social system. It has been declared so in definite and impossible to distort terms by Pius XII in his Christmas message of 1955: “we reject Communism as a social system by virtue of the Christian doctrine.”
With this we want to uphold the Christian necessity, It must be said, imposed by Christian demands, to combat Communism and make a Christian society flourish in the social realm, that is, to strive for the Christian civilization. Christian progressivism, on the contrary, consists precisely in the affirmation of the opposite, namely that Christian demands do not make it necessary to strive for the flourishing of a Christian society. Christianity could spread as well or perhaps better, progressivists say, in a society where Communism reigns.


Mounier's ideas were to nourish the Progressivist Christian movements of Mandouze which gathered strength around 1948, they also had influence on theologian groups united around Jeunesse de l'Eglise of the former Dominican Montuclard, and especially through these, on the movement of the Pretres-ouvriers, the condemnation of which, still made by Pius XII, would acquire world resonance.


The progressivism of Teilhard de Chardin
Teilhard de Chardin constitutes the topmost figure of Christian progressivism. But his trajectory follows a course different from that of Lammenais, Maritain, and Mounier. Although the fundamental reason for his progressivism is constituted by the strong passion that moved him to put together in a single sheaf his two faiths, his faith in heaven and his faith in the earth. Teilhard de Chardin was simply in love with the world, and especially with the modern world. In his case, this particular love of the world was strongly felt for modern science in general, and particularly for the biological sciences. It is for this reason that, drawn by the prevailing current in this type of sciences, he would pronounce himself decidedly a partisan of the evolution of the species and of universal evolution.


'I believe in evolution' was his first profession of scientific faith. 'I believe that evolution leads towards the spirit'. 'I believe that the spirit leads towards what is personal'. 'I believe that the supreme personal culminates in Christ'. Teilhard de Chardin, for the same reason that he believed in universal evolution, believed also in progress. A progress from a primeval cosmic dust to the first elements of the atom, from the atom to the molecule, from the molecule to the virus, from the virus to the cell, from the cell to the protozoa, from these to the more complete animals and plants, and finally to man. And even there the evolutive process would not end, but it would advance further to attain more complex forms of collective and planetary organization of what is human, up until reaching the Omega point and the Christic filum. A whole progressive process of Cosmogenesis, Biogenesis, Noogenesis, and Christogenesis.


But Teilhard de Chardin's specialty was paleontology. It was to provide, according to him, the rigorous scientific foundation of all his evolutionism. That specialty compels us to set forth Teilhard de Chardin's thinking on this topic. Fortunately, Teilhard has summarized his thinking in this regard in his article on “The question of the fossil man” published in Psyché number 99-100, appearing in volume II of his complete works.


Teilhard de Chardin establishes therein that his universal evolutionism has as its foundation man's evolution. And, in fact, in such study, he draws the conclusion that “it is also the key to the future”. “If it is true, in fact scientifically true, that since a hundred million years ago, man has not ceased to move (without ever moving back as a whole and always at the head of life) to constantly growing states of organization and of conscience, then there is no reason to suppose that this movement has now stopped. On the contrary, the Homo Sapiens group is still around us in full force (not to say in its first youth) of his development. Thus our hope and our modern faith in human progress are justified and specified on a scientifically solid basis. No, indeed, the anthropogenesis is not closed. Humanity has always advanced and will go on advancing for another hundred million years, on condition that we shall know how to keep the same march of our predecessors towards an ever greater conscience and complexity.”


What worth does Teilhard´s paleontological foundation have? To examine it, let us explain his theory briefly:


For Teilhard de Chardin, man appears in the Quaternary age. He also admits that the clear ascendant of current man is the Homo Sapiens, which appears in the higher Pleistocene. But before that, he appears in intermediary forms represented especially by the Sinanthropus, who appears in the lower Pleistocene and by the Neanderthal man who appears in the middle Pleistocene.


What value has this progressive gradation on which Teilhard de Chardin sustains his theory? Is it true that there is a progressive ascension from the Sinanthropus — animal — primate — and from this to the Homo Sapiens? We must answer that there is no such progressive gradation on which Teilhard de Chardin bases his theory. Indeed Homo Sapiens pieces have been found which are earlier than the man of Neanderthal and have to be placed in the lower Pleistocene.


In fact, in the prehistoric station of Fonte-Chevade in Charante, Mlle. Germaine Henri Martin has made known her discovery of a cranial cap in anatomic connection, comprising a portion of the frontal bone, two parietal bones, a portion of the left temporal bone and a portion of the occipital bone. What is interesting about these discoveries resides on the fact that they conform to the Homo Sapiens type but are dated earlier than the Munsterian, in other words, we have to place them in the lower Pleistocene. Therefore it is clearly evident that before the Neanderthal Man, a type of Homo Sapiens already lived in Europe.


Apart from that, the famous Sinanthropus or Peking man, which for Teilhard de Chardin constitutes a link between the animal and the human, has no such value. This matter has been studied extensively by Rev. Patrick O'Connell in “Science of Today and the Problems of the Genesis”. The matter warrants being treated exhaustively, which is not possible in this space. We will summarize some facts that must be taken into consideration


First fact: We must take into account that in the course of the excavations in Choukoutien about 30 complete or incomplete skulls had been found, 11 jaws and 147 teeth of the purported Sinanthropus. All this has completely disappeared.


Second fact: The importance of the industry found in Choukoutien, which consequently presupposes the existence there, of men with the development of the Homo Sapiens, has been hidden from the public.


Third fact: In 1934, Dr. Pei found three human skulls of the modern type, and remainders of skeletons of six human beings. Weidenreich, who directed the excavations after the death of Dr. Black, said in his explanation chronicling the excavations in the 1939 issue of De Paleontologia Sinica, and repeated in his lecture to students in the University of California in 1945, says textually “In the so-called upper level excavation in Choukoutien, which yielded the remainders of the Sinanthropus, three well-conserved skulls were found, various fragments of other skulls and skeleton bones of about ten individuals which seemed to be of the same family. The three skulls belonged to a middle age man, a middle age woman, and a younger woman. Although of the same family, they had different features: the cranium of the man was of a Mongolian type with some Neanderthalian characteristics; the cranium of the middle-aged woman looked like that of an Eskimo while that of the younger woman was like that of an inhabitant of Melanesia”


The fourth fact which ought to be taken into account is that all of the skulls of the Sinanthropus showed a hole in the posterior part, which had been made to suck the brain from them.


From all these facts, one must conclude the plausibility of the assertion made by the great paleontologist Marcellin Boule in his Antropologie, third edition, page 126, where he writes “to this hypothesis (that of Teilhard de Chardin on the Sinanthropus) as fantastic as it is ingenious I would rather prefer this other one which conforms itself more with our body of knowledge, the hunter was an actual man of whom the typical industry has been found, and who had made of the Sinanthropus his victim.” And in that same piece, Boule writes: “It seems rash to me to consider the Sinanthropus as the monarch of Choukoutien since he appears in the deposits where it has been found as game next to other animals”


This, to keep ourselves within the field of paleontology from which evolutionists draw their arguments. Because, if we put ourselves in the field of Biology, it is easy to demonstrate that in the concept of 'species' as in that of 'inheritance', as well as in that of 'acquired characteristics' and that of 'genetics', evolution is implausible. About the French Encyclopedia, volume 5 of 1938, in the words written by Paul Lemoine, which still stand, we read:


“The fifth volume of the French Encyclopedia will signal a date in the history of our ideas on evolution; from their reading emerges that this theory is on the eve of being abandoned.

“From this exposition, it results that the theory of evolution is impossible. At bottom, despite appearances, nobody believes in it any more, and the word evolution is used without assigning to it any special importance, to signify 'linking', or 'more evolved' or 'less evolved' in the sense of 'more perfected' or 'less perfected', because that is the conventional and almost obligatory language in the scientific world.”


“Evolution is a kind of dogma in which the priests no longer believe but which they maintain for consumption by the people. It is necessary to have the courage to say this so that men of future generations orient their research in some other direction.”


Teilhard de Chardin's idea of progress has no scientific basis whatsoever. Neither can any philosophical basis be assigned to it.

What is important to highlight — and it is here necessary to establish why it is that Communism is so determined to propagate and favor Teilhardism in Catholic circles — is that, for Teilhard, in actuality, it is necessary to operate a combination or mixing of Christianity with Marxism. Indeed, in his article “The Heart of the Matter”, contained in volume 5 of his works, he proposes, as a solution for humanity, an O combination resulting from Oy which represents the Christian faith or faith in the High, with Ox which represents the Communist or Marxist tendency, or the faith on human advances, or faith in the world. There, Teilhard says “two religious forces up to now antagonistic in the hearts of all men, two forces, we have just seen, which weaken and languish if they remain isolated: two forces, consequently, (this is what I yet have to demonstrate) which do not await but one thing: not that we make an election among them, but that we find a way to combine one with the other”.

(to be continued)

lunes, 6 de noviembre de 2017

About Christian Progressivism

 Part 3

By Father Julio Meinvielle



Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope


Milestones in Christian Progressivism
We have seen how the idea of a continuous progress accompanies the entire unfolding of modern civilization since the Renaissance to our time, constitutes the false foundation on which Christian progressivism stands.


In modern civilization, there is no progress in that which is essential, in that which is fundamentally human. Certain progress in some aspects may have occurred, especially in the technological one. But technology is outside of man. Man's properly human and moral aspect, which constitutes itself by his closeness to God, does not progress by virtue of a progress in technology. Man can progress and actually achieves an immense progress in the erection of a powerful production apparatus, and at the same time he can become worse, with which such production apparatus becomes his ruin and destruction.


Modern civilization in man's properly human aspect has been moving backwards since four centuries ago. It has been regressing by the progressive degradation to which man subjects himself. Properly modern society becomes ever more materialistic. After having rejected God, it has rejected the properly human values end even man's animal values, to turn man into a simple nut in the great Materialist and collectivist machinery.


The French Revolution marks the decisive point in this civilization as regards its materialistic aspect. With the French Revolution man definitely rejects the authentic spiritual values deposited in the Church, supernatural society, and assumes a decisively materialistic behavior.
An anguishing question for the Catholic is posed here. What does the Catholic do in this society which rejects God, Christ, the Church, and which proclaims materialistic liberty as the supreme value of man? It is either one of two, either the Christian assumes a frankly hostile attitude towards such a society and so stays at its margin and becomes exposed to his inability of making the Christian Message felt in such society, or he yields to such society and pacts with it; but then he exposes himself to alter the purity and integrity of the Christian Message. This was the anguishing situation which presented itself to Christians after the French Revolution. And it was Lammenais the first Catholic who in the stated alternative opted to pact with the new civilization, with liberalism which had taken up everything, and so Lammenais resolved to shape Catholic liberalism.


Lammenais' progressivism.
Lammanais is the key character of modern Catholicism. Born in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, he was formed with the ideas and the mentality or Rousseau and of the liberal philosophers. He then converted to Catholicism to profess first a suspect ultramontanism and then a liberalism which he developed in the L'Avenir daily during the period from 1830 to 1831.


There is a logic in the Lamennaisian conception which is presided by the idea of historical progress. History progresses and therefore modern times represent a progress over olden times. Lammenais justifies the idea the historical progress with that of Divine Providence leading history towards ends only God knows. In a very important article of July 28, 1831, Lammanais expounds these concepts. To Lammennais, progress in history takes place not by a greater attainment of moral virtue, or closeness to God through goodness and virtue, but by the acquisition of greater degrees of liberty, which is what makes peoples grow towards their age of majority.


Lammenais, in consequence, justifies modern liberalism as an attainment of progress in humanity. Before Lammenais, no other civilization or other authentic progress in man but in the recognition of the supernatural supremacy of the Church. Civilization had never proposed liberty, but rather goodness and truth, as the proper end of citizens. Within Truth, liberty represents a certain good, but never can liberty be adopted as an independent end which would surpass the rights of Truth. But in the French Revolution the Church ceases to be recognized by the public power as the only true religion and is relegated to just one of many cults which citizens may practice. This situation could be accepted as a fact, but never as a right. Lammenais was the first Catholic who dared accept it as a right. Because for him modern liberties were rights of man which should be considered as achievements of the progress in history.


Lamennais was the first one to profess Christian progressivism, which was not known by that name at the time but by that of Catholic liberalism.  By representing nineteenth century liberalism as a progress with respect to the previous society which called itself Christian and which professed the recognition of the Church as a supernatural society, so Catholic liberalism imported a true progress. As is known, Lamennais was condemned by Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos. Since then, the entire nineteenth century witnessed a tremendous strife between liberals and non-liberals within the bosom of the Church. On the side of the liberals were figures such as Lacordaire, Montalembert, Dupanloup. On the side of the anti-liberals stood out the great figure of Cardinal Pie and of publicist Louis Veuillot. Pius XI strongly condemned catholic liberalism in a series of documents the fundamental propositions of which were later picked up in the famous Syllabus. But the strife did not calm down. On the contrary, it was re-born in Leo XIII's pontificate with the emerging of democratist clerics such as Naudet, Lemire and Dabry.


In his famous encyclicals, Leo XIII worked out a complex program of how Christian civilization, the Catholic city, should be within the modern style of life..Such program criticized catholic liberalism harshly. But Leo XIII's thought was systematically adulterated by the liberals extant within the Church. At that time a strongly liberal, democratist, and socialist movement surged inside the Church. It was the Le Sillon movement. But the firm action of Saint Pius X condemning the modernism which was then spreading in the Catholic domain, and condemning the democratism of Le Sillon put an end to the intentions of the Christian progressivists within the Church.


All Christian progressivism disappeared from the scene during the years 1910 to 1930. The Pascendi and the Le Sillon condemnatory letter were able to clean up these scourges from the realm of the Church.


Maritain's progressivism
Maritain will be the one who begins Christian progressivism again. That is, the post-1930 Maritain, because the previous Maritain distinguished himself in the combat against all sorts of liberalism and progressivism. In his first epoch he writes Antimoderne, Trois Reformateurs, Théonas, Primauté du Espirituel, in which he rejects the idea of progress and expounds the authentic doctrine of the Church on the plane of the Christian civilization. But in 1930 he begins a series of books end especially Humanisme Intégral in which, under the guise of a philosophy of culture, a liberal problematic would emerge which would coincide point by point with the errors of Lammennais'.


Maritain, who had rejected the idea of progress in his Antimoderne, now defends an ambiguous concept, namely that of the ambivalent progress of history, to later already in the Second World War, after year 1940, take up the defense of the idea of progress. This idea of progress will cling strongly in Maritain as it had clung in Lammenais. In two books written during the Second World War he is to make these ideas explicit. In Christianisme et Democratie and in Droits de l'Homme et la Loi Naturelle he is to defend the notion of progress, noting that on this point he would coincide with Teilhard de Chardin. There he says textually “I have had the pleasure of finding explained from the scientific point of view of their author, similar conceptions in a conference delivered in Pekin by the celebrated paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin, who there says «ancient though prehistory may make it seem to our eyes, humanity is still very young and shows that the evolution of humanity ought to be faced as the continuation of integrate life, where progress signifies the ascension of conscience and where the ascension of conscience is linked to a superior degree of organization. If progress is to continue, it will not be by itself alone. Evolution by the mechanism of its synthesis is ever more charged with liberty».


Maritain, as a consequence, will base the progress of man not on goodness, not on greater virtue, not on greater closeness to God, to Christ, to the Church, but on man's greater liberty. He will coincide point by point with Lamennais. He will consider Medieval Christianity odious, and with that, the authentic concept of Christian civilization, so as to defend a society founded on liberty as its primary and dominant idea. This is how Lamennais' Catholic liberalism declined finally into socialism; so also in Maritain, his liberalism of the new Christendom would follow a declining path towards a socialist society, where the aspirations of the historical function of the proletariat were to be satisfied.

(to be continued)