Monday, February 1, 2016

The (Evil) Spirit Of The (New) Liturgy

 Sophia Institute Press, founded in 1987, dedicates itself to the publication and distribution of "faithful Catholic classics" in books. Recently, I was at a book sale held by a Traditionalist Chapel. To my surprise, books by Fr. Romano Guardini (e.g., The Spirit of the Liturgy)  were more popular than I had imagined. What many people probably don't realize is that this priest was another Modernist "snake in the grass," paving the way to the Great Apostasy of Vatican II. I hope this post will alert my readers to who Guardini really was, and expose the false idea he was a "traditional priest."

Born in 1885, Romano Guardini was ordained a priest in 1910. He received his doctorate in theology in 1915 with his dissertation on St. Bonaventure. In 1945, he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Tubingen, where his emphasis on personalism had him suspect of heresy by the Holy Office under Cardinal Ottaviani. He had a huge impact in both his teachings and who he influenced (Ratzinger, Montini, etc) that would bear its evil fruit at Vatican II. He died in 1968.

 Guardini The Modernist
  • He embraced the phenomenologist philosopher Max Scheler, a man who wrote that humanity should reject the "prejudices" of philosophy, religion, and science; Christianity must be studied and deconstructed in order for man to be free. Phenomenology attempts to base human knowledge on the "phenomena," i.e., what appears to the human mind, rather than on an exploration of  external reality.  Whether a thing truly exists or not is unimportant to a phenomenologist; only what he cogitates exists for him. You can't prove the existence of God because you can never know things-in-themselves, only things-as-they appear. Moreover, phenomenology describes "meaning" as the combined observations of a multitude of observers, past, present, and future.  Thus, meaning can never be isolated.  This philosophy is one of the Modernist "subjectivist" philosophies, basing itself not on an external reality or standard, but upon one's own personal conceptions.  Thus, it easily leads to moral relativism and dependence upon personal or subjective opinion. 
  • In 1954, Karol Wojtyła, ("Pope" John Paul II), defended his doctoral thesis on "An Evaluation of the Possibility of Constructing a Christian Ethics on the Basis of the System of Max Scheler." Wotyla had previously studied at the Angelicum, where the great anti-Modernist theologian Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, was his mentor. Wojtyla, having rejected the teachings of Aquinas, was following the philosophy that he wanted, that of existentialism (another brand of subjectivist philosophy). Therefore, his dissertation, “Faith according to St. John of the Cross,” was criticized and rejected by Fr. Garrigou Lagrange, because it supported the ideas of the Modernists who claimed that Faith is based on personal experience. It is reported that the great Thomist wrote on Wotyla's dissertation, "Writes much. Says little."
  • Guardini, in turn, strongly influenced Modernists like Hans Urs von Balthasar, Giovanni Montini ("Pope"Paul VI), Karl Rahner and Joseph Ratzinger. 
  • His ideas were part of the Modernist apostasy of Vatican II. Guardini's idea that "liturgy is play in God's presence" came out in the Novus Bogus bread and wine service of 1969. 
  • As early as 1927, Guardini offered Mass "versus populum" (facing the people) and in the vernacular (German). The Modernist bishops of the Rhineland were successful in protecting him.
  • In 1965, Montini ("Pope" Paul VI) offered to make Guardini a "cardinal," but he refused, being already 80 years old.
  • He was the last theologian quoted by Ratzinger as false "Pope" Benedict, and is both admired and oft-quoted by Frankie. Bergoglio actually quoted him eight times in his "encyclical" Laudato Si, on environmentalism.
  • His book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, so inspired Ratzinger, he wrote a book by the same title in 2000.

Proponent of the Contraceptive Mentality
  • Guardini's personalism, led to the idea of unrestricted use of Natural Family Planning (NFP). 
  • Accrording to this erroneous view, the fulfillment and mutual love of the married couple is at least equal to (if not greater than) the begetting of children. 
  • If you can, without serious reason and for a short time, purposefully frustrate the marital act from its primary purpose of having children; how does this differ from artificial contraception except in the means used? 
  • In this way, NFP can be abused as a way to remain childless.
  •  In his famous Address to Midwives on Oct. 29,1951, Pope Pius XII taught: "Now, the truth of the matter is that marriage, as a natural institution and in virtue of the Creator's holy will, has as its primary and most intimate end, not the spouses' personal fulfillment, but the procreation and education of new life. The other goals in marriage, although also designed and intended by nature, are not to be found at the level of the primary end of marriage and, even less, are they to be considered superior to them, but are indeed essentially subordinated to them."(Emphasis mine) The pontiff further explained, "This holds true for each and every marriage, even when barren or infertile; just as in the case of every eye we may affirm that it has been formed and destined for sight, although some unusual cases do sometimes occur where, through some circumstances, either interior or exterior, it happens that an eye may be struck by blindness."
  • Pope Pius XII further rebukes the personalist error in this Address: "...the selfish couple will have recourse to a whole litany of enticing remarks and observations as a foundation to a rosy pipe dream of a married life wherein the spouses wastefully use up a whole wealth of particular natural gifts, qualities and energies which nature, together with God's grace, have so evidently designed and directed toward the continuation and multiplication of human life."
 Fr. Romano Guardini's books remain popular among some Traditionalists. You might want to move them in your library from "Devotional Books" to "Know Thy Enemy."


  1. This might be picking a nit. However, strictly speaking, phenomenology explicitly tries to reject the Kantian distinction between noumenon or the thing-in-itself and the phenomenon. At the same time, however, the whole system of phenomenology remains profoundly influenced by Kant and Hegel.

    There's some variety of schools of phenomenology, but all of them are based on the phenomenological reduction which says, not that the world as it exists in-itself is unknowable; but (perhaps more radically) that it is not the business of philosophers to inquire whether the world exists at all, but only to confine themselves to the study of phenomena. On this view, one only begins to philosophize insofar as one reflects upon the naive assumption that the world exists and strives to come to a species of knowledge that is independent of that assumption.

    Phenomenology claims to be compatible with the assertion that reality is knowable in itself and thus to overcome the intractable problems of idealist metaphysics. However, from the standpoint of classical realism, the phenomenological reduction is clearly a fallacy of the excluded middle. As to the existence of the world, one has three choices: to affirm, deny, or doubt. Phenomenology chooses "none of the above," but in practice it reverts either to denial (i.e., existentialism) or Cartesian doubt.

    Dietrich von Hildebrand is an example of a phenomenologist who was also a realist and anti-modernist. But he is the only example that I know of.

    1. Thanks for the insight Dan!


    2. I believe that Heidegger very much wanted to bring his particular take on phenomenology into alignment with Aristotelian-Thomism. I also believe the attempt would be successful, but it still awaits a philosopher talented and diligent enough to pull it off.

    3. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, early Sheler, and early Husserl were very much realists. While not all of the Göttingen school became Catholic, many were. Von Hildebrand is part of a much larger tradition of anti-Idealism.

      St. Teresa's final work, Finite and Eternal Being, is masterful.

  2. Thank you once again for a great article. Your diligent work to expose Guardini and other vermin like him is truly appreciated.

    Also, I find it interesting that phenomenology appears a lot like Common Core.

  3. When & what group pushed the idea this priest was 'catholic'?

    1. Guardini writes well, and wrote several devotional books, such as "The Art of Praying." He had Modernist defenders in the hierarchy who saw his ability to gently lead people astray. He'll give you something 99.9% pure if he can get you to ingest the 0.1% poison.


  4. "It is reported that the great Thomist wrote on Wotyla's dissertation, 'Writes much. Says little.'"

    That was a pretty concise and accurate assessment of Wotyla by Fr. Lagrange. However, if he wanted to be even more concise and more accurate, he should have just wrote, "Barking heretic!" Or if he were perhaps a little less concise and a little more prophetic, he might have written, "This is the product of a diseased mind. He should make a fine anti-pope some day." I myself would probably have written, "I read the first paragraph. They don't pay me enough to read any further. Grade:'F'"

    1. I must admit George, I like your comment better than Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange !!


  5. One of the things I dislike about Romano Guardini is his obscurantist literary style. As an example of such, I could compose the following throwaway sentences based on something Guardini actually wrote which I am dimly citing from memory.

    "'If our hearts should condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knowest all things' These words of St. John reveal to us the depth and mystery of God's merciful reign over the heart. He does not say that we are excused. He does not say that God has purified our hearts. But God is greater than our hearts, and 'knowest all things.'"

    Such constructions appear so often in Guardini's writings that they can be regarded as formulaic. The formula has three essential features.

    1. Quote something.

    2. Dismiss a few plausible interpretations of it.

    3. Repeat the quote as if the words have suddenly acquired a deep new meaning in the interim.

    Guardini is not the only one to employ such formulae. Ratzinger's book, Jesus of Nazareth, contains similar constructions on almost every page. For my part, I'm not sure what such "explanations" as these are supposed to explain, but I can easily see how supposedly scholarly men are allowed to get away with this sophistry. It caters to the intellectual vanity of their audience members who pretend to "get it." It's just like those who gravely nod along when listening to the inane poetry of Maya Angelou, or who solemnly regard a Picasso as if his nonsensical cubist deconstructions plumbed heretofore unknown psychological depths.

    When I was still a fresh-faced and recently converted Novus Ordite, I eagerly bought and read Ratizinger's Jesus of Nazareth, which was released the very same year I was NO-confirmed. As desirous as I was at that time to see everything even nominally Catholic in a positive light, and as touted as the scholarly reputation of Ratzinger was in NO circles, I still found slogging through page after page of this stuff to be rather tiresome. I remember thinking at the time that it sounded like nothing but a half-backed effort to imitate the Protestant theologians I had read, like Tillich and Chardin.

    Needless to say, I am a Traditionalist today.

    1. I'm very happy you found your way into the One True Church, and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. What you say about Guardini and his Modernist ilk is true.

      I'm reminded about the adulation given to Wotyla's "Theology of the Body." The words of Fr. Garrigou -Lagrange once again come to mind: "Writes much. Says little."


    2. Your summary is absolutely perfect!!