Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Heresy of Americanism

Pope Leo XIII warned against it. Via the NOR.

Leo named this heresy Americanism, after the country that had spawned it. Debate continues to this day over what, exactly, the elements of the heresy are, and some question whether those whom Leo addressed in his encyclical were guilty of any doctrinal error. One priest at the center of the controversy as it played out in Europe, Abbé Felix Klein, called Americanism the “phantom heresy,” and Cardinal Gibbons assured the Holy Father that he and his brother bishops were prepared to defend and promote the Catholic Faith—all of it—in America. Nonetheless, Leo’s concerns were not without warrant. He knew well the end of a soul encouraged “to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind” and where “the assumed right to hold whatever opinion one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world” would lead—even though he did not use the word blog. Indeed, 70 years after the promulgation of Testem benevolentiae nostrae, progressives would celebrate as the great glory of the Second Vatican Council a revolutionary idea that nowhere appears in the Council’s not inconsiderable documents: “freedom of conscience.” Read entire article. Share

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