Hath God Said?

                                       Hath God Said?
                                              John W...
Hath God Said?

     “Who answered and said, “It is written, not in bread alone doth man live, but in every
     word that...
Hath God Said?

works in the early decades of the 20th century denied the miracles recorded in the Bible;
the virgin birth...
Hath God Said?

      evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men
      have bee...
Hath God Said?

that ecumenical scholarship would lead to unity among Christians. Brown‟s approach to
historico-criticism ...
Hath God Said?

        to many evil consequences. It will make the enemies of religion much more bold and
Hath God Said?

        problems in the post-conciliar church are a direct result of the damage which occurred
Hath God Said?

       their guide and rule, - a philosophy borrowed from the negation of God, and a criterion
Hath God Said?

        and Priestly (P) sources, which in turn reflect older oral traditions (see Introduction to
Hath God Said?

Whereas Pope Leo XIII teaches:

     For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these diff...
Hath God Said?

     inevitably introduces a sharp dichotomy between an exegesis limited solely to the first
     level an...
Hath God Said?

God”36 who knows neither death nor evil. Evolutionism posits billions of years of natural
processes whereb...
Hath God Said?

to the faith formation of Catholics everywhere, especially the young. Confusion is the
work of the enemy o...
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Hath God Said?


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Those who dissect, dismember, deconstruct and disqualify texts of the canonical books are de facto attacking the Word of God, our Blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ. Those that approach the Bible in a spirit other than that animated by the grace of believing faith in order to „interpret‟ it deface the Word of God. Let us with utmost caution indulge such „science,‟ lest we be found to be complicit with those that attack the Savior of our souls.

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Hath God Said?

  1. 1. Hath God Said? Hath God Said? John W. Proctor Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 3:1 Catholic tradition has long taught that the study of the Sacred Scriptures is the soul of theology. The greatest Biblical Doctor in the Church, St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek tongues declared, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” The Apostle John begins his Gospel with the prologue, “In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John cements this teaching in his first epistle by enumerating the persons of the Holy Trinity as “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.”1 Attacks on the inerrancy and integrity of the canon of Sacred Scripture are tantamount to attacks on Jesus Christ. Let no one who esteems himself a Christian think that he can attack and dismember the Holy Scriptures and still be in the Faith. Our blessed Lord Himself comments on the Scriptures in this way: “…the Scripture cannot be broken…”2 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."3 “For it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”4 When tempted by the devil in the desert, our Master battles the evil one with the words of Sacred Scripture: 1 1 Jn. 5:7 2 John 10:35 3 Matthew 5:18 4 Luke 16:17 1
  2. 2. Hath God Said? “Who answered and said, “It is written, not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”5 That there is a crisis of faith in the Catholic Church, especially the American Catholic Church, few would dispute. Among the most glaring indicators is the rapid decline in priestly vocations. Priests. While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000, between 1930 and 1965, since then that number has fallen to 45,000. By 2020, there will be only 31,000 priests left, and more than half of these priests will be over 70. Ordinations. In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States. In 2002, the number was 450. In 1965, only 1 percent of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, there are 3,000 priestless parishes, 15 percent of all U.S. parishes. Seminarians. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries that were operating in 1965 have now closed.6 The decline includes hundreds of bankrupt Catholic Churches and schools closing their doors because of expensive lawsuits defending pedophile priests; liturgical abuses ranging from the merely banal to the objectively sacrilegious; and a sharp decline of faith in the doctrine of the Real Presence which has dwindled to a mere 30%.7 In all activities involving theology, especially the study of the Bible, our own day is dominated by those who subscribe to the historico-critical method of exegesis. Exegesis is the science of interpreting Scripture and as such is venerable, proven in Tradition, and has added in every way to the Church‟s understanding of the riches of the wisdom and holiness revealed in the Sacred texts. The historico-critical method, of late invention and inspired by atheism and Protestantism, has done much to destroy confidence in the canon of Scripture and by extension, all of Catholic theology since its adoption by Catholic Scripture scholars in the last half of the 20 th century. The historico-critical method purports to approach the Bible “scientifically”, which is to say, it cannot admit to any occurrence that cannot be validated by secular scientific methods, and sets science above divine revelation as its judge. The method gained ascendancy in 19th century Germany, most infamously at the Tubingen School of Theology, which produced the highly influential Protestant scholar Rudolph Bultmann. Bultmann‟s 5 Rudolf Bultmann Matthew 4:4 6 Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II, by Kenneth C. Jones 7 Surveys suggest that 70% of Catholics no longer accept the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. (The Remnant, October 15, 2006 issue) 2
  3. 3. Hath God Said? works in the early decades of the 20th century denied the miracles recorded in the Bible; the virgin birth of Christ; the historicity of the Infancy (nativity) narratives; Christ‟s bodily resurrection; and most of the New Testament‟s divine inspiration. The Church had long ago condemned this method of so-called textual science, with Pope Leo XIII‟s Providentissimus Deus, “On the Study of Sacred Scripture” in 1893: “Now, we have to meet the Rationalists, true children and inheritors of the older heretics, who, trusting in their turn to their own way of thinking, have rejected even the scraps and remnants of Christian belief which had been handed down to them. They deny that there is any such thing as revelation or inspiration, or Holy Scripture at all; they see, instead, only the forgeries and the falsehoods of men; they set down the Scripture narratives as stupid fables and Iying stories: the prophecies and the oracles of God are to them either predictions made up after the event or forecasts formed by the light of nature; the miracles and the wonders of God's power are not what they are said to be, but the startling effects of natural law, or else mere tricks and myths; and the Apostolic Gospels and writings are not the work of the Apostles at all.” This method of approaching the sacred texts of the Bible is the antithesis of Catholic reading, which must be “read and interpreted the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.” 8 And yet after WWII, Bultmann‟s methods took hold among many Catholic scholars and gained in acceptance even though the Supreme Pontiffs were explicit in their teachings against it.9 Pope Pius XII in the encyclical Humani Generis teaches the Church “For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.”10 Not only did theologians transgress the academic liberty they had been afforded by the Teaching Authority of the Church, they flung themselves headlong into every rationalist and modernist error with greater abandon than even the most radical of the Protestant practitioners. Chiefest among their doctrines is Evolutionism, which Pope Pius XII describes in the following way in the above quoted encyclical: “Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual 8 Dei Verbum, 12.s.3 9 See Pontifical Biblical Commission: Yesterday And Today, John F. McCarthy 10 Humani Generis, 20 3
  4. 4. Hath God Said? evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism. Such fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.11 This is the foundational basis for the „science‟ subscribed to by those whose new historico-critical methods are to be applied to the Holy Books revered as divinely inspired and free of every error by the Roman Catholic Church. Pope St. Pius X writing to the church in the 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis cites the destructive effects of this approach: “First of all they lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change, and must change, and in this way they pass to what may be said to be, among the chief of their doctrines, that of Evolution. To the laws of evolution everything is subject - dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself, and the penalty of disobedience is death.” 12 And “Consequently, the formulae too, which we call dogmas, must be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change. Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. An immense collection of sophisms this, that ruins and destroys all religion. Dogma is not only able, but ought to evolve and to be changed. This is strongly affirmed by the Modernists, and as clearly flows from their principles.13 The historico-critical method is today the accepted method in most Catholic seminaries and institutions of higher learning. Its peak was reached in the late 1960s with the publication of the Jerome Biblical Commentary.14 The chief theologian and scripture scholar who edited and compiled this thoroughly Modernist butchery of 1900 years of Catholic Tradition and scholarship is Father Raymond Brown, Supulcian priest (d. 1998). He spent the majority of his professorial career lecturing at the liberal [Protestant] Union Theological Seminary where he championed biblical theories that played Pope St. Pius X down the origins of Catholic hierarchy and promoted the idea 11 Ibid, 5,6 12 Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 26 13 Ibid, 13 14 Published 1968, with a revised edition published in 1989 4
  5. 5. Hath God Said? that ecumenical scholarship would lead to unity among Christians. Brown‟s approach to historico-criticism of the Holy Scriptures led him to doubt the virgin birth of Christ; the authorship of nearly all the New Testament writers; the miracles of Christ; and most of His first-person quotes. Brown exalted the highly questionable and never proven „documentary method‟ of analyzing the ancient texts based on the possibility of primary source documents now lost (J,E,P,D method15 for the Old Testament and the “Q” theory16 for the New Testament) that [supposedly] have been embellished by later authors seeking to „retroject‟ (Brown‟s technical term) their faith and theology into the earlier narratives. Raymond Brown‟s methods have been heavily criticized for decades in peer reviews among such as The New Biblical Theorists17 by Father George A. Kelly which scrutinizes Brown‟s methodology and concludes among other errors that Brown championed a modern form of Scriptura Sola, the rallying cry of the 16th century Protestant reformation. This method of deconstructing the Bible is diametrically opposed to the venerable tradition of Catholic theology established by the Apostles, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church, outside of which Catholic theologians are not supposed to venture with their speculations and theories. However any Catholic attending a Novus Ordo Mass today will hear all sorts of cloudy, ambiguous language in homilies that purport that biblical authorship is either unknown for the sacred books or that it must be believed that the authors attributed to the books by Tradition are to be dismissed. This demonstrates the audacity and effrontery of these Modernist theologians and commentators, in that they have succeeded in wholly capturing nearly a complete generation of priests with this contempt for the Bible. Pope Leo XIII in Providentissimus Deus again describes what we are dealing with here: There has arisen, to the great detriment of religion, an inept method, dignified by the name of the "higher criticism," which pretends to judge of the origin, integrity and authority of each Book from internal indications alone. It is clear, on the other hand, that in historical questions, such as the origin and the handing down of writings, the witness of history is of primary importance, and that historical investigation should be made with the utmost care; and that in this matter internal evidence is seldom of great value, except as confirmation. To look upon it in any other light will be to open the door 15 The greatest popularizer of this thesis today is Richard Elliott Friedman, whose titles include Who Wrote the Bible? Harper, San Francisco, CA, 1997; see review here. 16 It is fashionable in the field of biblical scholarship today to hypothesize naturalistic, evolutionary ‘development’ in the religion of the Bible. Where the New Testament is concerned, the phantom document ‘Q’, and the prioritization of the Gospel of Mark, is sometimes regarded as proving that ‘original’ Christianity did not recognize Jesus as divine or as the Savior, and that this view of Jesus developed over time. 17 The New Biblical Theorists, Father George A. Kelly, ©1983 Servant Books 5
  6. 6. Hath God Said? to many evil consequences. It will make the enemies of religion much more bold and confident in attacking and mangling the Sacred Books; and this vaunted "higher criticism" will resolve itself into the reflection of the bias and the prejudice of the critics. It will not throw on the Scripture the light which is sought, or prove of any advantage to doctrine; it will only give rise to disagreement and dissension, those sure notes of error, which the critics in question so plentifully exhibit in their own persons; and seeing that most of them are tainted with false philosophy and rationalism, it must lead to the elimination from the sacred writings of all prophecy and miracle, and of everything else that is outside the natural order18. Because these so-called „scientific methods‟ of textual criticism are based not on the theological science of St. Thomas Aquinas or other Doctors of the Church, but on atheist-inspired philosophical positions based on evolutionism, the supernatural accounts in the Bible must be explained in a way that pleases the rationalist, the secularist, and the modernist. No portion of divine writ has come under as much attack as the first 11 chapters of Genesis, most particularly the account of the six day creation in the first three chapters. Pope Pius XII in his 1943 encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu permitted a broader application of the tools of science and history for Catholic exegetes. In a manner completely opposite the Pontiff‟s stated intent, this permission was exploited promiscuously as described below by Robert Sungenis: By the time Pius XII released his encyclical in 1943, the influence of the sciences on society was very great. From the Copernican revolution, to the Enlightenment’s use of rationalism and reason, to the Darwinian tenets of evolution, to Freud’s teaching on the human psyche, to Einstein’s teaching on cosmogony, the arts and sciences were a virtual juggernaut of intellectual power that was sweeping through every area of life. Since the Church, the guardian of truth, could not appear as if she was against the very tools which claimed to uncover the “real” truth of life, there was little which would have stopped these scientific pursuits eventually becoming part of Catholic biblical studies. At that time (the 1940s) most everyone was very enthusiastic about Historical Criticism. The feeling among the more liberal theologians of the Church (and there were a lot of them in that day) was that Catholicism was finally getting out of the “stone age of medieval scholasticism” and into the modern age where one could discover the rational and scientific reason for everything that occurred in life. Their Protestant counterparts had been using these scientific tools on the Bible for more than a century or two prior, and were way ahead of the game. Catholics needed to catch up. To make a long story short, the Catholics did catch up, and, in fact, superseded the Protestants, but it wasn’t in the way that had originally been anticipated by Pius XII. Something went wrong, terribly wrong. In fact, it went so wrong that I dare say that most of our present 18 Providentissimus Deus, 17 6
  7. 7. Hath God Said? problems in the post-conciliar church are a direct result of the damage which occurred once the train of Historical Criticism went off the tracks.19 As our quote from Genesis at the top of this essay implies, the tactic of the evil one is to inculcate doubt in the Word of God. After tempting Eve to doubt the Word of God, he immediately follows with a lie based on an appeal to our vanity: “No, you shall not die the death. For God doth know that in that what day so ever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.”20 Genesis 3:1 reveals that the serpent is „more subtle than any other creature;‟ he crafts sophisticated arguments and appeals to man‟s pride in his temptation of our first parents. This describes the methodology and motivation of the historico-critics who alone can read the errors of the sacred writers and are able to see things today that the Saints and Doctors of the Church apparently missed for 1900 years. Pope St. Pius X ridicules such effrontery in Pascendi: The result of this dismembering of the Sacred Books and this partition of them throughout the centuries is naturally that the Scriptures can no longer be attributed to the authors whose names they bear. The Modernists have no hesitation in affirming commonly that these books, and especially the Pentateuch and the first three Gospels, have been gradually formed by additions to a primitive brief narration - by interpolations of theological or allegorical interpretation, by transitions, by joining different passages together. This means, briefly, that in the Sacred Books we must admit a vital evolution, springing from and corresponding with evolution of faith. The traces of this evolution, they tell us, are so visible in the books that one might almost write a history of them. Indeed this history they do actually write, and with such an easy security that one might believe them to have with their own eyes seen the writers at work through the ages amplifying the Sacred Books. To aid them in this they call to their assistance that branch of criticism which they call textual, and labor to show that such a fact or such a phrase is not in its right place, and adducing other arguments of the same kind. They seem, in fact, to have constructed for themselves certain types of narration and discourses, upon which they base their decision as to whether a thing is out of place or not. Judge if you can how men with such a system are fitted for practicing this kind of criticism. To hear them talk about their works on the Sacred Books, in which they have been able to discover so much that is defective, one would imagine that before them nobody ever even glanced through the pages of Scripture, whereas the truth is that a whole multitude of Doctors, infinitely superior to them in genius, in erudition, in sanctity, have sifted the Sacred Books in every way, and so far from finding imperfections in them, have thanked God more and more the deeper they have gone into them, for His divine bounty in having vouchsafed to speak thus to men. Unfortunately, these great Doctors did not enjoy the same aids to study that are possessed by the Modernists for 19 http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/articles/pastoral/fr-ray-brown-print.htm 20 Genesis 3:4-5 7
  8. 8. Hath God Said? their guide and rule, - a philosophy borrowed from the negation of God, and a criterion which consists of themselves.21 As though the Sainted Pontiff were reviewing the Jerome Biblical Commentary, Pius X cites that these textual critics rely on “a criterion which consists of themselves.” The Jerome Biblical Commentary boasts three nihil obstats (certification that the works are free from error) – the three censors are the commentary‟s own chief editors!22 The devil‟s intent here is clearly to cast doubt on the Word of God delivered to all of Adam and Eve‟s progeny. St. Paul refers to this tactic in his second epistle to the Corinthians: “But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.”23 The historico-critical method has evidently garnered a great majority of adherents in the Catholic Church. Even the New American Bible (NAB), which is the source for the English- speaking liturgies in the United States today, promotes confidence in science and doubt in Tradition: The text of the books contained in The New American Bible is a completely new translation throughout. From the original and the Raymond E. Brown oldest available texts of the sacred books, it aims to convey as directly as possible the thought and individual style of the inspired writers. The better understanding of Hebrew and Greek, and the steady development of the science of textual criticism, the fruit of patient study since the time of St. Jerome, have allowed the translators and editors in their use of all available materials to approach more closely than ever before the sense of what the sacred authors actually wrote. So we see that we today have much more knowledge than poor St. Jerome, who lived so much closer to the original sources. The Preface continues with such sweeping declarations as this: Despite its unity of plan and purpose, the book (Genesis) is a complex work, not to be attributed to a single original author. Several sources, or literary traditions, that the final redactor used in his composition are discernable. These are the Yahwist (J), Elohist (E) 21 Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 34 22 “The three editors of the book are the three censors. They have certified the orthodoxy of the book they themselves produced, and a large part of which they wrote! The three men are Fathers R.E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy.” John Young, The Wanderer, 20 April 1995 23 2nd Corinthians 11:3 8
  9. 9. Hath God Said? and Priestly (P) sources, which in turn reflect older oral traditions (see Introduction to the Pentateuch).24 This is bald theoretical assertion, neither supported by any hard historical evidence nor referred to by precedent in Tradition. They simply read into the text (apart from the Tradition of the Church) what they believe might be there. This is called eisegesis, which is the opposite of exegesis. Eisegesis means to read a meaning into the passage rather than extract the author‟s intended meaning from the passage. The publishers of the NAB apparently feel no compunction to restrain themselves from wholesale endorsement of documentary theory even though the venerable Tradition of the Church for 1900 years held Moses as its author. St. Basil the Great admonishes those who would trifle with the Genesis account of creation (Hexameron): 1. IT is right that any one beginning to narrate the formation of the world should begin with the good order which reigns in visible things. I am about to speak of the creation of heaven and earth, which was not spontaneous, as some have imagined, but drew its origin from God. What ear is worthy to hear such a tale? How earnestly the soul should prepare itself to receive such high lessons! How pure it should be from carnal affections, how unclouded by worldly disquietudes, how active and ardent in its researches, how eager to find in its surroundings an idea of God which may be worthy of Him! But before weighing the justice of these remarks, before examining all the sense contained in these few words, let us see who addresses them to us. Because, if the weakness of our intelligence does not allow us to penetrate the depth of the thoughts of the writer, yet we shall be involuntarily drawn to give faith to his words by the force of his authority. Now it is Moses who has composed this history; Moses, finally, who, at the age of eighty, saw God, as far as it is possible for man to see Him; or rather as it had not previously been granted to man to see Him, according to the testimony of God Himself, “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house, with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches.” It is this man, whom God judged worthy to behold Him, face to face, like the angels, who imparts to us what he has learnt from God. Let us listen then to these words of truth written without the help of the “enticing words of man’s wisdom” by the dictation of the Holy Spirit; words destined to produce not the applause of those who hear them, but the salvation of those who are instructed by them. ”25 The Preface to the NAB leaves us with these assurances: “Conscious of their personal limitations for the task thus defined, those who have prepared this text cannot expect that it will be considered perfect…” 24 See Robert Sungenis’ Father Raymond Brown and the Demise of Catholic Scripture Scholarship: 25 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.viii.ii.html 9
  10. 10. Hath God Said? Whereas Pope Leo XIII teaches: For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it-this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent…26” Finally, Pope Benedict XVI in his 2010 encyclical Verbum Domini comments at length on the historico-critical method both for and against it, or rather against its abuses: Before all else, we need to acknowledge the benefits that historical-critical exegesis and other recently-developed methods of textual analysis have brought to the life of the Church.27 In this regard we should mention the serious risk nowadays of a dualistic approach to sacred Scripture. To distinguish two levels of approach to the Bible does not in any way mean to separate or oppose them, nor simply to juxtapose them. They exist only in reciprocity. Unfortunately, a sterile separation sometimes creates a barrier between exegesis and theology, and this “occurs even at the highest academic levels.” Here I would mention the most troubling consequences, which are to be avoided. 28 Pope Benedict continues: b) The lack of a hermeneutic of faith with regard to Scripture entails more than a simple absence; in its place there inevitably enters another hermeneutic, a positivistic and secularized hermeneutic ultimately based on the conviction that the Divine does not intervene in human history. According to this hermeneutic, whenever a divine element seems present, it has to be explained in some other way, reducing everything to the human element. This leads to interpretations that deny the historicity of the divine elements. c) Such a position can only prove harmful to the life of the Church, casting doubt over fundamental mysteries of Christianity and their historicity – as, for example, the institution of the Eucharist and the resurrection of Christ. A philosophical hermeneutic is thus imposed, one which denies the possibility that the Divine can enter and be present within history. The adoption of this hermeneutic within theological studies 26 http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_18111893_providentissimus- deus_en.html 27 Verbum Domini, 35 28 ibid 10
  11. 11. Hath God Said? inevitably introduces a sharp dichotomy between an exegesis limited solely to the first level and a theology tending towards a spiritualization of the meaning of the Scriptures, one which would fail to respect the historical character of revelation. All this is also bound to have a negative impact on the spiritual life and on pastoral activity…29 Finally, the Holy Father cites the correct way for Catholic exegetes to interpret Sacred Scripture: 1) The text must be interpreted with attention to the unity of the whole of Scripture; nowadays this is called canonical exegesis; 2) account is be taken of the living Tradition of the whole Church; and, finally, 3) respect must be shown for the analogy of faith. “Only where both methodological levels, the historical-critical and the theological, are respected, can one speak of a theological exegesis, an exegesis worthy of this book (the Bible).” 30 This presents both a clarification of the Church‟s approved method of exegesis and a contradiction; for Pope Benedict is unapologetically in favor of both Evolutionism and textual criticism. This is clearly evident in his book In the Beginning31 as well as several homilies where he both refers to evolution as a “reality”32 and quotes notorious evolutionist Pierre Teillard33: “We cannot say, creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things correspond to two different realities… we are faced here with two complimentary – rather than mutually exclusive – realities.34” Pope Benedict XVI, Supreme Pontiff writing to the universal church in authoritative encyclicals is clear about the limits and requirements in regard to the historico-critical method. However, both as Pope and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in his private ruminations, reflections, theological opinions and non-canonical works seems to have opposed, sometimes explicitly the teaching of previous Pontiffs on the requirements of Catholic exegesis35. The enormous tensions between evolutionism and the divine Word revealed in Genesis are routinely glossed over in contemporary theology. The Genesis narrative reveals God creating all that exists in six days, out of nothing, by His Word. Adam is “the son of 29 ibid 30 Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum 31 In the Beginning, Ratzinger, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (September 1995) 32 "…there is a great deal of scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and that enriches our knowledge of life and of being as such.” Zenit, 27 July 2007 33 http://www.traditioninaction.org/ProgressivistDoc/A_120_RatzTeilhardl.html 34 In the Beginning, Joseph Ratzinger, ©1986 Eerdmans Publishing Company 35 See Jesus of Nazareth, © 2007, Ignatius Press, where his primary intercourse in chapter 8 is with Rudolph Bultmann and Martin Hengel, Protestant textual critics. While Ratzinger opposes these radical critics, he nonetheless continues to weight himself on the side of textual critics, and not Tradition: “If ‘historical’ is understood to mean that the discourses of Jesus transmitted to us have to be something like a recorded transcript in order to be acknowledged as ‘historically’ authentic, then the discourses of John’s Gospel are not “historical.” Pp 229 11
  12. 12. Hath God Said? God”36 who knows neither death nor evil. Evolutionism posits billions of years of natural processes whereby life forms evolved by natural selection through death, disease, mutation, extinction, and survival. Evolutionism as a cosmogony is unknown in Tradition and is absolutely absent from any positive mention in Papal encyclicals or official teaching of the Church. To accept the doctrine of evolutionism (which, in the final analysis is a philosophical and not a scientific conclusion) is to reject the supernaturally revealed doctrines of the Faith that contradict it. In order to reconcile the six day creation with scientific theories, historico-critical methodologists must employ novel hypotheses (such as documentary theory) to assert that the Sabbath concept was inserted into the primitive narrative by later redactors. This methodology upsets the canon of the Sacred Scripture and casts serious doubt upon the entire Bible which rests upon its opening chapters. The relationship between evolutionism and textual criticism is evident: in order to enable „science‟ to judge revelation (Modernism), the texts in Genesis must be desupernaturalized, spiritualized, or relegated to „symbolical‟ language attributed to „multiple authors‟ writing at much later dates than what Tradition has always taught. The conflict between the literal sense of Genesis and the extravagant speculations of evolutionism cannot be reconciled so simply nor dismissed so flippantly. In short, they are clearly at odds, and the way most historico-critical proponents reconcile them is to find errors, myths, pagan derivations or sources, and later redactions in the Sacred Scriptures. They go further, in fact, by ascribing the grinding forces of evolution to the development of the Bible itself. If therefore the Holy Scriptures are the soul of theology, it is reasonable to conclude that satanic forces arrayed to destroy Catholic Faith would aim their arsenal of black arts at the Bible. “Hath God said?” is the theme, animus, and overarching premise of those who adopt the historico-critical method of dismembering the canonical books in support of scientific speculations at odds with divine revelation. Doubt in the veracity, reliability and inerrancy of the Bible is at the center of the devil‟s plan to destroy Catholic religion from within the Church. That evolutionism is far from a complimentary science to theological science is firmly established by the authoritative teaching of previous Pontiffs quoted throughout this essay. The principles of evolution, when admitted into so-called scientific principles of textual criticism result in a corruption of dogmas and the destruction of confidence in the unchanging supernatural faith bequeathed to the Church by her divine Redeemer. Professed adherence to these two diametrically opposed systems only adds confusion 36 Luke 3:38 12
  13. 13. Hath God Said? to the faith formation of Catholics everywhere, especially the young. Confusion is the work of the enemy of our souls, as St. Paul teaches37: "God is not the author of confusion." In conclusion, whatsoever engenders faith and confidence in the Bible is graciously provided to us from above for our salvation and felicity for “faith comes from hearing the Word of Christ.”38 The contemporary practice of dismissing 1900 years of sacred Tradition in order to arrive at a “more clear understanding” of Biblical writings by dissecting their contents utilizing methods inspired by evolutionism and atheism has produced dubious fruits in the Church. Moreover it becomes more evident to pious minds that the entire process is diabolical in origin and destructive of Christian Faith in practice. Those who dissect, dismember, deconstruct and disqualify texts of the canonical books are de facto attacking the Word of God, our Blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ. Those that approach the Bible in a spirit other than that animated by the grace of believing faith in order to „interpret‟ it deface the Word of God. Let us with utmost caution indulge such „science,‟ lest we be found to be complicit with those that attack the Savior of our souls. John W. Proctor is a lay Catholic catechist currently on active duty in the US Army. He may be reached at abnjumpmaster56m@yahoo.com. 37 1 Corinthians 14:33 38 Romans 10:17 13