Iota Unum, Episode 3: The Church and the Modern World: Episode Overview

Iota Unum, Episode 3: The Church and the Modern World

Host Stephen Heiner with guest, Father Arnold Trauner

Episode three of the Iota Unum course brings an exciting dialogue between Stephen Heiner, and Father Arnold Trauner, especially with regards to the repercussions of the French Revolution, as well as the humanistic principles Modernism has poisoned society with, yet which have been consistently countered in the Syllabi of Popes Pius IX (1864) and St. Pius X (1907), as also Pope Saint Pius X’s Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907). Listeners will surely enjoy a lively discussion recounting the various historical events which have shaped today’s attitudes and contributed to degraded lifestyles, which even refers to the story of ‘Humpty Dumpty’!

Father starts with the French Revolution seen as an important secular point of reference, (as a correspondent to Vatican II, as ‘the defining theological event of the last 300 years’), where he asserts that its false principles of fraternity, liberty and equality are considered the quintessence of the secular structures in which we’re now made to live. This leads into a discussion of the principle of the French Revolution, based on ‘setting up of human values on a purely human, independent and self-subsistent basis and the consequent overthrow of authority,’ as noted by Stephen Heiner. Naturally, it won’t be a spoiler to learn the French Revolution created a violent overthrow of both religion and the secular order, given it introduced a new principle not subordinate to the Catholic Church.

Father explains how the events of Martin Luther and his revolt in 1517, and ‘all the other deviations of the 19th Century, right through to Communism and all forms of totalitarianism’ brought about the ‘degradation of the human mind and human society’ since. Which, as Stephen summarises, is where the symbolisms of the ‘new mass’ of Montini (Paul VI) and the practices of a liturgical movement (such as the altar facing the people) have been institutionalised.

It’s humanism: instead of adoring God, it’s adoring the human being; the human being as such, as opposed to God, detached from God. – Father Trauner.

Perhaps an unusual analogy, but listeners may also enjoy how the aforementioned story of Humpty Dumpty relates to the restoration of kings like Charles X and Louis Philippe, where ‘the king’s power continued to decline as you can’t put it together again.’ This further highlights the paternity problem Father Trauner raised, which goes some way to explaining how, with each era, the social construct undermines the nature of the human being and natural authority. According to Father Trauner, it is ‘not by chance that much of the much of the modern fight, the fight of the Modern State, [is] against the true order – is directly against the family.’ With the rejection and repudiation of especially the Fourth Commandment, Father Trauner sees the abuse of the Divine Authority to the human authority, as visible in respecting paternity, or maternity.

Particularly thought provoking, are the views presented about the issues of incompatibility between the Church when juxtaposed against modern civilisation, especially where there is a distinction made in relation to science, which allows for religion to be proclaimed as compatible with true science.

Modern civilisation is human construct based on false principles. Basically, [it] comes down to the three principles of the French Revolution: liberty, fraternity, equality… None of them can be accepted as such as Catholic… Catholicism is incompatible with modern civilisation: it’s standing on the wrong ground; it’s a house built on sand, or other it’s a fiction in the air, it’s not anything solid. – Father Trauner.

So how can this be dealt with in the practical order? You can be at peace knowing that you will not have to go off into a desert! Rather, fortunately, very helpful and insightful advice is given by Father Trauner, even in cases where people have been raised with a modern mindset. For Father, it is ‘really to get yourself to consciously reject all these manifestations and proclamations of these false principles.’ This is especially in regards to children’s schoolbooks, and where the errors have crept into any and all aspects of human life and dealings. Thus, it is a matter of awareness and not getting tired of rejecting all the manifestations of evil and error at every opportunity! Father Trauner claims this assists with consistency, unlike the lamentable FSSPX as self-styled traditionalists and others who similarly want to accommodate with modernist Rome and also with modern life, where failure is inevitable for them.

Heiner states: ‘Modern standard is not the true standard!’ Here, Father Trauner returns to the Divine Commandments, and how the Ten Commandments are formulated in a ‘negative’ manner, insofar that ‘Thou Shalt not’ do this or that… He uses great analogies of everyday life to further help understand and explain this concept, and emphasises how we need to practice the Faith, and all the other supernatural virtues. Stephen also notes that ‘the well-ordered mind understands limits as a necessary part, not just of God’s order, but realistically, happiness,’ and concludes with this beautiful piece of prose:

There has to be a love for God’s Commandments, and not a love for what people think or how the world will perceive us. And a love for God’s Commandments will necessarily lead to fighting for His rights. If we can frame it in terms of fighting for the rights of God, then we necessarily will attack modern civilisation, because modern civilisation not only seeks to strip the rights of God but to say there is no such thing; that we are the replacements and aren’t we so much better. And the blindness of leading of such propositions of course..  – Stephen Heiner.

Father Trauner concludes with a rhetorical question as to how popes would write a Syllabus today, given all the errors which are now tragically accepted as truths. He leaves us with a heartening thought that despite all the errors, ‘we have to hang on and persevere!’

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TR Staff

True Restoration Staff