“I rejoice to say, to one great mischief I have from the first opposed myself. For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth.”
In the ancient rite of the consecration of a bishop it prays: May he (the bishop) detest pride, and cherish humility and truth, and never desert it, overcome either by flattery or by fear. “Neither flattery or Fear” was the motto of the great bishop Blessed Clemens von Galen. It should be the motto of every bishop and churchman.
Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten comments:
It’s curious how Liberalism has managed to kill everything it touches – education, civil order, amity between the sexes, religion – and yet retains its enormous institutional appeal in the West. I think J.H. Newman nailed the reason in his sermon On Religious Tolerance:
“Liberality is always popular, whatever the subject of it, and excites a glow of pleasure and self-approbation in the giver, even though it involves no sacrifice, nay, is exercised upon the property of others. Thus in the sacred province of religion, men are led on -- without any bad principle, without that utter dislike or ignorance of the Truth, or that self-conceit, which are the chief instruments of Satan at this day, nor again from mere cowardice or worldliness, but from thoughtlessness, a sanguine temper, the excitement of the moment, the love of making others happy, susceptibility of flattery, and the habit of looking only one way -- led on to give up Gospel Truths, to consent to open the Church to the various denominations of error which abound among us, or to alter our Services so as to please the scoffer, the lukewarm, or the vicious. ... I wish I saw any prospect of this element of zeal and holy sternness springing up among us, to temper and give character to the languid, unmeaning benevolence which we misname Christian love. AmenBACK TO LIST