Friday, May 25, 2012

Another Reason to Avoid Fr. Barron: Genesis Myths?

It seems that Fr. Robert Barron keeps falling further into his modernist errors. On one of his latest videos, Fr. Robert Barron tells his viewers that the Adam of the Book Of Genesis never existed. Fr. Barron insists that he was just a myth. He says in his video, (5:50 minute mark) "Adam, now don't read it literally, were not talking about a literal figure. We are talking theological poetry." Now for those of you who may not know, many Popes including Pope Pius XII have explicitly condemned Father Barron's modernist position. Adam is a literal figure according to the Magisterium of the Church. If he had read the Canons of the Council of Trent, Humani Generis, or even the text and references in the New Catechism, perhaps he would not have made this blundering comment, or perhaps he has and just ignores them. Does he consider the historical fact of original sin as being only "theological poetry" as well? That would be the logical follow up to his Adam non-existence conclusion. And we wonder why the Church is in disarray. Watch the video, then read the following statements by the Church, the first of which, from Trent are of dogmatic weight, and are underpinned by the Anathema. The second reference is from Pius XII, Humanis Generis. The third is from the New Catechism which also refers back to Trent and Pius XII and last but not least I quote the Baltimore Catechism, which is as basic as we can get. I wish Fr. Barron would quit trying to be hip to the new age and start teaching the Catholic faith in its fullness.

Council of Trent on Original Sin

1. If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in body and soul, for the worse; let him be anathema.

2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. 

Humanis Generis Paragraphs 37-39

37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]

38. Just as in the biological and anthropological sciences, so also in the historical sciences there are those who boldly transgress the limits and safeguards established by the Church. In a particular way must be deplored a certain too free interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament. Those who favor this system, in order to defend their cause, wrongly refer to the Letter which was sent not long ago to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies.[13] This letter, in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, although properly speaking not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense, which however must be further studied and determined by exegetes; the same chapters, (the Letter points out), in simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured, both state the principal truths which are fundamental for our salvation, and also give a popular description of the origin of the human race and the chosen people. If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents.

39. Therefore, whatever of the popular narrations have been inserted into the Sacred Scriptures must in no way be considered on a par with myths or other such things, which are more the product of an extravagant imagination than of that striving for truth and simplicity which in the Sacred Books, also of the Old Testament, is so apparent that our ancient sacred writers must be admitted to be clearly superior to the ancient profane writers.

New Catechism which references the dogmatic decree of Trent.

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265

Reference 265 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513; Pius XII: DS 3897; Paul VI: AAS 58 (1966), 654.

Baltimore Catechism

Q. 233. Who were the first man and woman?
A. The first man and woman were Adam and Eve.

Q. 234. Are there any persons in the world who are not the descendants of Adam and Eve?
A. There are no persons in the world now, and there never have been any, who are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, because the whole human race had but one origin.


Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Man, your reply was quick! praise God!

Alan Aversa said...

Fr. Barron probably got his inspiration from Card. Pell, who basically said the same thing when debating Dawkins.

Also, Ludwig Ott summarizes the Decisions of the Bible Commission (30/6/1909) in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (my emphasis):

a) The first three Chapters of Genesis contain narratives of real events (rerum vere gestarum narrationes quae scilicet obiectivae realitati et historicae veritati respondeant), no myths, no mere allegories or symbols of religious truths, no legends. D 2122.

b) In regard to those facts, which touch the foundations of the Christian religion (quae christianae religionis fundamenta attingunt), the literal historical sense is to be adhered to. Such facts are, inter alia, the creation of all things by God in the beginning of time, and the special creation of humanity. D 2123.

c) It is not necessary to understand all individual words and sentences in the literal sense (sensu proprio). Passages which are variously interpreted by the Fathers and by theologians, may be interpreted according to one’s own judgment with the reservation, however, that one submits one’s judgment to the decision of the Church, and to the dictates of the Faith. D 2124 et seq.

d) As the Sacred Writer had not the intention of representing with scientific accuracy the intrinsic constitution of things, and the sequence of the works of creation but of communicating knowledge in a popular way suitable to the idiom and to the pre-scientific development of his time, the account is not to be regarded or measured as if it were couched in language which is strictly scientific (proprietas scientifici sermonis). D 2127.

e) The word “day” need not be taken in the literal sense of a natural day of 24 hours, but can also be understood in the improper sense of a longer space of time. D 2128. Cf. the whole letter of the Secretary of the Bible Commission to Cardinal Suhard, dated 16th January, 1948 (D 3002).

It appears Fr. Barron et al. try to emphasize point (d) to the detriment of (a) and (b).

Matthew Bellisario said...

Thanks Alan. Yes, it seems that Fr. Barron cannot discern between Genesis not being written in the form of history as we understand it today, and it still being an account which depicts real events. Hence, Fr. Barron thinks that since Genesis was not written as "science" or in a manner similar to later Latin historical accounts, that everything in it must be nothing more than mere "poetry." He has completely dismissed the literal historical sense all together. Hence he falls into the error of believing that Adam was not a literal person. This is what happens when you mix modernist philosophical principles in with theology. Rubbish in, rubbish out.

Matthew Bellisario said...

This news here is also cause for alarm, no?

Alan Aversa said...

"Fr. Barron cannot discern between Genesis not being written in the form of history as we understand it today, and it still being an account which depicts real events."


Matthew Bellisario said...

And what about Romans 5:12? Is that not literal either? Saint Chrysostom took it literally, and the Church has always taught it literally as well. These little theological shenanigans that these modernists pull have dire consequences. Read Chrysostom's theological insight into the passage, one that Barron cannot hold from his position.

"Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned."

Chrysostom's homily on the passage.

How did it reign? "After the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come." Now this is why Adam is a type of Christ. How a type? It will be said. Why in that, as the former became to those who were sprung from him, although they had not eaten of the tree, the cause of that death which by his eating was introduced; thus also did Christ become to those sprung from Him, even though they had not wrought righteousness, the Provider of that righteousness which through His Cross He graciously bestowed on us all. For this reason, at every turn he keeps to the "one," and is continually bringing it before us, when he says, "As by one man sin entered into the world"— and, "If through the offense of one many be dead:" and, "Not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift;" and, "The judgment was by one to condemnation:" and again, "If by one (or, the one) man's offense death reigned by one;" and "Therefore as by the offense of one." And again, "As by one man's disobedience many (or, the many) were made sinners."

And so he lets not go of the one, that when the Jew says to you, How came it, that by the well-doing of this one Person, Christ, the world was saved? You might be able to say to him, How by the disobedience of this one person, Adam, came it to be condemned? And yet sin and grace are not equivalents, death and life are not equivalents, the Devil and God are not equivalents, but there is a boundless space between them. When then as well from the nature of the thing as from the power of Him that transacts it, and from the very suitableness thereof (for it suits much better with God to save than to punish), the preëminence and victory is upon this side, what one word have you to say for unbelief, tell me?

Anil Wang said...

What's particularly sad is that this is one time when science backs up both the existence of Eve ( ) who is the mother of all humans, and Noah ( ) who is the father of all humans that was born much later than Eve. There is no valid reason to doubt either Adam or Eve or Noah other than the modernist assumption that Genesis was just a made up story.

Jae said...

Is there a way to contact Fr. Barron? And try to show he's going off track? here?

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Jae, when people like Fr. Barron "go off track", they stay off track. See II PET 2, Heb 6:4-8 and 10:26, and you will get my drift.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Before I posted my article on his stance on the death penalty, I tried to contact him first via his website. He did not respond, so now I just post up my articles.

Alan Aversa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Aversa said...

Matthew, you should do a post on Fr. Barron's interpretation of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.

He thinks sacrifice is a bad thing! This fits inline with the Novus Ordo's de-emphasis of the sacrificial and propitiatory nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which Card. Ottaviani concisely discusses in his Intervention.

Sacrifice is good, not a defect of our nature. It's a special act of virtue in accordance with natural law that all people must practice, says St. Thomas. It's an act of adoration, thanksgiving, impetration, and expiation of God. It upholds the 1st Commandment.

The way of sacrificing of the Aztec and Mayans, however, was very imperfect and misguided.

The Catholic missionaries redirected the Aztec's sacrifices by teaching them about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which Christ Himself offers Himself to Himself for our sakes.