We all know the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” Eventually the word became meaningless and the wolf consumed him. The same thing seems to be happening with the words “scandal” and “Modernism” among some Catholics. Suddenly, everything is a scandal and anything that is not right is Modernism. What’s unfortunate and we have to beware is that most of the people who use the term “Modernism” have never read a history book on Modernism. They don’t know the full scope of what it means and what is not included under Modernism. But they sound very intelligent. It’s like the kid in school who can use big words. Everyone thinks he’s very smart. The truth is that he doesn’t know what these words mean either.
Is there ever such a thing as scandal? Of course there is. Is there such a thing as Modernism? Yes there is. There is also such a thing as McCarthyism. Very often those who scream “Scandal!” are the ones who cause the scandal. They attract attention to things that most people would not otherwise notice and they inflate the issue with such passion and rhetoric that people become horrified without sufficient reason. If others are scandalized, we can thank the people who make huge and very public those incidents that most people know nothing about and don’t need to know.
Whenever you hear “scandal” or “Modernism” verify before you buy into it. Ask yourself some intelligent questions.
1. Would this be a scandal if the person had not spread it around?
2. Is it a true scandal or is it just something that someone does not like?
3. At what point does the term “scandal” lose objectivity and becomes a very subjective judgment?
4. When something is called Modernism or someone is called a Modernist, does the subject fit under the definition of Modernism or Modernist?
5. Do I really understand what Modernism and Modernist means?
6. If I don’t understand, why am I getting my education from a blog or a an online forum?
There are distance universities that offer online courses, but blogs and forums are not cyber classrooms. Read with caution. Remember, excessive use of an important term or word can render it useless when it’s overused.