Society is becoming more liberal. Do you think the Church needs to adapt and move with the times?

From an interview with Malta’s Archbishop Charles Scicluna:

Society is becoming more liberal. Do you think the Church needs to adapt and move with the times?

Absolutely. The Church always needs to adapt to circumstances. There is a core message, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church will be faithful to that core message if it adapts to circumstances and even adapts its language and the way it conveys its message.

Otherwise it will betray the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is a fresh, good message. So if we use something which is outdated or anachronistic, we have to ask: ‘Am I being true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or is it only a nostalgia for some museum piece that I want to simply polish every now and then?’

One can easily imagine what Blessed Pope Pius IX may have said to that same question, given the still authoritative utterance from his Syllabus of Modern Errors, No. 80:

The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization. — Allocution “Jamdudum cernimus,” March 18, 1861.

That statement, by the way, is condemned as one of the modern errors.

Blessed Pius IX, portrait by George Peter Alexander Healy (source)

Blessed Pius IX, portrait by George Peter Alexander Healy (source)

  • Z.M.

    There is an article by the late Professor Plinio Correa de Oliveira on St. Clement Marie Hofbauer wherein the Saint shows us how to treat those who wish to compromise with the world. When he was studying to become a priest in the University of Vienna he was disconcerted to find that some of the professors had decided to attempt the impossible, that is to adapt Catholic doctrine to the pernicious errors of the so-called “enlightenment”. When he made clear his objection to this to one of those guilty of so doing he was told :”we must swim with the tide if we don’t wish to be left behind.” The Saint replied that: “To swim with the tide in this case is cowardice, since we have to fight and swim against the tide of this ocean. Whosoever wants to shine the light upon the road for this century must ignite his torch in the light of Revelation.” The professor told him “Hofbauer, you will preach to empty pews, our epoch no longer supports that kind of talk.” The Saint answered” If what you say is true, then we are already in the end times announced by St. Paul, who said that times would come that would no longer tolerate sound doctrine. What would St. Paul say about your thinking professor?” It is indeed the beginning of the end. God will soon pour out His wrath upon this nauseating rotten carrion of a world. Fr. Amorth the chief exorcist at Rome said that the Chastisement spoken of by Our Lady of Fatima is imminent. May God save those who are His.

  • Thank you for that comment. Our site has a biography of Saint Clement Maria Hofbauer here:

    The very edifying episode you relate is not in our article, but you can certainly see his anti-Masonic thinking and actions related there.