Traditionalist Occult Neo-Modernism. Don't Believe It Can Occur? You have then not read, "In Quest of Catholicity: Malachi Martin Responds to Wolfgang Smith." First Impressions.
Before I comment on the text of this book that was published 5 years ago and, yet, has been so well hidden from public view, I would like to just make some general comments concerning my impressions of the text. In this regard, I find myself extremely troubled and saddened. These two men, who I have spent decades admiring for one aspect or another of their work, have proven, in this exchange of letters, to be both imprudent and compromised in the extreme. From the text, made up of Dr. Wolfgang Smith's letters to Fr. Malachi Martin and the, subsequent responses from Fr. Martin, we are burdened by a terrible thought. That two famous and notable men, so highly prized for their achievements, intellectual acumen, and great personalities, have wandered into the intellectual territory of the enemy. This is a hard saying, but it is clearly true. In this text, and other publications and works that we have mentioned on this blog, Dr. Wolfgang Smith has fully embraced the esotericism of the Kabbalah and that of Jacob Boehme. This has led him, subsequently, to affirm the Neo-Modernism of Henri de Lubac --- particularly in regard to de Lubac's teaching that all men have a supernatural orientation, which is their's by nature, meaning there is the divine life within us by nature in some very real way. It is this clear embrace of a Right-Wing Neo-Modernism, along with his constant and explicit statements that the Church needs to embrace the "truths" of Western and Oriental Occultism and "mysticism," that shows Smith's influence to become such a dangerous and, ultimately, apostatical one. It is he that is continually, in these letters, pulling Fr. Martin forward to say things and agree to things that are not only erroneous and dangerous, but also, destructive of his reputation with the clientele that he cultivated and worked with in the last decade of his life. Contrary to the very demure and "pious" tone of the responses to Fr. Martin's letters and his laudatory and "traditional Catholic" explication of the "Crisis in the Church," Dr. Smith has made a serious error in judgment in publishing these damning and compromising letters. None of the people that have honored Fr. Martin can look at him in exactly the same way again. Since these letters were published, long after Malachi Martin's death, it seems to me as if Wolfgang Smith is using the reputation of Martin to give some kind of legitimacy to his "esoteric" attacks on Thomism, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Counter-Reformation, "exoteric" traditional Catholic theologians and philosophers who are not open to his "opening to the Kabbalah" and to the heretical occultist Jacob Boehme, his craving for a New Church that will incorporate into its doctrines Oriental and Hellenistic mysticism, the Neo-Modernism of Henri de Lubac that upholds the collapse of grace into nature, etc. The details of this will be covered as I make my way through the text and post my thoughts on this blog.
What Wolfgang Smith is pushing is simply the flip side of the "left-wing" ecumenism of Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis I. It is a "right-wing" occult traditionalism that is actually nothing more than a refined and up-to-date Manicheanism. Finally, for now, it is something positive that Fr. Martin instinctively senses where Dr. Smith is trying to lead him, namely to an affirmation of de Lubacian Neo-Modernism, and he vehemently pulls back. Fr. Martin's seeming affirmation of various aspects of Jacob Boehme and the Kabbalah is another story. Fr. Martin, also, in these letters, states clearly that the man that he so often defended in the interviews of the 1990's --- John Paul II --- taught the doctrine of Universal Salvation, the doctrine that all men are united with Christ and His saving grace, from their conception, in so far as they are human.
And so we begin.