Dr. Daniel Mahoney, the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College, has written a most scholarly and challenging book, in which he argues that “humanitarianism” without grounding in faith is a danger to our civilization. This philosophy seeks to create a “new man” and produce a “new humanity,” with roots in Auguste Comte’s “religion of humanity.” That “religion” has been described as “Catholicism without Christianity.”
Mahoney is especially concerned with “the perplexity that is Pope Francis,” and opines that the pontiff “is half-humanitarian and thoroughly blind to the multiple ways in which humanitarian secular religion subverts authentic Christianity.”
To develop his indictment, Mahoney calls upon a number of witnesses, including American Catholic convert Orestes Brownson, Hungarian philosopher Aurel Kolnai, Russian luminaries Vladimir Soloviev and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Their commonality included their rejection of humanitarianism and their refusal to confuse peace with pacifism.
Pre-Catholic Brownson is described as “a ‘pantheist and a gnostic’ who believed that the Kingdom of God could be established on Earth.” Post-conversion, “Brownson foresaw all the evils associated with Communist totalitarianism...