Old Errors and New Labels by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
“This book,” the author wrote in 1931, “is an attempt to judge contemporary ideals in the field of morals, religion, science, evolution, sociology, psychology and humanism in the light of that philosophical daylight called ‘common sense.’ If at times it criticizes certain views on the grounds of their unreasonableness, it does so to prepare for a view which seems more reasonable. If at other times it shows that what is wrong with a certain philosophical outlook is that it emphasizes a part against the whole, it does so in order to suggest a view that is more catholic in the sense of being the whole truth.” The extraordinary thing for the reader here at the beginning of the twenty-first century is that many of the “old errors” of seventy-five years ago are still cropping up with “new labels” today. There is no sympathy shown in these pages for those who believe that everything that is modern is best, nor with those who believe that everything that is modern is bad. The book does attempt to show, however, that what is often called “modern” is only a new label for an old error, and that what is called “behind the times” is really “beyond time” and outside of fashions because it is an expression of t he truth which is eternal.
About the Author: No reader who is familiar with the Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) — either from his many other books or from his television appearances (presently being rerun on EWTN) — needs to be told of the extraordinary breadth of his interests and the wide-ranging extent of his library. He was truly a renaissance man in every sense of the word, someone who was very well read in theology, philosophy, literature, art, science and politics. The present work is a veritable treasure trove of wisdom and insight in all of these areas. That said, many of the citations to be found in this book, which was originally published in the early 1930’s, will probably be unfamiliar to many today, so it was felt that it might be helpful to add to Sheen’s flawless text a few footnotes to assist in a fuller appreciation of the depth and scope of his still relevant insights into these old errors with new labels.
Archbishop Sheen, in 1931, exposes the problems facing the Church today.