The Church has never changed her teachings, which is proof that indeed the Church is infallible. Hence, the Church says its teachings cannot be changed, because truth does not change. Modernists, who want the Church to "update" her teachings so that they conform to the "modern world", set out to prove that the Church has changed its teachings, so that they can say, "the Church changed its teachings before, why can't they make more changes?" However, many of these "changes" were not changes at all, and where there were changes, they often consisted of disciplinary rulings and legitimate doctrinal developments.
Slavery is the deprivation of freedom and the forcing of some to follow the commands of others (ie. an owner). Some biblical passages make reference to slavery (Lev 25:39-55, 1 Pet. 2:18, 1 Cor 7:20-24, Col 3:11-22, 1 Tim 6, 1-10), and Modernists claim this teaching has changed with time. However, slavery was always legitimate in the punishment of crime, so the Holy See was right to declare in 1866 that "slavery is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law." The fact is, the Church has always opposed every other form of slavery. Is it true that the Church was slow to call for the abolition of slavery, and that the taking of slaves by Christians was tolerated? Yes, but in the societies that the Church existed in, the abolition of slavery would have created a great upheaval; thus, slavery was tolerated on account that its abolition would create more harm than slavery itself. Nonetheless, the Church always called for owners to release their slaves, even though they were not very forceful about it.
Usury is defined as the lending of money, and the charging of interest on top of that money when it is paid back. Modernists claim the Church once condemned this practice, but now allows it. They cite Benedict XIV's "Vix Pervenit": "Any gain which exceeds the amount he gave is illicit and usurious". But the document also says: "By these remarks, however, We do not deny that at times together with the loan contract certain other titles . . . From these other titles, entirely just and legitimate reasons arise to demand something over and above the amount due on the contract" (ie. the money could have been invested elsewhere, and the lender is entitled to compensation on the money he could have invested). Banks, for instance, make sure things are "done correctly and weighed in the scales of justice . . . to provide a standard and a principle for engaging in commerce and fruitful business for the common good". Therefore, an institution that charges interest in order to keep their enterprise operating so that others can borrow money, is entirely legitimate. The Church at one time condemned usury in general, because at one time, excessive interest was charged, and if modern banking practices were followed at the time, the Church would not have objected.
Modernists say the Church erred in the Galileo controversy. Galileo proposed that the Earth revolved around the Sun (heliocentrism), rather than the established belief that the Sun and planets revolved around the Earth (geocentrism). Rather than proposing it as a theory, Galileo challenged the Church, and said certain biblical passages (Ps. 93, 104; Eccl. 1:5), which were interpreted literally at the time, were wrong. The fact is, the Biblical writers used phenomenological language–words that describe appearances (such as the "rising sun" when in fact, the sun does not rise, but only appears to rise), and the literal reading of these passages at the time was not an error in faith or morals, but rather, a scientific error.
Thomas Aquinas proposed "ensoulment" (when one gets a soul) does not occur until 40 days after conception for males, and 90 days after conception for females. Hence, excommunication was formerly not given for abortions up until the 90th day after conception. However, the Church never made an official teaching out of these theories, and always taught that abortion was wrong anytime after conception, even if the fetus did not have a soul, because they were "potential persons", for they would indeed become humans, in the proper sense, in the due process of time.
Modernists attempt to support their beliefs by saying they are true to the "spirit of Vatican II", while labeling those who are loyal to the teachings of the Holy Father and the Magisterium as "pre-Vatican", implying that they are old-fashioned, and that their beliefs and practices have been done away with by the Vatican II council. But Modernists fail to realize that what they call pre-Vatican is anything but. They say communion on the tongue, the all-male priesthood, the opposition to birth control and homosexuality, kneeling at the Consecration, and calling God "He" are all pre-Vatican. However, communion on the hand was not permitted until 1970, and even then, communion on the tongue was retained as the better of the two options; the Council never called for female priests, and the 1983 Code of Canon Law said priests must be men; homosexuality and birth control have never been accepted by the Church, and were condemned in Humanae Vitae in 1968 and by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992; kneeling at the consecration is still mandated by the 2000 General Instructions to the Roman Missal; and the Vatican II documents refer to God as "He". In their defense, Modernists say that the Pope himself is pre-Vatican, and has done his best to undo the work of the Council. Modernists realize that the Vatican II Council called for change, but that does not mean that there are no limits to these changes. Those who say that they want married priests and female priests, that homosexuality and birth control are moral options, and that all of this is in the spirit of Vatican II, fail to realize that the spirit of Vatican II have to be true to the letter of Vatican II, which stated: "For the Roman Pontiff . . . has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered . . . In matters of faith and morals . . . religious submission of mind and will must be shown . . . to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff . . . even when he is not speaking ex cathedra . . . When . . . the Roman Pontiff . . . defines a judgment . . . are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with [it]" (Lumen Gentium, 25). Therefore, according to the Vatican II documents themselves, those who harbor dissent from the Pope in matters of faith, morals, or disciplinary matters are actually anti-Vatican II, and that the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" is a false spirit.
Modernists make a big deal out of the fact that the majority of Catholics support their beliefs, as though truth is whatever the majority is. However, there was a time, during the Arian heresy in the fourth century, that two-thirds of all people in the Church denied the divinity of Christ. According to a Modernist mindset, Jesus would have been divine for the first three centuries of the Christian era, lost his divinity for a while in the fourth century, then became God again. The majority of the world is now monotheist rather than polytheist. Does that mean that there is only one god now, whereas when the majority of the world was polytheist many centuries ago, there were many gods, but those gods have since died out? The Pope is criticized for not being in touch with what the majority of Catholics believe, but it is good that the Pope is not in touch with them, because the majority of Catholics are wrong. "The task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church [Magisterim, especially the Pope]". Modernists pick and choose what they want to believe, so that the Church has some answers, and Protestantism has some answers, and the secular media has some answers. However, in doing so, the Modernist says he alone has all the answers, while others, including the Church, are correct in as far as it agrees with him, who proposes one of millions of "Creeds" held by millions of "Cafeteria Catholics", without really being able to discern whether his is correct (unless it is his claim that he alone is gifted by God with the fullness of truth, a very proud, arrogant, and baseless statement) . However, the Church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15), not the individual, and Modernists refuse to submit to the Church; instead, because they want to believe something, they believe it, and to them, their will is enough of an authority. Modernists take their teachings ( the morality of homosexuality, birth control, abortion, fornication, etc.) from the secular world, influenced by atheism, hedonism, and other worldviews that are anti-Church and anti-God, instead of the Church, which was founded by Jesus to serve God faithfully. This is contrary to Christianity, because we should "have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love has no place in him" (1 John 2:15).