In 1964 Alexander Dru understood Blondel’s use of the term “Monophorism” to mean “the attitude of mind which sees only ‘one-way traffic’ in the communication to man of supernatural truth, requiring no co-operation by man’s intelligence” (Introduction to The Letter on Apologetics & History and Dogma, 102-3).  Although this was an immensely complex and deeply divisive issue for Blondel in the early part of the 20th century, the gravity of his critique still holds some 100 years later.

The “monophoristic system,” according to Peter J. Bernardi, followed a dangerous path of right wing extremism, a compartmentalizing of reality into discrete spheres and created an authoritarian structure and simultaneous domestication of the laity (Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française, 124).  According to Blondel:

“From below upward, it’s quite simple, there is no action, no open passage, no cover that could be lifted whose existence might even be suspected or access dreamt of.  Nothing opens from this side, and any pressure would make the seal tighter.  As will be evident, even when the valve is cracked open from above, no indescreet look, no step could penetrate the higher level.  Nature is not assumed by the supernatural and does not ascend into it… From below up, there is only activity on command, by an exclusively notional way, uniquely destined to rationally enthrone the higher level by conferring on it a dictatorship rationally exercited and ratioanly without control; because, since there is no point of real acsencion, no effective continuity, but only a logical homogenaity, one governs as if it was in the name of reason, without having to render reasonable account for anything.  There is a permanent impermanabilty, invincible to all initiative; permability ever ready for intervention: universal and definitive tutelage” (Quoted in Bernardi, 124).

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