Our Problem is Philosophy Not Theology
The Western world pivoted from the Church Fathers on an important philosophical matter
Did the crisis in the modern world begin in the sixties, perpetuated through a revolution in the Church at Vatican II? Was it perhaps initiated further back by way of the Enlightenment? We should consider that this crisis began even further back in time, in fact, all the way to the vaunted golden age of Christendom, the thirteenth century. Then, and in the centuries that followed, the Western world pivoted from the Church Fathers on an important philosophical matter which gave way to something new which wrought revolutionary side-effects that still plague us today.
While religious dogma and doctrines stayed the same, the philosophical lens through which we understood religious teachings shifted. From the earliest apostles, Platonic top-down ultra-realism supremely ruled the day over Aristotelian bottoms-up moderate realism. The thirteenth century and forward brought about a revolution whereby the mind of Aristotle usurped that of Plato as the starting point from which we came to understand reality
The Catholic Church being the pillar and foundation of all truth guards this unchanging truth in the name of Jesus Christ and by His authority; however, changing the natural philosophical orientation of those seeking that truth will lead them astray. The Church proclaims the same truths. However, the soul now reflects on them differently. The mind is clouded over. There is doubt, and the will grows weak.
Through the lens of Plato, that same lens assimilated into Christianity by the early Church fathers (op.cit. Coulombe), we see the divine teachings of the faith emanating and cascading down in resplendent hierarchical beauty. We understand the necessity of a divine order as the means to facilitate our union with God in the Heavenly Kingdom. This downward emanating light draws us upward to Truth. Dogma is the trail leading to this Truth and is revealed to us in the mist through this light. The Church, founded by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, points us toward the true Forms of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness as they are in the Mind of God. It is from that perspective, the Platonic philosophical orientation, that we see ourselves in the company of the saints and angels as a purposefully and perfectly designed hierarchy of mediators sharing this divine light. They are our guides on this trail of Dogmatic light to Heaven and Truth.
This all changed well before the Protestant Revolution and the Enlightenment through the newly introduced moderate realism of Aristotle. Through Aristotle, we start not with the divine truths and then draw conclusions about the nature of things (the Platonic methodology), rather, we start with our existing understanding of things and use our rational minds to decide what truth really is. Plato is top-down. Aristotle is bottoms-up. By subjugating Plato to Aristotle, we feel a break between "faith and reason" as reason, rather than faith, becomes the ultimate judge of what is true. In Aristotle's world, we must "understand before we believe." Through this Aristotelian realism, we must first prove God’s existence before we can believe Him.
Conversely, in the Platonic model, we, as St. Anslem and St. Augustine inferred, "believe that we might understand." In this way truth will lead us to itself. "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6). This is why "without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him." (Hebrews 11:6). Belief comes first by accepting the mind independent truths of the faith.
By the authority of his absolute transcendence, God who makes himself known is also the source of the credibility of what he reveals.
In the language of natural Platonic philosophy, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness are similarly mind independent. We accept first, and from those premises we come to the knowledge of that which we tacitly understand. Knowledge presupposes understanding through faith. Our whole intellect, both in its deductive and inductive capacities, is properly formed beginning with belief in Christ, who is the Truth. The natural Platonic orientation opens the window, allowing the divine Truth to flood our souls.
Just as in the natural order of things we need to know how to read that we might gain knowledge and wisdom from reading sacred scripture - otherwise we are looking at an array of written symbols we do not understand - we need properly oriented natural philosophy to unlock the divine mental symbols before us.
On her part, the Church cannot but set great value upon reason's drive to attain goals which render people's lives ever more worthy. She sees in philosophy the way to come to know fundamental truths about human life. At the same time, the Church considers philosophy an indispensable help for a deeper understanding of faith and for communicating the truth of the Gospel to those who do not yet know it.
We need a philosophical orientation toward light in order to see. "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12). Mental models oriented in Plato’s realism turns us toward the divine light of grace that engulfs our souls just as the natural knowledge of how to read opens the divine light of grace when reading scripture.
Edith Stein also found the reorientation toward Plato irresistible.
The question may perhaps be asked why the author (Stein) has followed the lead of Plato, Augustine, and Duns Scotus rather than that of Aristotle and Thomas. The obvious answer is that she did indeed start out from Thomas and Aristotle. The fact that the actual discussion led in the end to certain goals which might have been reached faster and with greater ease if a different point of departure had been chosen, constitutes no sufficient reason to disavow the way which has been followed. The very difficulties and handicaps which had to be overcome on this way may prove of advantage to others.
Our core problem is philosophy not theology. The Church officially teaches today what it has always taught. Historically, the revolutionaries in the Church rarely have been bold enough to declare straight-forward heretical doctrines. However, they have been unrelenting in tempting us to question our doctrines through Aristotelian skepticism. Through syllogistic formulas grounded on worldly premises, the enduring dogmas no longer appeal to us as relevant through the Aristotelian lens. God must conform our reasoning, rather than us conforming to His revelation.
Here is the root of the revolution against the Church and Our Lord Jesus Christ. Natural philosophy cannot save us unaided by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Plato did not open the gates of Heaven for us. Christ is the Truth - true God and true man - the only Savior of the world. However, not having our natural philosophy right surely obscures our understanding of Him and dims the light of divine reason and wisdom in our already cloudy minds.
 See Coulombe, Desire and Deception - How Catholics Stopped Believing. and Herman, The Cave and The Light - Plato versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization.
 Holy Bible - The Verse It: All(TM) Edition - Catholic Douay-Rheims Version, 4386. “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
 Herman, The Cave and The Light - Plato versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization, 383. Plato’s reference to “a staircase” would have triggered immediate thoughts of heavenly hierarchies and the Great Chain of Being. So would the notion of a movement of the soul from lower to higher, as part of its processional return to its heavenly realm.
 Herman, 333. Why assume a Great Chain of Being or a Celestial Hierarchy of divine emanations, if there is no direct evidence for them around us and we can talk about and understand the world without reference to either one?
 Wikipedia, “Credo Ut Intelligam.”
 Pope St. John Paul II, “FIDES ET RATIO - On the Relationship between Faith and Reason,” para. 13.
 Pope St. John Paul II, “FIDES ET RATIO - On the Relationship between Faith and Reason.” para. 5.
 Stein, Finite and Eternal Being - An Attempt at an Ascent to the Meaning of Being, Preface xxxi.