Tag Archives: Modernism

Errors of Vatican II

Image result for vatican ii

In order to obtain a proper perspective on this great crisis in the Church, it is necessary to know precisely its root cause.  The root cause is thus: Modernist errors being promoted “underground” since St. Pius X’s pontificate quickly gained acceptance or submission throughout virtually the entire Church as a result of the ambiguities and errors of the Second Vatican Council, the main fruit of which was the New mass.

This can be easily confused, however, because of the common “conservative”(but not fully traditional) Catholic mindset.  The “conservative” position essentially proposes that although there are some worrisome statements and ideas spreading in the Church, even now with the aid of Pope Francis himself(or maybe not), Vatican II and the New mass are fine as long as they are both interpreted correctly.  At most, there might be a few ambiguous sentences here and there, but a Catholic should simply interpret them correctly.  After all, how could the Holy Ghost have allowed error?  Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are recognized as shining examples of orthodoxy; if only the Bishops under them would not have been so liberal.

Surely, dear readers, this may be a good start for a Catholic on the beginning of his journey towards Tradition, but he has not quite arrived at the full truth.  The fact of the matter is that Vatican II was convened as a “pastoral” Council, not a dogmatic one.  It has no binding, dogmatic force in itself.  The Holy Ghost does not necessarily protect such a Council from error, especially if he is shunned by many of its participants.  Modernist, Freemasonic errors were in fact proposed by “progressive” clergy and, in the end, included in the Council documents.  Every priest, bishop, and cardinal in the world was subsequently under heavy pressure to accept these documents with most of them unfortunately accepting or at least keeping silent.  In reality, there were only a few clergy who openly confronted this revolution. Many put themselves under the guidance and training of Abp. Lefebvre, who would form the Society of St. Pius X and establish many traditional monasteries and convents.  Others would remain faithful inside the diocesan structures, although often having to perform their priestly duties in a more “independent” manner.  All of these brave priests and bishops were constantly under attack for their providential stand.  May God bless, reward, and love them forever!

This perspective is also relevant since there are many traditional-leaning Orders in the Church who offer the Traditional Mass and more substantial doctrine, but had to accept all of Vatican II and the New Mass to be received “in full communion with Rome”.  On paper, the priests in these Orders cannot protest these errors and must remain, at least for the most part, silent on them.

Pope Francis had this to say about one of these Orders on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary:

By way of the celebration of the sacred Mysteries according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite and the orientations of the Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as by passing on the apostolic faith as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, may they contribute, in fidelity to the living Tradition of the Church, to a better comprehension and implementation of the Second Vatican Council.”

I wish to make clear that the good intentions of these Orders should not be called into question. They do much good work and may God reward them abundantly.  However, it was not correct of them to agree to accept the entire Council and the New mass, since on paper they are recorded as agreeing with error and an illicit rite.  Doctrine is greater than this perceived obedience.  They are very close to the whole truth, though, and God is currently building a solid foundation in the Church for a great restoration, so let us pray that they simply take that final step in the journey to Tradition! 

For an examination of Vatican II’s errors, this is an excellent article: http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/2003_January/errors_of_vatican_II.htm

Provided below are two charts from sspx.org.  The first chart briefly summarizes some of the main errors of Vatican II, while the second summarizes teachings that are liberal in their method and were easily interpreted as error after the Council.  We hope they will prove useful for our readers!

May God bless our dear readers,

Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

Vatican II teaching Catholic teaching

Man is the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake” (Gaudium et Spes, §24),

The Lord hath made all things for Himself (Prov. 16),

and “all things on earth should be ordained to man” (§12).

…to help him save his soul.

Moreover, “by His incarnation the Son of God has in a certain way united Himself with each man” (§22),

God assumed an individual nature (e.g., Dz. 114),

so “Human nature… has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare” (§22),

…a little less than the angels…”(Ps. 8:6)

and because of “sublime dignity of the human person” (§26),

Only he who lives well is worthy (Apoc. 3:4).

his “rights and duties are universal and inviolate” (§26); including:

He who buries his talent will be stripped of it

The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom…” (Dignitatis Humanae, §2),

Contrary condemned statement:  “Liberty of conscience and of worship is the proper right of every man…” (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)

“…all men should be immune from coercion on the part of …every human power so that, within due limits, nobody is forced to act against his convictions nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his convictions…” (§2),

Contrary condemned statement:  “…the best condition of society is the one in which there is no acknowledgment by the government of the duty of restraining… offenders of the Catholic religion, except insofar as the public peace demands” (Pius IX, Quanta Cura).

This right of the human person to religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right” (§2), 

Contrary condemned statement:  “Liberty of conscience and of worship … should be proclaimed and asserted by law in every correctly established society…” (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)

“…the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using (separated churches) as means of salvation” (Unitatis Redintegratio, §3), and so, 

principle 2
ecumenical action should be encouraged so that … Catholics might cooperate with their separated brethren …by a common profession before the nations of faith in God and in Jesus Christ…”  (Ad Gentes, §115). principle 7

Why, even concerning non-Christian religions: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is good and holy in these religions.  She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct…” (Nostra Aetate, §2),

All the gods of the Gentiles are devils.” Ps. 95. “… beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations” (Dt. 18:9).

Now, episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, the duty also of teaching and ruling…” (§21).

This (episcopal) dignity, in fact, depends immediately on God as to the power of orders, and on the Apostolic See as to the power of jurisdiction…” (Deesemus Nos, Pius VI).

 

Conciliar teaching How interpreted by Rome[1]
The liturgy of the word is stressed (Sacrosanctum Concilium, §9),[2] and the banquet aspect (§10), as well as active participation (§§11,14), and therefore the vernacular (§§36,54). The New Mass (cf. question 5).
Catholics should pray with Protestants (Unitatis Redintegratio, §§4,8). Eucharistic hospitality (cf. question 8).
The Church of Christ subsists in (not is) the Catholic Church (Lumen Gentium, §8), It is also in “separated Churches” (Ut Unum Sint, §11).[3]
which has separated brethren in separated “Churches” (Unitatis Redintegratio, §3), All the baptized are in Christ’s Church (Ut Unum Sint, §42).
which ought to be as sisters (Unitatis Redintegratio, §14). And so there is no need to convert, e.g., the Orthodox.[4]
Seminarians should take into account modern philosophy, progress in science (Optatam Totius, §15), Secular university studies and abandoning Thomism.
psychology, and sociology (§20). Open spirituality and subjective morality.
Marriage and married love equated (Gaudium et Spes, §§48,50). Annulments fiasco (cf. question 8).
The Church renounces privileges civil authorities grant her (§76). Catholic religion no longer to be the religion of any States.
Wish for a world authority (§82). Full support for UN
Rite and formula of penance are to be revised (Sacrosanctum Concilium §72). Face to face confessions and General Absolutions.[5]
Extreme Unction should be an Anointing of the Sick (§§73,75). New matter, form and subject (i.e.,the sick, not just those in danger of death).
Table footnotes1 How Rome’s guidelines are further interpreted as seen in the parishes is a whole other story.

2 The documents of Vatican II are referred to by their introductory Latin words, or by the initials of these.

Ut Unum Sint, Pope John Paul II, May 25, 1995.

Cf., The Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which forbade mutual “proselytizing.” Balamand, Lebanon, June 17-24, 1993.

5 Does this affect the “substance of the sacraments” over which the Church has no power?  (Cf., Pius XII, quoted in principle 5)

False Altars

Featured Image

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-italian-bishop-condemns-false-altars-facing-away-from-people-nostalgia

“I don’t like going into the parishes and celebrating Mass on a false altar: all Churches must have altars facing towards the people.”

Actually, Excellency, your altars can be called false in every sense of the word, since you advocate the desacrilization of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament by relegating it to a simple meal, void of any semblance of the Sacrifice of the Cross.  By facing the people you turn your back on God, but you have actually done worse, for the Modernists have thrown the Blessed Sacrament from the altar and cast him into a closet. What does this tell us about you?  You do not hold the Catholic Faith.

With the likes of these Modernists, it is a great miracle that the Traditional Latin Mass has survived.  Due credit to Archbishop Lefebvre and our great SSPX, for preserving the Faith when it was under most attack.

“The survival of the Tridentine Mass until the post-Vatican II reform was, even from a cultural standpoint, something of a miracle.”   ~Michael Davies

“The new liturgy will delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and discipline.”   ~Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci

May God have mercy on this disgraceful Bishop and move him to repentance for his hatred of the Mass of All Time and the True Catholic Faith of saintly generations.  Without these Altars, the world would cease to exist.

~Damsel of the Faith

“Who can accept Marriage?”

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/06/pope-francis-catastrophic-speech-of.html

The Pope blasphemes Catholic Marriage.

“They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.”

Accompany them to what?  When the Church was in a healthy state and Popes taught the Catholic Faith, this would have meant to “accompany” them back to the state of Sanctifying grace, without which there is no life in the soul.  How do you “wait” on cohabitators to achieve a supposedly Catholic Marriage without admonishing them and warning them that they are living contrary to the laws of God and are bringing damnation to their souls, telling them that to amend this they must leave their sinful situation? To Pope Francis, cohabitation is the new marriage which ultimately means Marriage is meaningless and basically non-existent.  Is cohabitation to be raised to the permanence and holiness of Marriage? Are the pleasures of sin to be raised to the dignity of a Sacrament and upheld as a means to the end of fidelity and holiness?  Is Marriage too hard to live by now, with its duties, obligations and responsibilities?  What happened to picking up our crosses and following Christ?  Why do we have to pander to the pleasures of the people? The Pope, like those disciples of Christ who walked away from Him after He said that we must eat His Body, is ultimately saying concerning marriage, “this saying is hard. Who can accept it?” (John 6: 60).  Instead of accepting Christ and His teachings, it seems we have to be accepting of the modern culture that is entrenched in sin, all in the name of a false mercy and pastoral charity.

Fidelity does not exist in sin.  Cohabitation is unlawful and a blasphemy to the unity and indissolubility of lawful marriage based on fidelity to Christ and His Church.  If there is no fidelity to God by keeping His Commandments, there can be no fidelity to each other.  A lawful Marriage is a lifelong covenant and vow made before God by a man and woman. Anything else is a mortal sin and to see the Pope approving of mortal sin (of course this isn’t the first time) is a shameful disgrace.

Why don’t we take a refresher course?  The definition and meaning of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony from The Baltimore Catechism #3:

Q. 1005. What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?

A. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage.

Q. 1006. When are persons lawfully married?

A. Persons are lawfully married when they comply with all the laws of God and of the Church relating to marriage. To marry unlawfully is a mortal sin, and it deprives the souls of the grace of the Sacrament.

Q. 1007. When was marriage first instituted?

A. Marriage was first instituted in the Garden of Eden, when God created Adam and Eve and made them husband and wife, but it was not then a Sacrament, for their union did not confer any special grace.

Q. 1008. When was the contract of marriage raised to the dignity of a Sacrament?

A. The exact time at which the contract of marriages was raised to the dignity of a Sacrament is not known, but the fact that it was thus raised is certain from passages in the New Testament and from the constant teaching of the Church ever since the time of the apostles. Our Lord did not merely add grace to the contract, but He made the very contract a Sacrament, so that Christians cannot make this contract without receiving the Sacrament.

Q. 1009. What is the outward sign in the Sacrament of Matrimony, and in what does the whole essence of the marriage contract consist?

A. The outward sign in the Sacrament of matrimony is the mutual consent of the persons, expressed by words or signs in accordance with the laws of the Church. The whole essence of the marriage contract consists in the surrender by the persons of their bodies to each other and in declaring by word or sign that they make this surrender and take each other for husband and wife now and for life.

Q. 1010. What are the chief ends of the Sacrament of Matrimony?

A. The chief ends of the Sacrament of matrimony are:

  1. To enable the husband and wife to aid each other in securing the salvation of their souls;
  2. To propagate or keep up the existence of the human race by bringing children into the world to serve God;
  3. To prevent sins against the holy virtue of purity by faithfully obeying the laws of the marriage state.

Q. 1011. Can a Christian man and woman be united in lawful marriage in any other way than by the Sacrament of Matrimony?

A. A Christian man and woman cannot be united in lawful marriage in any other way than by the Sacrament of Matrimony, because Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament.

And the true nature of Marriage according to Pope Leo XIII:

“Marriage has God for its Author, and was from the very beginning a kind of foreshadowing of the Incarnation of His Son; and therefore there abides in it a something holy and religious; not extraneous, but innate; not derived from men, but implanted by nature… As, then, marriage is holy by its own power, in its own nature, and of itself, it ought not to be regulated and administered by the will of civil rulers, but by the divine authority of the Church, which alone in sacred matters professes the office of teaching.” ~Pope Leo XIII, “Arcanum”, 1880 A.D.

It’s blasphemy to put the profane on par with the holy.

~Damsel of the Faith


 

The Knight of Tradition is adding to the post by giving us some important information on the subject of situation ethics, or in other words as I like to call it, the fruit of Modernism:

As Rorate Caeli adequately covered in the linked article above, such a line of thinking has been already indicated in a few of this Pope’s documents, especially in the infamous Amoris Laetitia; the relevant parts of which are restated below:

(Part of 33.) “Yet if this freedom lacks noble goals or personal discipline, it degenerates into an inability to give oneself generously to others. Indeed, in many countries where the number of marriages is decreasing, more and more people are choosing to live alone or simply to spend time together without cohabiting.”

293. The Fathers also considered the specific situation of a merely civil marriage or, with due distinction, even simple cohabitation, noting that “when such unions attain a particular stability, legally recognized, are characterized by deep affection and responsibility for their offspring, and demonstrate an ability to overcome trials, they can provide occasions for pastoral care with a view to the eventual celebration of the sacrament of marriage”.

On the other hand, it is a source of concern that many young people today distrust marriage and live together, putting off indefinitely the commitment of marriage, while yet others break a commitment already made and immediately assume a new one. “As members of the Church, they too need pastoral care that is merciful and helpful”. For the Church’s pastors are not only responsible for promoting Christian marriage, but also the “pastoral discernment of the situations of a great many who no longer live this reality. Entering into pastoral dialogue with these persons is needed to distinguish elements in their lives that can lead to a greater openness to the Gospel of marriage in its fullness”. In this pastoral discernment, there is a need “to identify elements that can foster evangelization and human and spiritual growth”.

294. “The choice of a civil marriage or, in many cases, of simple cohabitation, is often not motivated by prejudice or resistance to a sacramental union, but by cultural or contingent situations”. In such cases, respect also can be shown for those signs of love which in some way reflect God’s own love. We know that there is “a continual increase in the number of those who, after having lived together for a long period, request the celebration of marriage in Church. Simply to live together is often a choice based on a general attitude opposed to anything institutional or definitive; it can also be done while awaiting more security in life (a steady job and steady income). In some countries, de facto unions are very numerous, not only because of a rejection of values concerning the family and matrimony, but primarily because celebrating a marriage is considered too expensive in the social circumstances. As a result, material poverty drives people into de facto unions”. Whatever the case, “all these situations require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel. These couples need to be welcomed and guided patiently and discreetly”.

What is happening here is the promotion of Situation Ethics.  Although Pope Francis might have insisted to some, e.g., the SSPX, that he does not intend to change doctrine, it would seem that the doctrine could be “flexible” in “pastoral” application.

John Vennari on the definition of Situation Ethics:

http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/88cd932e0fb30da936d547131dbddacf-571.html

“What is situation ethics?

Situation Ethics is the rejection of the universal, binding, immutable norms of morality. There is no such thing as a moral act that is intrinsically evil, there is no rule that admits no exceptions. According to this false approach, the morality of an act ultimately depends not on objective truth, but on the individual’s given situation.

The early advocates of situation ethics (as well as contemporary advocates) rebelled against what they call “legalism,” “rigidity” and certain “fixed rules of morality that can never be violated.” Such an approach, as the 1960s advocates of situation ethics complained, “puts rules over people.”

Dr. Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991), the Anglican clergyman and principal proponent of modern situation ethics (who published the landmark 1966 book Situation Ethics and ended his days as an atheist), insisted that in a given situation, we need not always act according to objective morality, but rather, we “do the loving thing” based on the our given circumstances. The new pastoral approach coming from Francis’ Vatican delivers a new twist to the same error, claiming what is most important is to do the “merciful” thing, in light of the various “concrete circumstances” of the individual.”

Bp. Bernard Fellay on the application of Situation Ethics after the Synod on the Family:  http://www.sspx.org/en/declaration-concerning-synod-family     

“…In keeping with the natural law, man has a right to exercise his sexuality only within lawful marriage, while respecting the limits set by morality. This is why homosexuality contradicts natural and divine law. Unions entered into apart from marriage (cohabitation, adulterous, or even homosexual unions) are a disorder contrary to the requirements of the natural divine law and are therefore a sin; it is impossible to acknowledge therein any moral good whatsoever, even diminished.

Given current errors and civil legislation against the sanctity of marriage and the purity of morals, the natural law allows no exceptions, because God in His infinite wisdom, when He gave His law, foresaw all cases and all circumstances, unlike human legislators. Therefore so-called situation ethics, whereby some propose to adapt the rules of conduct dictated by the natural law to the variable circumstances of different cultures, is inadmissible. The solution to problems of a moral order must not be decided solely by the consciences of the spouses of or their pastors, and the natural law is imposed on conscience as a rule of action.”

As the Catholic liturgy and doctrine were significantly ignored or even rejected to a point by Fathers of the “pastoral” Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis, as a Son of the Council, is taking the next step in putting even basic morality under this “pastoral” treatment.  Let us pray to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts for the eventual triumph that is promised by Our Blessed Mother at Fatima!

~Steven C, “Knight of Tradition”

Religious Indifferentism condemned by Christ and the Church

All religions do not lead to God. God founded only One Church, that leads to His Father, the One True God. The gods of the pagans are devils, as St. Paul says.  Peace and justice is not to be found through “dialogue” but through the saving truth of Jesus Christ and His Church.  You cannot have peace without these two.  You cannot have peace without submitting to the Kingship of Jesus Christ. True peace is to do the will of God, obey His Commandments and practice the virtues.  Without the Church, one cannot have true peace. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all of these things will be added unto you. It’s not “Seek first earthly peace and justice and the Kingdom of God is guaranteed to you.”

Remember the words of the Son of God:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  ~John 14:6

:And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”   ~Mark 16:15-16

“Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  ~Matthew 7:21

“If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.”  ~John 15:22

“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  ~Matthew 16:18

Read what the Popes say on Religious Indifferentism:

“Also perverse is the shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory which is greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honorable and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial.”   ~Bl. Pope Pius IX, “Qui Pluribus”, 1846 A.D.

“Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age – that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions.”   ~Pope Leo XIII, “Humanum Genus”, 1884 A.D

“To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.”   ~Pope Leo XIII, “Immortale Dei”

Prophetic words of Pope Pius X, truth indeed:

But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them – their religious and philosophical convictions; and so long as they share what unites them – a ‘generous idealism and moral forces, drawn from whence they can’. When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which were necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace – the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made Man – when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come out of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people.” ~Pope St. Pius X,  “Notre Charge Apostolique”, 1910 A.D.

 

Pope Pius X on the State and Modernism

A lecture given by Fr. Benedict de Jorna, Superior of the French district of the SSPX:

From the outset of the election of Pius X, public opinion had it that this new Pope was a religious Pope, in contrast to his immediate predecessor, Leo XIII:

Leo XIII has given back to the Church her rightful place in the world which she had lost under Pope Pius IX’s pontificate. It would be logical that, by a contrary movement, there should follow after a statesman [Pope Leo XIII] whose interests had been turned toward the nations, an apostle whose solicitude or primary concern would be for the faithful,….(Dansette, Histoire religieuse de la France contemporaine, Ed. Flammarion, p.317.)

Pius X brought to the See of Peter a spirit quite different from that of his predecessor. For all that the latter delighted in those subtle political and diplomatic maneuvers, Pius X had no taste at all for them, since he would in no way bow to the compromises necessarily implicated in such dealings; he had taken the firm decision of concentrating himself on the problems concerning the apostolate and Christian life (R. Aubert, Nouvelle histoire de l?Eglise, T.V. Ed. Seuil, p.25).

There was this common opinion prevailing at the time of Card. Sarto’s election.

In his first encyclical, E Supremi Apostolatus, St. Pius X declares:

We take courage in Him Who strengthens Us; and setting Ourselves to work, relying on the power of God, We proclaim that we have no other program in the Supreme Pontificate but that of “restoring all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10), so that “Christ may be all and in all” (Col. 3:2)….The desire for peace is harbored in every breast, and there is no one who does not ardently invoke it. But to want peace without God is an absurdity, seeing that where God is absent thence too justice flies, and when justice is taken away, it is vain to cherish the hope of peace. “Peace is the work of justice” (Is. 22:17). There are many, We are well aware, who, in their yearning for peace, that is, for the tranquility of order, band themselves into societies and parties, which they style parties of order. Hope and labor lost. For there is but one party of order capable of restoring peace in the midst of all this turmoil, and that is the party of God. It is this party, therefore, that We must advance,….(Documents Pontificaux de Sa Sainteté St. Pie X; Ed. Courrier de Rome, 1993).

Another one of St. Pius X’s encyclicals, Jucunda Sane (Mar. 12, 1904), is just as expressive of his concern to restore the spiritual life amongst the faithful. It was published on the occasion of the celebration of the 13th centenary solemnity of Pope St. Gregory the Great. Here, he adopts the same solution in the face of a similar dramatic situation: the spiritual solution.

Truly wonderful is the work he [i.e., Pope St. Gregory] was able to effect during his reign.

But it is, nevertheless, true that he never put himself forward as one invested with the might and power of the great ones of the earth, for instead of using the exalted prestige of the Pontifical dignity, he preferred to call himself the Servant of the Servants of God; a title which he was the first to adopt. It was not merely by profane science or the “persuasive words of human wisdom” (1 Cor. 2:4) that he traced out his career, or by the devices of civil politics, or by systems of social renovation, skillfully studied, prepared and put in execution; nor yet, and this is very striking, by setting before himself a vast program of apostolic action to be gradually realized;….he yet possessed an incredible energy of soul which was for ever receiving fresh vigor from his lively faith in the infallible words of Christ, and in His Divine promises. Then again, he counted with unlimited confidence on the supernatural force given by God to the Church for the successful accomplishment of her divine mission in the world. The constant aim of his life, as shown in all his words and works, was, therefore, this: to preserve in himself, and to stimulate in others this same lively faith and confidence, doing all the good possible at the moment in expectation of the Divine judgment (op. cit.)….It is still more necessary to inculcate properly in the minds of all the moral maxims taught by Jesus Christ, so that everybody may learn to conquer himself, to curb the passions of the mind, to stifle pride, to live in obedience to authority, to love justice, to show charity towards all, to temper with Christian love the bitterness of social inequalities, to detach the heart from the goods of the world, to live contented with the state in which Providence has placed us, while striving to better it by the fulfillment of our duties, to thirst after the future life in the hope of eternal reward. But, above all, is it necessary that these principles be instilled and made to penetrate into the heart, so that true and solid piety may strike root there, and all, but as men and as Christians, may recognize by their acts, as well as by their words, the duties of their state and have recourse with filial confidence to the Church and her ministers to obtain from them pardon for their sins, to receive the strengthening grace of the sacraments, and to regulate their lives according to the laws of Christianity (op. cit.).

In his first two encyclicals, E Supremi Apostolatus and Jucunda Sane, and again in his later encyclical, Communium Rerum, St. Pius X demonstrated his essentially religious concerns. Moreover, in these three documents, he paints the same dramatic tableau of the prevailing situation: nothing less than a universal apostasy, and the cures he proposes are again the same (from Communium Rerum):

How they have realized this danger is easily to be seen in the anxieties, trepidations, and tears of most holy men who have had borne in upon them the terrible responsibility of the government of souls and the greatness of the danger to which they are exposed, but it is to be seen most strikingly in the life of Anselm. When he was torn from the solitude of the studious life of the cloister, to be raised to a lofty dignity in most difficult times, he found himself a prey to the most tormenting solicitude and anxiety, and chief of all the fear that he might not do enough for the salvation of his own soul and the souls of his people, for the honor of God and of His Church….[h]is one great comfort was his trust in God and in the Apostolic See (Epistol. lib. iii. ep. 37).

St. Pius X was a true pastor of souls, a pope who concerned himself first and foremost with the care of souls, a spiritual rather than a politically-wise pope. It would, however, be false to pretend that St. Pius X’s pontificate was of an exclusively religious character, where politics had no part to play whatsoever. Aventino (op. cit.) states positively:

Pius X’s eminently religious pontificate cannot be seen as completely detached from all political activity whatsoever. Anxious as he was in pursuing an essentially religious goal, Pius X’s actions would never be of an exclusively political nor diplomatic character; it could never be but politico-religious; and under no circumstances whatsoever would moral or religious questions be subordinate to any worldly conditions; this he proved when he fearlessly raised the cross against the politics of religious interference in France and in Spain, as well as against the Russian government’s arbitrary pretensions or claims. Far from dealing a death-blow to his courage, drawn from the everflowing supernatural sources of the Faith, the most dreadful obstacles simply served to redouble his energy and to give him the strength to rekindle everyone else’s courage.

These words, addressed to Card. Fisher in 1911, repeat exactly what Pius X had penned in Jucunda Sane (1904).

Each and every time Catholic interests will be threatened, the Pope will be immediately ready to defend them against the Republique du Bloc or against the Czar’s autocracy; against the Catholic monarchy and parliament of Spain or against the all-powerful German Protestant Empire, against the usurping monarchy of Savoy or against the very Catholic House of Hapsburg. The on-going religious struggle in France, the defense of Catholicism in Russia, the padlock law in Spain, the affair concerning the archbishopric of Posen in Germany, those incidents related to Nathan and Granito all reveal the unity of method as well as the unity of thought of the Sovereign Pontiff in all circumstances (op. cit., pp.143,144).

St. Pius X’s pontificate was a politico-religious one; and, in this regard, four of his official documents are quite characteristic indeed. The first of them is his famous consistorial speech, Primum Vos (Nov. 9, 1903):

Our task, therefore, consists in defending both Christian Truth as well as the Law of Christ. Consequently, Ours will be the task of defining and explaining the notions of the most important truths….as well as that of leading back to the rule and straight path of honesty both in public and in private life, in the social and political spheres, all men and, indeed, each and every one of them, those who must obey as well as those whose duty is to command, for they are all sons of the same Father Who is in Heaven. We are also quite conscious of the fact that some will be shocked in hearing Us mention that We will, through necessity, concern Ourselves with politics. But anyone seeking to judge fairly will be quick to understand that the Sovereign Pontiff, who has been invested with the Supreme Magisterium, has no right whatsoever of divorcing questions relating to politics from the field of Faith and Morals. Moreover, in his capacity as chief and sovereign guide of that perfect society which is the Catholic Church, a society made up of men and also set up amongst men, he can only wish to foster and entertain close relationships with [all] heads of countries and members of governments if he wishes to see all the countries of the world protect their Catholic citizens’ liberty and security.

A second document, just as characteristic, is the address delivered on the occasion of the beatification ceremonies of St. Joan of Arc (Apr. 19, 1909):

Having everything in common with Him, enriched by Him and possessor as well as guardian of Truth, the Catholic Church alone may claim the love and veneration of all peoples.

Thus it is that anyone rising up against the Church’s authority under the unjust excuse that it is invading the State’s domain is, in fact, limiting and shackling the Truth; he who declares the Church to be a stranger in his nation is also, in fact, declaring that Truth is indeed a stranger in his country; he who fears that the Church will weaken the liberty as well as the greatness of his country must also admit that a people can be great and free without Truth. No, such a State or government, by whatever name it is known, while waging war against Truth and gravely offending that which is most sacred in men, cannot possibly lay claim to their love….Only that country united in a chaste alliance with the Church can inspire its citizens with those sentiments of veneration and love and bring about the true well-being of humanity.

The third document is found in the famous condemnation of the Sillon (Aug. 25, 1910):

It is in the democratic customs as well as in theories of the ideal city which inspires them, that you will perceive, Venerable Brethren, those underlying causes of those disciplinary lapses for which you have so often reproached the Sillon.

Thus did the Pope roundly condemn a political party, that Christian Democracy established by Marc Sangnier (1873-1950).

The fourth document, Il Fermo Proposito (June 11, 1905), manifests the Pope’s worries which are seen to be not exclusively religious, but rather of a politico-religious nature.

In this encyclical on Catholic Action in Italy, St. Pius X declares:

Behold, Venerable Brethren, the precious support brought to the Church by those chosen companies of Catholics who propose, as a matter of fact, to combine all their living strength with the firm intention of doing battle by just and legal means against the growing anti-Christian forces in modern society, as well as to repair by all possible means, all of those extremely grave disorders brought about in our midst by those same forces of darkness. These same associations intend bringing back Jesus Christ into families, schools and society itself as well as re-establishing the principle of human authority as representing that [authority] of God. Those militant Catholics are therefore devoting themselves to bringing public laws in conformity with justice, to correcting or suppressing those which are lacking in that virtue as well as defending and supporting with a genuinely Catholic spirit the rights of God in all things, together with the no less sacred rights of His Church.

This last quotation shows how Pope St. Pius X envisaged “Restoring all things in Christ.”  This is evidently a question of a religious policy whose politics will be subject to the unchanging and saving doctrines of the Church.

However, since St. Pius X was Pope and head of the universal Church, it was necessary that he consider religion itself first and foremost since this is the summit of all human life. This subordination impregnates all of that Pope’s writings, including Pascendi. St. Pius X revealed the gravity of the error of modernism both on the natural and supernatural orders. Pascendi begins with an analysis of the modernist system of philosophy which is agnosticism [i.e., the philosophy of the agnostics, that is, of those teaching that the essences of things and in particular the first cause and final ends, are absolutely unknowable]. Modernism has proven itself to be the ruin of all of human life, and therefore also the ruin of that necessary subordination of politics to religion, of the State to the Catholic Church.

In order to illustrate this affirmation, let us examine Pascendi point by point:

Pope St. Pius X roundly condemns the seven heads of modernism and then offers us their seven remedies. He begins by condemning philosophers who challenge all rational proof of the existence of God as the First Cause of everything in existence, both material and spiritual. Such philosophers fall victims to a so-called scientific atheism. For these, God is something emanating from man’s subconscious. This false “faith” of theirs, based as it is on mere sentiment or feelings, is expressed in ever-changing formulae, since these have no other objective than that of maintaining or of warming up over and over again a sentimental life, a life of the heart which is, by definition, irrational. For these people, religion is a form of life and, as such, cannot constitute an adherence to an exterior object. Their “faith” proceeds from man; known as religious immanence, vital immanence. Such  a system of “belief” cannot possibly be viewed as an unmistakably clear knowledge above all scientific knowledge; on the contrary, science, which modernists have reduced to the level of measurable things, is done to impose its control on all human judgment.

St. Pius X then goes on to condemn modernist theologians. Since modernists are not concerned with true knowledge but rather with feelings [sentiments] and immanence – [i.e., the teaching that the foundation of faith must be sought in an internal sense which arises from man’s need of God], and since they no longer have any external object to adhere to, the modern theologians have simply become begetters of symbols, designed to represent the divine emanating from human subconscious. They also consider that the Magisterium’s sole function is that of transmitting or passing on common opinions. Their cult thus ends up being a humanistic expression of religious feelings. The modernist Church, for its part, is now seen as the collective conscience in the same way that popular regimes constitute the public conscience: and only the democratic form is considered suitable to their ends. Thus we end up with the error of separation of the Church and of the State. In fact, since modernists hold Faith to be subject to human knowledge [science] and reason, to the total advantage of [human] reasoning and to the vanishing point of Faith, the Church is seen to be subject to the collective conscience which constitutes what may be essentially called an all-encompassing Christian democracy, that is to say, the State. Understood in this way, authority becomes nothing more than a service whose mission is limited to the taking of the “universal pulse” in order to explain it in a formula comprehensible to everyone.

Pope St. Pius X, showing modernism to be agnostic, immanentist, and evolutionary, concludes:

The domineering overbearance of those who teach the errors, and the thoughtless compliance of the more shallow minds who assent to them, create a corrupted atmosphere which penetrates everywhere, and carries its infection with it. (Pascendi, 34).

He also went on to reveal their common cause: pride.

Pride! Pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect. (Pascendi, 40).

St. Thomas Aquinas describes the sin of pride in the following terms:

The first sin committed by the devil was that residing in an undue desire to be “like to God,” in that he sought as the ultimate goal of his happiness something to which he could attain by his own natural powers, without having recourse to God, nor wishing to wait, as did the holy angels, for his final perfection through divine grace. This final perfection he sought to reach through the resources of his own nature, not, indeed, independently of God, Who gave to the angelic nature the ability to act, but independently of God Who confers grace (De Malo, 16,3).

For man, as well as for angels, pride consists in refusing the supernatural and the order of divine grace. But for us, the supernatural and grace depend on the mystery of the Incarnation whose motive is to be found in sin. (Summa Theologica, Part III, Question 1, article 3). Finally, it must be said that pride is centered on that refusal of mercy, on that refusal of the world of divine grace, that refusal of the Incarnation, that refusal of Our Redeemer, the Word made Incarnate.

In his motu proprio of June 29, 1914, St. Pius X applied himself to the solid formation of future priests, an essential remedy:

Equal diligence and severity are to be used in examining and selecting candidates for Holy Orders. For, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and obstinate mind (Pascendi, 49).

Next follows the necessary prohibition of bad books. And the Pope then carefully warns:

Let all this be done in a fitting manner, and in certain cases it will suffice to restrict the prohibition to the clergy (Pascendi, 51).

The fourth measure consists in the control of publications through the obligation of the Nihil obstat and the Imprimatur. Ecclesiastical censors will be appointed for the revision of works intended for publication.

St. Pius X warns against religious congresses. In the future, these will be rarely held, since they have been known to be the means of spreading modernist infection:

Whenever they [the bishops] do permit them, it shall only be on condition that matters appertaining to the Bishops or the Apostolic See be not treated in them, and that no resolutions or petitions be allowed that would imply an usurpation of sacred authority, and that absolutely nothing be said in them which savors of Modernism, presbyterianism, or laicism (Pascendi, 54).

The sixth remedy is the setting up of diocesan “Councils of Vigilance” established with rules identical to those of censors whose task it is to examine writings pertaining to religious matters.

Finally, it is ordained that bishops furnish the Holy See with a diligent and sworn report on the things which have been decreed in Pascendi.

Just as pride, as a common cause, masks the various errors making up Modernism, so another common cause is evident in their antidotes – the Pope’s jealous attention and soliicitude for his priests, not only in Pascendi, but in all of his encyclicals.

For example, in his first encyclical, E Supremi Apostolatus, St. Pius X proposes, as a first step in…

…bringing back to loyal obedience to the Church all of those societies bewildered and straying far away from the Wisdom of Christ, to form and mold Christ in those who, through that duty associated with their sublime vocation, are destined to form Him in others. Here, We wish to speak of priests….Thus, Venerable Brethren, how great indeed must be your solicitude in forming the clergy to holiness! No other task is to take precedence over this one….Let your zealous solicitude be lavished on those new priests just leaving their seminaries.

In Jucunda Sane, St. Pius X follows in the steps of St. Gregory:

The very idea of some danger, the very thought that the moral corruption so prevalent and pervading in the Roman world threatened to creep into the morals and customs of the clergy caused him no end of trembling and fear….He could be seen warning, correcting and suspending from their functions those unworthy members of the clergy….Thus do we see, Venerable Brethren, how important it is for a bishop, before laying hands on new candidates for ordination, to apply himself, in God’s presence, to a deep and thorough self-examination.

Finally, a third example found in Communium Rerum, the encyclical from which we have quoted regarding St. Anselm’s 8th centenary:

Why so much insistence in setting up and extolling once again St. Anselm’s merits? The reason, Venerable Brethren, lies in this happy occasion afforded Us to exhort you once again to open up to our young clergy those saving sources of Christian knowledge; let those young clerics come and drink at those beneficial and salutary waters revealed by St. Anselm of Canterbury and so enriched by the Doctor of Aquinas….There are those who have abandoned these studies or else have undertaken them in a slipshod manner, totally lacking in sure and firm methodical order. And with what results? Alas! We see only too well all of the ruins piling up all around us day after day; many are they who, even amongst the clergy, without any aptitude and utterly wanting in proper preparation, have not feared to rashly debate and argue the loftiest Mysteries of the Faith.

In order to point out the jealous care St. Pius X had for the clergy, we quote from Haerent Animo (Aug. 4, 1908):

Through this exhortation, it is not only your interests that We will uphold, but also those common interests of Catholic nations, since they cannot at all be separated the ones from the others.

Would to God that there should now be a greater number of men practicing these virtues as did those saints of times past who proved to be so powerful in words and deeds, for the greater profit not only of Religion, but also for that of civil society…

When, at last, the true spirit of priestly vocations will have renewed and improved at all levels of the clergy, our other projects and efforts of reform, whatever they may be, will also prove to be, with God’s help, much more effective indeed.

Thus are we able to conclude that in the same way that pride is found to be the common cause of the seven heads of modernism and that this pride simply constitutes man’s refusal of Christ as his Redeemer, thus is also to be found a common remedy to this tragedy: priestly virtue. Why? Precisely because the priest participates directly in Christ’s work of salvation, and because he is a man dispensing the sacraments of the Faith. This is where we behold the unrivalled splendor of the Pope’s motto: To restore everything in Christ. In short, this means restoring everything in Christ the Redeemer, and therefore also restoring everything through the holy priesthood. Included in this “everything” is not only the Church, but all of human society as well. This universal restoration will come via Christ the Redeemer, and therefore by our priests. And this term “everything” is not restricted in any way at all. This remedy is not something new. St. Pius X ushered in nothing new; he just took up again a centuries-old idea, making his own the constant care of earlier Popes. He took up once again and continued the work of one former Pope in particular, Gregory VII. Here is what he wrote about St. Anselm.

He was still but a curate when he received from the great and courageous Roman Pontiff, Gregory VII, letters full of esteem and affection wherein the Pope recommended himself as well as the Catholic Church to the saint’s [i.e., Anselm’s] good prayers.

“We will cite but one name,” says St. Pius X. “That person of indomitable courage, indefatigable defender of the rights and freedom of the Church, that watchful guardian and preserver of Church discipline, Pope Gregory VII.”

Now, precisely in this encyclical where St. Pius X quotes Gregory VII, he very frequently returns to  Pascendi, specifying:

What We wish to simply draw to your attention today is the fact that, if the dangers of which We speak are graver and more menacing nowadays, they are not, for all that, very different from those which threatened the Church and its doctrines in St. Anselm’s days.

The conclusion of all this is easily drawn: if the ills plaguing the Church in Anselm’s time (1033-1109) were the same as those of today, even though they are not of the same extent nor violence, the remedy is yet the same. It is the one proposed by the Pope of the dawn of the 11th century, that is to say, of St. Gregory VII.

Thus do we have St. Pius X following in the footsteps of Pope St. Gregory VII. To the same ills and dangers, the same remedies. St. Pius X is to the 20th century what St. Gregory VII was to the 11th century.

The measures taken by St. Pius X, although of the same order, were taken in different circumstances. Whereas at the time of Pope Gregory VII all of those States were Christian, and therefore by definition subject to Church authority, in this 20th century, no State admits of such dependency of politics on the Church. St. Pius X’s action was therefore much more limited, and yet the principles involved were essentially the same. Only the actual carrying out of this Pontiff’s orders was much more resisted. Unlike Gregory VII, who was able to excommunicate Henry IV and relieve that emperor’s subjects from their oaths to him, St. Pius X had no other means at his disposal, whenever a government refused to be “subordinated” to the Church, refused its authority or even rebelled against it, than to declare that the citizens were no longer obliged to sentiments of veneration and affection, which they should have under normal circumstances. These are the words of the Pope in his address at the beatification of St. Joan of Arc (Apr. 9, 1909):

Thus is it to be seen that anyone revolting against the Church’s authority under the unjust pretext that it is encroaching on the State’s domain, is indeed thereby imposing limits to the Truth. He who holds it [i.e., the Church’s authority] to be a stranger in a nation is also declaring that Truth must also be held to be something foreign in that nation. Those who fear that it will weaken the freedom and greatness of a people, are also obliged to admit that a people can be great and free without Truth. No, such a State, such a government or whatever other name may be given to it, cannot lay claim to its citizens’ affection, because in waging war against Truth, it gravely strikes at that which is found to be most sacred in man. Such a government will be able to sustain itself through material and brute force; it will make itself feared through the sword; people will, through hypocrisy, self-interest or sheer slavishness: the people will obey because religion preaches and ennobles submission to the human powers that be, as long as they do not require that which is contrary to the holy laws of God. But if the fulfillment of these duties towards human authorities, in that which is compatible with the people’s duty to God, renders their obedience more meritorious, it will not, for all that, become more tender, nor more joyful nor more spontaneous: never will it even deserve to be considered as venerable nor affectionate.

St. Pius X assures us that these sentiments of veneration and affection can only be inspired by that country which, united in a chaste alliance with the Catholic Church, brings about the genuine good of humanity.

Those terrible evils shaking the Church at the onset of the 20th century resemble those which Gregory VII found himself obliged to correct. They can all be summed up in one word: laicization.

However, the partisans of destruction are not only to be found outside the Church; they are unfortunately to be seen at their work of demolition in the very bosom of the Catholic Church.

It is interesting to note that the stress laid in Gregory VII’s first letters is quite similar to that found in those of St. Pius X. Writing to Lanfranc of Canterbury, Gregory VII informs him:

As for the Bishops, whose sacred duty it is to guide and watch over those souls confided to them, they only seek, with insatiable desire, worldly glory and pleasures of the flesh. Not only do they destroy the last traces of holiness and all religious life in themselves, but through their bad example, they lead their flocks to all manner of evils. You are well aware how perilous it would be for Our soul not to combat them; but you also know how difficult it is to resist them and to restrain their malice.

Somewhat later, writing to Sicard the patriarch of Aquileia:

Your sound reasoning cannot ignore how mountainous waves of fury are relentlessly battering the Bark of the Church: to the point where she appears to be swamped and wrecked. The great and powerful, together with the princes of this world, selfishly seeking their own interests at the expense of those of Jesus Christ, have cast off all respect and are now oppressing the Church like an abject slave: they have no shame in covering her in confusion as long as they are able thereby to satisfy their monstrous greed. Priests, as well as those charged with governing the Church, are seen to have almost utterly abandoned divine law, as they steal away from their sacred duties towards God and their flocks. Their ecclesiastical dignities only serve to cover them in worldly glory as they grievously squander away in vain pomps of pride and uncalled-for expenses, those funds which normally should be directed to the salvation and welfare of the majority.

Caught up in such chaos, the people, without their prelates’ leadership, deprived of those good counsels which could guide it in the ways of justice, is now, on the contrary, thanks to the bad example of its leaders, pushed on toward every mischief and everything contrary to the Christian religion, and is seen rushing headlong into all sorts of iniquity.

We can then only quote Communium Rerum once again to witness that the policies pursued by St. Pius X were similar to those of St. Gregory VII:

Let us go back (in mind) to the times of Anselm, so fraught with misfortunes and difficulties according to historical accounts. People then were indeed obliged to give battle for the altar and the fatherland, that is to say, in favor of the inviolability of public rights and laws, for liberty, civilization and doctrine: all things over which the Church alone stood guard. It was necessary to repress the tyranny of those princes accustomed as they are in disregarding the people’s most sacred rights: Vices had to be eradicated, intellects cultivated and barbarians civilized. Much work had to be done in reforming part of the clergy, guilty of cowardice or misconduct: numerous were they in its ranks who, owing their appointment to the base intrigues and whims of those princes, have shown themselves to be their time-serving subordinates.

Such was the situation, particularly in those regions which especially and more immediately benefited from Anselm’s solicitude, works, doctrinal teachings, as well as his sterling example of monastic life. The souls entrusted to his care greatly benefited by his heedful vigilance as well as the industrious zeal he showed in faithfully fulfilling his functions of archbishop and primate.

On all sides, interior revolutions together with foreign wars were inevitably followed by a loosening of discipline: princes and subjects, clergy and laity; all were affected, none escaping.

The greatest minds of that century never ceased deploring such abuses and, most noteworthy amongst them was Anselm’s former teacher and predecessor on the See of Canterbury, Lanfranc. But, above and beyond all others, the Roman Pontiffs raised their voices. We will recall but one name: he who bore it was a man of indomitable courage, the indefatigable champion of the Church’s rights and liberty, the vigilant guardian and savior of ecclesiastical discipline, Pope Gregory VII.

The restoration is identical for both Popes: it consists in a genuine reform of the Catholic priesthood. It has become necessary to renew priestly powers, in order to triumph over all things; therefore over all of human societies subject to Christ the Redeemer. Omnia instaurare in Christo, and thereby affirm the Roman Church’s indispensable supremacy, for there is no true civilization but Christianity resting upon the Catholic priesthood.

If those evils plaguing this 20th century are of the same order as those familiar to St. Anselm under the pontificate of Pope St. Gregory VII, the remedies must also once again be the same. Now, the greatest evil of our times is that of laicization or secularism. The remedies will therefore also necessarily be the same, those proposed by Pope Gregory VII: restoration of the powers of the Catholic priesthood for the restoration of Christ’s kingdom on earth.

Pope Pius X’s Syllabus condemning the errors of the Modernists

LAMENTABILI SANE

Pius X July 3, 1907

With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas.

These errors are being daily spread among the faithful. Lest they captivate the faithful’s minds and corrupt the purity of their faith, His Holiness, Pius X, by Divine Providence, Pope, has decided that the chief errors should be noted and condemned by the Office of this Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition.

Therefore, after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed.

1. The ecclesiastical law which prescribes that books concerning the Divine Scriptures are subject to previous examination does not apply to critical scholars and students of scientific exegesis of the Old and New Testament.

2. The Church’s interpretation of the Sacred Books is by no means to be rejected; nevertheless, it is subject to the more accurate judgment and correction of the exegetes.

3. From the ecclesiastical judgments and censures passed against free and more scientific exegesis, one can conclude that the Faith the Church proposes contradicts history and that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion.

4. Even by dogmatic definitions the Church’s magisterium cannot determine the genuine sense of the Sacred Scriptures.

5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences.

6. The “Church learning” and the “Church teaching” collaborate in such a way in defining truths that it only remains for the “Church teaching” to sanction the opinions of the “Church learning.”

7. In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced.

8. They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations.

9. They display excessive simplicity or ignorance who believe that God is really the author of the Sacred Scriptures.

10. The inspiration of the books of the Old Testament consists in this: The Israelite writers handed down religious doctrines under a peculiar aspect which was either little or not at all known to the Gentiles.

11. Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error.

12. If he wishes to apply himself usefully to Biblical studies, the exegete must first put aside all preconceived opinions about the supernatural origin of Sacred Scripture and interpret it the same as any other merely human document.

13. The Evangelists themselves, as well as the Christians of the second and third generation, artificially arranged the evangelical parables. In such a way they explained the scanty fruit of the preaching of Christ among the Jews.

14. In many narrations the Evangelists recorded, not so much things that are true, as things which, even though false, they judged to be more profitable for their readers.

15. Until the time the canon was defined and constituted, the Gospels were increased by additions and corrections. Therefore there remained in them only a faint and uncertain trace of the doctrine of Christ.

16. The narrations of John are not properly history, but a mystical contemplation of the Gospel. The discourses contained in his Gospel are theological meditations, lacking historical truth concerning the mystery of salvation.

17. The fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.

18. John claims for himself the quality of witness concerning Christ. In reality, however, he is only a distinguished witness of the Christian life, or of the life of Christ in the Church at the close of the first century.

19. Heterodox exegetes have expressed the true sense of the Scriptures more faithfully than Catholic exegetes.

20. Revelation could be nothing else than the consciousness man acquired of his revelation to God.

21. Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.

22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.

23. Opposition may, and actually does, exist between the facts narrated in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s dogmas which rest on them. Thus the critic may reject as false facts the Church holds as most certain.

24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves.

25. The assent of faith ultimately rests on a mass of probabilities.

26. The dogmas of the Faith are to be held only according to their practical sense; that is to say, as preceptive norms of conduct and not as norms of believing.

27. The divinity of Jesus Christ is not proved from the Gospels. It is a dogma which the Christian conscience has derived from the notion of the Messias.

28. While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messias, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.

29. It is permissible to grant that the Christ of history is far inferior to the Christ Who is the object of faith.

30 In all the evangelical texts the name “Son of God” is equivalent only to that of “Messias.” It does not in the least way signify that Christ is the true and natural Son of God.

31. The doctrine concerning Christ taught by Paul, John, and the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon is not that which Jesus taught but that which the Christian conscience conceived concerning Jesus.

32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.

33 Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.

34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.

35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

36. The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other facts.

37. In the beginning, faith in the Resurrection of Christ was not so much in the fact itself of the Resurrection as in the immortal life of Christ with God.

38. The doctrine of the expiatory death of Christ is Pauline and not evangelical.

39. The opinions concerning the origin of the Sacraments which the Fathers of Trent held and which certainly influenced their dogmatic canons are very different from those which now rightly exist among historians who examine Christianity .

40. The Sacraments have their origin in the fact that the Apostles and their successors, swayed and moved by circumstances and events, interpreted some idea and intention of Christ.

41. The Sacraments are intended merely to recall to man’s mind the ever-beneficent presence of the Creator.

42. The Christian community imposed the necessity of Baptism, adopted it as a necessary rite, and added to it the obligation of the Christian profession.
43. The practice of administering Baptism to infants was a disciplinary evolution, which became one of the causes why the Sacrament was divided into two, namely, Baptism and Penance.

44. There is nothing to prove that the rite of the Sacrament of Confirmation was employed by the Apostles. The formal distinction of the two Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation does not pertain to the history of primitive Christianity.

45. Not everything which Paul narrates concerning the institution of the Eucharist (I Cor. 11:23-25) is to be taken historically.

46. In the primitive Church the concept of the Christian sinner reconciled by the authority of the Church did not exist. Only very slowly did the Church accustom herself to this concept. As a matter of fact, even after Penance was recognized as an institution of the Church, it was not called a Sacrament since it would be held as a disgraceful Sacrament.

47. The words of the Lord, “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23), in no way refer to the Sacrament of Penance, in spite of what it pleased the Fathers of Trent to say.

48. In his Epistle (Ch. 5:14-15) James did not intend to promulgate a Sacrament of Christ but only commend a pious custom. If in this custom he happens to distinguish a means of grace, it is not in that rigorous manner in which it was taken by the theologians who laid down the notion and number of the Sacraments.

49. When the Christian supper gradually assumed the nature of a liturgical action those who customarily presided over the supper acquired the sacerdotal character.

50. The elders who fulfilled the office of watching over the gatherings of the faithful were instituted by the Apostles as priests or bishops to provide for the necessary ordering of the increasing communities and not properly for the perpetuation of the Apostolic mission and power.

51. It is impossible that Matrimony could have become a Sacrament of the new law until later in the Church since it was necessary that a full theological explication of the doctrine of grace and the Sacraments should first take place before Matrimony should be held as a Sacrament.

52. It was far from the mind of Christ to found a Church as a society which would continue on earth for a long course of centuries. On the contrary, in the mind of Christ the kingdom of heaven together with the end of the world was about to come immediately.

53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.

54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.

55. Simon Peter never even suspected that Christ entrusted the primacy in the Church to him.

56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions.

57. The Church has shown that she is hostile to the progress of the natural and theological sciences.

58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.

59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.

60. Christian Doctrine was originally Judaic. Through successive evolutions it became first Pauline, then Joannine, finally Hellenic and universal.

61. It may be said without paradox that there is no chapter of Scripture, from the first of Genesis to the last of the Apocalypse, which contains a doctrine absolutely identical with that which the Church teaches on the same matter. For the same reason, therefore, no chapter of Scripture has the same sense for the critic and the theologian.

62. The chief articles of the Apostles’ Creed did not have the same sense for the Christians of the first ages as they have for the Christians of our time.

63. The Church shows that she is incapable of effectively maintaining evangelical ethics since she obstinately clings to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with modern progress.

64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.

65. Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism.

The following Thursday, the fourth day of the same month and year, all these matters were accurately reported to our Most Holy Lord, Pope Pius X. His Holiness approved and confirmed the decree of the Most Eminent Fathers and ordered that each and every one of the above-listed propositions be held by all as condemned and proscribed.

Peter Palombelli, Notary of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition