Rorate Caeli

100 years of Pascendi - II
Web resources

By [Pius X's] person and by his work, God willed to prepare the Church to the new and hard duties a troubled future was preparing. To timely prepare a Church united in its doctrine, firm in discipline, efficient in its pastors, generous laymen, an instructed people, a youth sanctified in its first years, a well-formed conscience in relation to the social problems. ... It appears manifest today that his whole Pontificate was supernaturally directed according to a loving and redeeming plan to prepare souls to face our own struggles and to ensure our victories and the victories of future generations.
Pius XII
Sermon for the Beatification of Pius X
June 3, 1951

There are several relevant web resources on the greatest papal document of the 20th Century, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, beginning with the text of the encyclical itself, available in several languages:

  • Pascendi Dominici Gregis (De Modernistarum Doctrinis): Deutsch; English; Espãnol; Français; Italiano; Nederlands; Polski; Português; Русский. (Excerpts in Latin).

  • The decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition (which would be renamed simply as Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in 1908), whose centennial was celebrated here in July.

  • The motu proprio Præstantia Scripturæ Sacræ, which would be issued in November 1907, establishing ecclesiastical punishments for the Modernist heretics.

  • The motu proprio Sacrorum Antistitum (full text in Spanish), which included, among other contents, the Oath against the Errors of Modernism (September 1, 1910).

  • The great Cardinal Mercier, Archbishop of Malines (Belgium), explains Modernism and the need for the Papal encyclical in an indispensable book: Modernism.

  • Father Norbert Jones exposes the errors of Modernism in his tome Old Truths, Not Modernist Errors. An excerpt of the book's introduction makes clear that contemporaries understood why Pascendi was the most important Papal document in recent memory:

    One of the most important Encyclicals that, perhaps, for centuries has ever been given to the whole Catholic world by the Vicar of Jesus Christ is the one condemnatory of the errors of Modernism by the Holy Father Pope Pius X. This Encyclical, by its clear grasp of the subtle errors hitherto concealed from the unwary by Modernist writers, has quite spoilt their cleverly devised plot to destroy Catholicism -- nay, all Christian doctrines retained by non-Catholics -- by simply undermining them. One is not surprised at their discomfiture and chagrin, so evidenced by letters to the Times and other newspapers generally known for their partisan hostility to everything Roman.


    The Papal Encyclical 'Pascendi,' of September 8, 1907, is a most timely warning of the existence of this dangerous heresy, destructive of all real and solid religion. It is a public exposure of its false tenets from their very first principles, and it is an authoritative condemnation of them by the visible head of Catholic Christendom -- a condemnation that, for all practical purposes, is final for all Catholics, so that none can bold Modernist doctrines and remain within the Catholic Church.

  • A good option to understand the Modernist doctrines and the need for a firm Papal response is in the Catechism on Modernism, by Father Lemius, which includes the text of the encyclical in an easy catechism Q&A format (in the Internet Archive).

  • The Modernist heretics, led in Italy by Ernesto Buonaiuti, redacted a pamphlet as a response to Pascendi - in Il Programma dei Modernisti, the defense against the Papal indictment of the heresy revealed instead the deep malice of the heretics. The book would be condemned by the Cardinal-Vicar of Rome and its authors would be excommunicated (29 October, 1907). The Program of Modernism shows how clearly Pope Saint Pius understood the Modernist challenge - and how deep the Modernist spirit has invaded the Church in the past few decades, as many of the safeguards established by Saint Pius were dismissed (Internet Archive - Reader Discretion Advised).

  • The greatest theologian of the 20th Century, Father Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, exposed the recycling of Modernist principles by the masters of the "Nouvelle Théologie" in his groundbreaking article "Whither the New Theology?" ("La Nouvelle Théologie, où va-t-elle?", published in the Angelicum review, July 1946), a must-read for any well-informed Catholic of this age.


Justin said...

Blast it all! Now my reading list has even more material that I will have to get to before I "shuffle off this mortal coil!" Oh well, thank you to the contributor for sharing the names of worthy reading material to peruse.

Anonymous said...

Excellent posting. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

100th Anniversary of 'Pascendi Domini Gregis' - Pope St. Pius X
9/8/2007 - 21:46 PST

Catholic PRWire

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 8, 2007 - We usually do not celebrate the birthday of the saints, but rather their "birthday to heaven," that is, the anniversary of their death, considered as the beginning of their blessed life with God. Nevertheless, there are two exceptions, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, since we commemorate not only their birthday to heaven, but also their nativity, their coming to this earth.

The nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which we celebrate today was well prepared by God from the very beginning of sacred history. Already in the Garden of Eden, God promised our first parents, Adam and Eve, to send them a Savior through the providential Woman, whose "seed will crush the head (power) of the serpent" (Gen. 3:5). In the protoevangelium, “the first Gospel” of Genesis 3:15, we see the promise of the new Adam, Christ, who will be the "seed" of the new Eve, Mary.

But Genesis chapter 28 also provides another prophecy about this new Eve. Remember the vision Jacob had of a ladder uniting heaven and earth? On Jacob’s ladder, the Angels were descending and ascending to God, and the place was called "the house of God" and the "gate of heaven."

The fathers of the Church applied Jacob's vision to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for in her this was fully realized both physically and spiritually. Through Mary, as though by a ladder, the Son of God came down from heaven to earth. Mary, by carrying the Son of God in her womb for nine months, became indeed "the house of God." And giving birth to the Son of God, Mary opened for us "the gates of heaven."

One hundred years ago today, Pope Pius X, whose feast we celebrated on this past Monday, issued an encyclical entitled: PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS. This encyclical condemned the heresy of Modernism. Why did Pope St. Pius X choose the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary to issue a condemnation of Modernism?

Well if we review the 15 promises of the Rosary we will recall that the 3rd promise is: the Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresy. We will, furthermore, recall the prayer: “Thou alone, Mary, hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world”?

If you read Pius X’s encyclical Pascendi, you will learn that Modernism is the sum of all heresies. It would by idyllic to imagine a time in which there would be no heresies, no individual persons who place their personal opinions over the Church’s authority and Magisterium. However, the fact that heresies exist does not at all mean that this antiphon with which the Church honors the Blessed Virgin Mary is not perfectly and literally true.

For there cannot be a time, this side of the Last Judgment, in which heresies will not exist. St. Paul stated this very explicitly in his first letter to the Corinthians: “For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you” (11:19). At all times the Blessed Virgin Mary destroys all heresies in the whole world in those who are truly and profoundly devoted to her.

St. Pius X very well explains the meaning of this expression in his encyclical of 1904 for the 50th anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception. He there explains that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception contains in germ all Catholic doctrine and in particular the supernatural order of grace, which man in his proud rebellion refuses to accept.

Devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God is consequently the only means to preserve the submission to God and to the Church’s authority that are the protection against all heresy and every error in the Faith.

If people believe and profess that in the first moment of her conception the Virgin Mary was free from all stain, they must also admit the existence of original sin, the redemption of mankind by Christ, the Gospel, the Church, and even the law of suffering. These truths will root up and destroy any kind of rationalism and materialism that exists.…

This doctrine compels us to recognize that power of the Church which demands intellectual as well as voluntary submission. Because of this intellectual submission the Christian people sing to the Mother of God: “Thou art all fair, O Mary, and there is no original stain in thee.” For this reason the Church rightly attributes the destruction of all heresies in the whole world to the venerable Virgin alone. (Ad Diem Illum, §14)
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Anonymous said...

Then please also consider that Joseph Ratzinger, Karl Rahner and especially Schillebeeckx and Urs von Balthasar and Congar, are all disciples of the "Nouvelle Théologie" of Chenu O.P. (whose books were indexed as heretical in 1942 by the Holy Office) and other secret neo-modernists against whom Humani Generis (1950) warned. Yes,theologically Benedict XVI is from that "good company". And he continues to tolerate such "theology" and espous Hegelianism and Kant's dialectics.

Benfan said...

It is possible that a person can turn away from a path that was in error. Historically, I have been a heretic for quite some years. Ratzinger was young and stupid like most people. Is he to be held now to what he thought 50 years ago. Tell me, how many of us would such a criteria convict? I think it is only fair to say that his writings since the 80s (as this is alll I've read) have been excellent and I cannot be but delighted that the Lord has given him to us.

Bryan Dunne said...

Thank you for providing the link to the St Athanasius library of Catholic


Truly an excellent on-line library of good orthodox books. It ius amazing how treasures like this are hidden on the Internet.

In caritate Xp.,

Bryan Dunne