Rorate Caeli

Centennial
Sacrorum Antistitum
and the Formula

Exactly 100 years ago, Saint Pius X enacted another major practical measure in his struggle against Modernism. After defining Modernism in Pascendi, organizing Biblical and theological studies, preventing young children from being contaminated by false doctrine before receiving the Most Holy Sacrament, clearly condemning the ecumenical and heretical nature of a certain kind of "Catholic politics", among other measures, the Pope laid down measures in all areas of Catholic formation and academic studies.

In the first words of his Motu Proprio Sacrorum Antistitum, of September 1, 1910, Saint Pius X made his concerns clear:

It seems to Us that it has not been ignored by none of the holy Bishops that the class of men, the modernists, whose personality was described in the encyclical letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis, have not refrained from working in order to disturb the peace of the Church. They have not ceased to attract followers, either, by forming a clandestine group; by these means, they inject in the very veins of the Christian Republic the virus of their doctrine, by editing books and publishing articles in anonymity or with pseudonyms. By reading anew Our aforementioned letter, and considering it carefully, it is clearly seen that this deliberate movement is the work of the men that we described in it, enemies that are the more dangerous the closer they are; that abuse their ministry by offering poisoned nourishment and by surprising the less cautious; by handing a false doctrine in which the sum of all errors is enclosed.

The Motu Proprio included in its text the famous Formula or Oath against Modernism:

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world, that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated.

Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.

Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.

Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and Lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas.

I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.

I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.

Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.

Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God, and these holy Gospels of God which I touch with my hand.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

How good God was to His Church one hundred years ago and how good God is to punish His Church today!
Prayer and penance, dear Catholics, so that God will remove the scourge of the modernists who are again in control. Parce Domine!

Mairedecortichon said...

This saintly pope has done something, most silly theologians of today cannot do. This oath is itself a metaphysical treatise, and then a theological one. The first three paragraphs are a direct attack on the nefarious philosophies of Kant, Hegel and Fichte, and then other errors as historical criticism(Church history revisionism) and empiricism are as well attacked. Most theologians today cannot even see the philosophical arguments in this oath. The saintly pope repeated some of the warnings and admonitions of the council fathers of Vatican I, who at the time were very disturbed by the perverse philosophies of the German philosophers. Fr Garrigou Lagrange wrote a treatise about this oath, a magnificent treatise, found in his very difficult and huge work: God, his nature and existence(not for amateurs in metaphysics!!!).
It is said that the modernists of Rome of that time(when Pascendi and the oath were published) were thunderstruck by the accuracy and intellective power of Pope St Pius X, because he described the modernists even better than they knew themselves. His encyclical Pascendi is itself a philosophical beauty which is his Chef-d'oeuvres because of the depth of his arguments. It is needless to say that most Catholics and theologians cannot philosophize anymore(Phenomenology, Personalism and German philosophies took care of that), otherwise they would recognize in this saintly pope a philosophical genius who mastered the principles of the Angelic Doctor: St Thomas of Aquinas.

Anonymous said...

Mairedecortichon

Wonderful!

It takes a saint to do what the great Pope Pius X did. Clearly his wisdom came directly from the Holy Ghost. No theologian today can hold a candle to him. In fact, do we any theologians today that aren't modernists?


Anon 12:28

I concur. This kind is cast out only through prayer and fasting.

Delphina

Alex said...

Thank you for this post, celebrating this 100th aniversary, so that we get to know more about this great and saint pope. We should start calling Pp Pius X "Magnum" ("the Great"), not any of the past 40 year's pontiffs.
I would just (naively) ask... Why can't I found this Motu Proprio on the Vatican web site??

Anonymous said...

Bring it back for today's priests!!

Jack said...

I would have to say that at this point, I could not sign it because there are technical points in it that I simply don't understand.

One of the articles I have trouble with. While we can know the existence of some kind of deity through creation, it takes the divine gift of faith, given by the Holy Spirit, to believe in the supernaturally revealed God of Christianity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity one in essence and undivided.

Let me put in positive terms what I believe:

I believe all teachings that have come down to us through the tradition of the Church--understanding Holy Tradition as the life of the Holy Spirit in the life of the faithful.

Fr. Steve said...

While we're on this topic; Can any one define for me what modernisim actually is? It seems like every other past heresey is clearly defined so that the faithful can recognize it. Without a clear definition, one can almost accuse any one of being a modernist. Traditionalists often belittle the Second Vatican Council documents for being ambiguous; how can anti modernists not fall into the same trap? How should modernism be defined? Or can it?

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack 01 September, 2010 23:01:

I hope this isn't too technical - humble yourself!

Unknown said...

It is doubtful that any post-conciliar pope would ever reenact such an oath, largely because they would be incapable of keeping it.

Unknown said...

"I would just (naively) ask... Why can't I found this Motu Proprio on the Vatican web site??"

(Naively) the history of the new Catholic church begins after the second Vatican Councils. Most of them have probably never even heard of it.

Mairedecortichon said...

Mr Jack(1 sept, 23:01), the Church fathers, theologians, and this saintly pope used this part of the book of wisdom(Chapter 13) do define that every man can know the true God(not just some king of deity, this leads to paganism and idolatry) by the light of reason, they can know Him more or less, but it is because of the fact that they worship pagan gods(demons) and worship their own lusts(fornication and so on), that their minds are darkened so that they cannot recognize the true God:Book of wisdom(chp 13), take the good translation(Vulgata, Septuagint or Douay Rheims), because the modern translations are simply protestant!!!
Knowing the true true God by the light of reason is possible, the ancient Greek like Aristotle proved this easily, for the Trinity and Revelation, missionaries are needed, which is why the Church never abandoned her missionary zeal(until Vatican II, this is another debate!!!). St Thomas proved, and this is the view of the great doctors of the Church(contrary to the silly theologians of Vatican II) that pagans are not saved, except by baptism of blood and desire, they are not saved because, they cannot receive the sacraments(effects of the crucifixion of our Lord) to be saved(not because of their culpable ignorance).

For Fr Steve, the definition of modernism is very clear in Pascendi, to sum it up, it is the synthesis of all heresies, which denies the supernatural and God, all forms of modernisms start from agnosticism and end up in atheism. And this agnosticism is very visible in many of the modern doctrines the modernists created, inspired by their master: Lucifer!!!

Mairedecortichon said...

I forgot to mention something, the capacity of knowledge of the true God by the light of reason has been strongly diminished by the empiricists and the idealists, since the thirteenth century, William of Oackahm, Kant and their modern collegues made sure that man cannot use his reason anymore. One proof of this is the ease with which Aristotle proved the existence of God, even before Revelation.

Anonymous said...

In reading over Pascendi Dominici Gregis just now, I found #55 to be interesting in that Pope Pius X decreed, as a method to fight against modernism, that a "Council of Vigilance" be instituted without delay in every diocese in order to watch for any trace and sign of modernism in publication and teaching in the diocese.

The priests chosen for this duty would meet every two months in the presence of the bishop and would be bound in secrecy as to their deliberations and decisions.

Does anyone happen to know as to whether or not any diocese instituted a Council of Vigilance in order to combat against modernism?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your beautiful work in reminding the faithful that things can be done differently, that is: with an open and fearless fight against heresy and corruption within the Church rather than with easy accommodations and cowardice masked as "charity".

M

Anonymous said...

Anon@16:50

Indeed there are non-modernist theologians; think FSSPX, or the likes of Msgr Brunero Gherardini, a Thomist who thinks and works inside the Vatican (see hospitallers.blogspot.com)

Paul Haley said...

The Transformation
What is it that transforms a man? I mean, what is it that changes a man so entirely that he gives up being the man that he was and takes on new and entirely different character. We have many examples. The apostles, humble fishermen and even a tax collector among them. We have St. Paul, who persecuted Christians before he was knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus and was taken up into Heaven - there to be told things of Divine inspiration and revelation, things which no man had heard before. There was St. Augustine who dissipated his youth in licentiousness and sins of the flesh and who came to the realization that he was on a course leading to his damnation - who changed his life so dramatically that he became one of the greatest saints and theologian/philosophers the Church has ever known. There was St. Pius X whose feast day is tomorrow in the traditional calendar. He was a shy and modest person unwilling to accept honors of high ecclesiastical office, who felt himself unworthy of the papacy but who became one of the most illustrious occupants of the papal throne, known for his singular defense of the Church against the synthesis of all heresies, Modernism. It was he who said the following: “One of the primary obligations assigned by Christ to the office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord's flock is that of guarding with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body, for owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking "men speaking perverse things,"[1] "vain talkers and seducers,"[2] "erring and driving into error."[3] It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ. Wherefore We may no longer keep silence, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be set down to lack of diligence in the discharge of Our office..”

****** to be continued******

John l said...

I like to think I am a non-modernist theologian

John Lamont

Fr. Steve said...

Thank you Mairedecortichon, that helps a lot. I just received my copy of Pascendi in the mail. I think it's my next read. But, already, I thank God that I'm not a Modernist. May it please Him to preserve me in His grace. Because, honestly, that stuffs everywhere. Boy, do we have a lot of work to do. Once again, thanks.

Unknown said...

It is absolutely impossible to read Pope St Pius X's works with an open mind and fail to understand the nature of the dire predicament in which the post-conciliar papacies have contrived to enmesh the modern catholic church, both liturgically & pastorally, reinforced by liberal ecumenical and inter-religious policies.

From its summit to its base the modern catholic church is asphyxiated by modernist philosophies. There is protestantising division and compromise at almost every turn. How many in this new church continue to apologise for The Church's past?

Unknown said...

An excellent and worthy article

http://www.cfnews.org/oathmodbtryd.htm

To which I add AMEN

Paul Haley said...

Continued from earlier:
I submit to you that sometimes it is a miracle of grace that transforms a man, a gift dispensed by an Almighty and Merciful God to a Church Militant against the Powers and Principalities, against the Devil himself. I submit that it can be a single event such as one’s election to the papacy which confers on the elected the tremendous responsibility of caring for so many souls, souls who would be lost if not for the faithful guidance of the true Shepherd, who knows his flock and whose flock knows him. It could be a worldwide calamity that renders people helpless except for the Faith that endures and comforts them, perhaps even a spiritual calamity such as a growing and ever-more virulent apostasy among Christ’s ministers and those chosen to be his people. It can be a spiritual and moral collapse where pleasure-seeking becomes the most sought after goal of human endeavor, where backs are turned against God in order to face Man.

We have now in the 21st century an opportunity to witness a transformation in our own lives and in the Church itself. Will the Vicar of Christ be transformed into what we all hope to see, a Holy Father who sees the immediate need for Justice in reconciling those considered not worthy of a seat at the table? Will our own lives be transformed into a praying, kneeling people, solely occupied with saving our souls and getting closer to God. Will we be concerned primarily with seeing the good in our fellow-man and the potential for saving grace rather than in constant criticism and never-ending black holes of discontinuity and despair? Will we throw ourselves at the feet of Our Blessed Mother and ask for her intercession as she has asked at Fatima and will Russia finally be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart? Will there again be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church clearly evident in the world under leadership of the Vicar of Christ or will the flock be scattered for fear of the wolves?

May Our Blessed Mother hear our prayers and grant us our petitions and may the Vicar of Christ be inspired to do what it necessary in these potentially horrendous times. May St. Pius X intercede for us in the battle against Modernism and those who seek to wound from within the Mystical Body.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see so much ridicule directed toward the pope. And yet Pope St. Pius X makes it clear that Catholics are to be loyal to the magisterium. What would the saintly pope have though about the ridicule hurled toward the successor of Peter, as has been done here?

Who are these people here who ridicule the pope? In the years that I attended an SSPX chapel, I never heard this sort of thing from the pulpit - never. It must be sedevacantists who are making these comments. And what would Pope St. Pius X have thought of that? He never advocated leaving the visible Church as a way to deal with modernism.

Shame on those here who have derided the papacy in such a way. None here are better Catholics than the pope.

I recall a Society priest (Fr. Hufford) who once said in a sermon, that the saints of old would sometimes crave to be calumniated. I've often though of this since then, and how Catholics such as the pope just take the criticism and hatred levied toward them without complaint. That, to me, is a sign of holiness, whether or not he will ever be canonised as a saint.

Unknown said...

"t's sad to see so much ridicule directed toward the pope."

It is even sadder to witness popes who scandalise our faith in public. I wonder what Pope Pius X would have said about a pope who embraces Qurans; gives Holy Communion to protestants; prays with rabbis in synagogues and with imams in mosques. Pope St Pius X would have been shocked and horrified no doubt to have witnessed Pope Paul VI approve the NO. Etc., etc., etc., etc.

Many of us are frankly sick and tired of the seemingly endless disgraceful litany of scandals that the church hierarchy have inflicted on us over the last 50 years. It is time to point them out. They are no longer tolerable.

Moreover, we should not confuse objective and appropriate criticism for mockery. On the other hand, neither should our pastors mock us.

Anonymous said...

"Pope St. Pius X makes it clear that Catholics are to be loyal to the magisterium".

Anonymous, you say it yourself.

The loyalty is *to the Magisterium*, not to the person of the Pope. The Pope is the servus servorum Dei, not a feudal lord entitled to loyalty and approval whatever he does.

When a Pope gives scandal (which a Pope will occasionally do, cue JP II not embracing as it has been written, but KISSING a Koran; or implying that the Church is now as good as pacifist; or implying that the Catholic doctrine on death penalty is now obsolete) it is the *duty* of the Catholics to point out to this. This is nothing to do with being Sedevacantists, this is to do with being Catholics.

M

Anonymous said...

Mundabor, I believe that Pope St. Pius X would be appalled that his encyclical would be used as a means to bash the pope.

Honestly, the pope-bashers here remind me of some of the (anti-Catholic) Protestants, Muslims, and Jews whom I have debated with on other (non-Catholic) forums in the past. The pope-bashers here are no different in attitude from them. What would the saintly pope have thought of that?

Pope St. Pius X gave guidelines on how to deal with modernism. Simply bashing Catholics, especially the pope, is not on his list. It's pride that causes us to resort to such a thing, and it's easier to just bash on a forum than do the real work that is needed to make changes. The first change being with ourselves. We don't need a 'traditional pope' to tell us how to be good Catholics. We have the catechism, and the doctors of the Church and other saints to remind us of how to save our souls.

Do everything you can to become as holy as possible, and work from there to improve your family, friends, and church that you attend, with love and charity. It won't be easy, but it's more 'Catholic' than simply bashing other Catholics.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 15:52,

St. Pius X denounced modernism in no uncertain terms.

If and to the extent that the current Holy Father is a modernist, he is a proper object of those denunciations.

In a lecture delivered the day before Pope John Paul's death, he said this:

“In the pastoral constitution, On the Church in the Modern World, Vatican Council II underlined again this profound correspondence between Christianity and the Enlightenment, seeking to come to a true
conciliation between the Church and modernity,which is the great heritage that both sides must defend.”

In his famed December 2005 address, in discussing his "hermeneutic of reform," he said:

"In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the
Church’s decisions on contingent matters–for example,certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible–should necessarily be contingent themselves,
precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself."

St. Pius X would not have hesitated thirty seconds in characterizing this kind of talk as modernism.

Confitebor said...

"Modernity" =/= "Modernism"

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

It is clear from the remarks that I quoted that for the Holy Father

modernity = Enlightenment

The very essence of the Enlightenment is the rejection of divine revelation, variously described by the Popes of the 19th century and pre-19th century as "rationalism" (from the notion that nothing can be accepted as known except what can be divined by human reason, which excludes Divine Revelation) and "naturalism" (from its denial of the supernatural, since the supernatural is not an object of natural reason).

So the "profound correspondence" between Christianity and the Enlightenment can only mean a profound correspondence between Christianity and the Enlightenment, which by its very nature denies Christianity; and hence a profound correspondence between Christianity and non-Christianity.

Furthermore, it then must be the case that the "great heritage" that Christianity and non-Christianity must defend is the heritage of the "correspondence" between Christianity and non-Christianity.

There's a lot more to be said; but first you need to be heard from on what I've said so far.

Unknown said...

Pope John Paul II (RIP) held the Quran in both hands as he kissed it which is tantamount to an embrace.

Splitting hairs does not reduce the universal scandal provoked by public papal behaviours which place The Faith in doubt

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

The beginning of the second paragraph in my response note to you should read:

"The very essence of the Enlightenment is the rejection of divine revelation, variously described by the Popes of the 20th century before Vatican II as "rationalism"...."

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

While you're mulling over my previous observations, let me mention some other remarks of the current Holy Father in a conference given in May 1996 in Guadalajara, as quoted in the January 1998 number of SiSiNoNo posted on www.sspxasia.com:

"I believe that neo-scholastic rationalism [the sane and sound one that does not fly in the face of Faith, but on the contrary, serves it] has failed in its bid of trying to reconstruct the “preambula fidei" through a purely rational certainty."

But then His Eminence goes on the say: "all other attempts following this same route will end up with identical results."

So it is not just "neo-scholastic rationalism" that cannot provide the preambula fidei. It simply cannot be provided.

The SiSiNoNo writer comments as follows:

"All of which means, in other words that, for Card. Ratzinger, it is impossible to prove with arguments based on pure reason the two fundamental facts of Christianity: (1) the existence of God, and (2) that God has indeed spoken to us."

Do you have any better hermeneutic for Cardinal Ratzinger's words?

And if not, is it not the case that whatever he thought he was doing, His Eminence, objectively speaking, is denying the doctrine of Romans 1 and Vatican I?

Confitebor said...

"I believe that neo-scholastic rationalism [the sane and sound one that does not fly in the face of Faith, but on the contrary, serves it] has failed in its bid of trying to reconstruct the “preambula fidei" through a purely rational certainty."

But then His Eminence goes on the say: "all other attempts following this same route will end up with identical results."

So it is not just "neo-scholastic rationalism" that cannot provide the preambula fidei. It simply cannot be provided.


That is obviously an erroneous parsing of his comments. He said "all other attempts FOLLOWING THIS SAME ROUTE will end up with identical results," not, "all other attempts will end up with identical results."

He is criticising "neo-scholastic rationalism" which he says tried "to reconstruct the 'preambula fidei' through a purely rational certainty." He is not saying that through reason we cannot arrive at the certainty of knowledge of God's existence, and he is not saying that we cannot know and understand the preambles of faith through reason. He is rather criticising what he thinks is the neo-scholastic rationalistic reconstruction of the preambles of faith. Whether or not he's right about neo-scholastic rationalism, his words don't amount to a denial of Romans 1 or Vatican I.

Confitebor said...

So the "profound correspondence" between Christianity and the Enlightenment can only mean a profound correspondence between Christianity and the Enlightenment, which by its very nature denies Christianity; and hence a profound correspondence between Christianity and non-Christianity.

You're outsmarting yourself. Obviously he wasn't referring to the erroneous aspects of the Enlightenment, but those aspects of it that agree with or can be reconciled with the Catholic faith. That's why he referred to Gaudium et Spes, which took the same approach to the Enlightenment -- not uttering the gibberish that there is a profound correspondence between Christianity and the denial of Christianity, but seeking to demonstrate that what modern man's heart truly and most deeply yearns for is not negated by Christianity but perfected and fulfilled by it.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

You can run, but you can't hide.

Either you must accept the Holy Father's doctrine, or you must reject it.

You can't keep pretending that it's something different from what it manifestly is. There's too much at stake.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

The denial of Divine Revelation is an -- if not THE -- essential characteristic of the Enlightenment. The opposite of "enlightenment" is "obscurantism," and the chief agent of obscurantism is the Church. There is no such thing as a Catholic figure of the Enlightenment. Both Catholics and the enlightened would have viewed "Catholic and enlightened" as the equivalent of "round and square."

So it is the very opposite of obvious that the Enlightement can in any way be reconciled with the Faith.

So: can you point to where the Holy Father describes the characteristics of the Enlightenment that are acceptable from the Catholic perspective, and why they are acceptable?

You might also ask yourself why the Holy Father spoke of the Enlightenment in general, and not of those supposed acceptable aspects of it. Why did he speak of the Enlightenment in general if he did not mean the Enlightement in general? Is he not smart enough?

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

It is perfectly obvious that "the route" is the effort to develop the perambula fidei. Otherwise, he would be saying the same thing twice.

Humani generis says: "....it is indeed possible to prove with absolute certainty the divine origin of the Christian religion by means of the sole use of the natural light of human reason."

If that is not "neo-scholastic rationalism," what is?

And if it is not, what exactly is that wholesome rationalism that is consistent with Humani generis' repetion of a proposition that is de fide if anything is?

His Eminence provide no answer.

Rather, he provides the following:

"In conclusion, as we contemplate our present-day religious situation, of which I have tried to throw some light on some of its elements, we may well marvel at the fact that, after all, people still continue believing in a Christian manner, not only according to Hick's, Knitter's as well as others' substitute ways or forms, but also according to that full and joyous Faith found in the New Testament of the Church of all time."

Quite a ringing endorsement of Romans 1 and Vatican 1 and Humani generis, eh?






.

Confitebor said...

You can run, but you can't hide.

Neither can you. The SSPX will afford you no means of escape from the ever present crisis.

Either you must accept the Holy Father's doctrine, or you must reject it.

Why? What if his doctrine is only non-binding but permissible theological discourse? Why must I either agree or disagree with it in that case?

You can't keep pretending that it's something different from what it manifestly is. There's too much at stake.

Neither can you, but you keep trying all the same.

So: can you point to where the Holy Father describes the characteristics of the Enlightenment that are acceptable from the Catholic perspective, and why they are acceptable?

Not off hand. You could probably try and read G&S, though, to try and get an idea what he was talking about.

You might also ask yourself why the Holy Father spoke of the Enlightenment in general, and not of those supposed acceptable aspects of it. Why did he speak of the Enlightenment in general if he did not mean the Enlightement in general? Is he not smart enough?

Who knows? Who cares? I certainly have more important things to wonder about than engaging in fruitless speculation about a turn of phrase chosen for an address by someone I haven't even met, let alone have the ability to mind-read. All I can do is take what he says and go with that -- and I know at least enough about him to tell that he wouldn't have mentioned G&S unless he thought it had something to do with what he was talking about.

It is perfectly obvious that "the route" is the effort to develop the perambula fidei.

No, that's not perfectly obvious, and I personally am sure that your (actually the SSPX's) parsing of the sentence is erroneous.

Otherwise, he would be saying the same thing twice.

No he wouldn't. He'd be saying that traveling that route has failed, and if you keep traveling that route you'll continue to fail. That's not saying the same thing twice.

If that is not "neo-scholastic rationalism," what is?

A true and accurate statement.

Is it really true that neo-scholasticism is the only means available to mankind for "proving with absolute certainty the divine origin of the Christian religion by means of the sole use of the natural light of human reason"?

And if it is not, what exactly is that wholesome rationalism that is consistent with Humani generis' repetion of a proposition that is de fide if anything is?

Non-neo-scholastic Catholic theologies, presumably.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

By your lights, the Holy Father is "seeking to demonstrate that what modern man's heart truly and most deeply yearns for is not negated by Christianity but perfected and fulfilled by it."

The deepest yearnings of the non-Catholic modern men I know, and the vast majority of the Catholic, boil down to the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The yearning is so deep that they are totally unaware of it.

But even the "deepest yearnings" concept were anything but wishful thinking, it still has things entirely backwards.

The way that you demonstrate that the Faith satisfies man's deepest yearnings is

BY EVANGELIZING THEM

where evangelization means proclaiming the message of Pentecost: the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and save yourselves from this corrupt and crooked generation.

That the Pope is not doing this is obvious.

That the Pope has no interest in doing this is obvious.

But it is two millennia too late for a "new" evangelization.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

You're not advancing the ball much unless you show me where the Pope demonstrates that my fears are groundless.

If you can hold forth on communion in the hand, you can hold forth on the evidence that the Holy Father defends the doctrine of Romans 1 and Vatican I.

If you take up the task, I'll be particularly interested in finding out what non-scholastic philosophies you are able to come up with, and whether they in fact defend that doctrine.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Erratum: make that non-neoscholastic Catholic philosophies.

I'd also be interested in knowing more about neo-scholastic rationalism. I'm just a plain, rough man with a Ph.D. in philsophy; and it would seem to me that either you believe the Church's doctrine that the God's existence and certain of his attributes can be demonstated by reasoning from the existence of things, or you don't. I just can't conceive what this neo-scholastic rationalism would look like.

Confitebor said...

The deepest yearnings of the non-Catholic modern men I know, and the vast majority of the Catholic, boil down to the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

You hold your fellow man in too low an esteem. St. Augustine wrote eloquently of man's deepest yearnings -- far deeper than the disordered passions and lusts you mention.

I just can't conceive what this neo-scholastic rationalism would look like.

I can't help you there, since I haven't studied these things enough -- theology existed before scholasticism, and neo-scholasticism, though. For myself, I don't have any problem with neo-scholastic approaches -- quite the contrary. But not being a neo-scholastic, or criticising that theology, is not the same as being a modernist heretic, as you frequently and very strongly hint the Holy Father is.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Whatever the appropriate level to characterize our fellow men and ourselves, those of us who do not have the Faith are going to Hell, and likewise those who have faith and hope, but not supernatural charity.

So from a Catholic perspective, concerning ourselves with that level is at best useless, and at worst distracts us from, in the Lord's words to Martha, the one thing needful.

St. Augustine made his famous remark about our restless hearts after, not before, he embraced the Faith. Between the first pages of the Confessions and the account of his conversion stretch what is fairly described as a lengthy prayer of thanksgiving for the Lord's salvation, and of regret at his slowness and blindness throughout his journey to conversion, sprinkled with hundreds of quotations, paraphrases and misquotations from the scriptures. Without faith, he makes clear his restless heart would have stayed restless as he was buried in Hell.

Evangelization can certainly use human things as an opening gambit, but it can only stay with those things about as long as it took St. Paul on the Areopagus to get from the unknown god to the proclamation of the gospel that caused the Areopagites to blow him off.

It does not take great learning to note the difference between Pope St. Pius X and Pope Benedict XV, and that the latter makes little if any effort to reconcile those differences.

Given the Holy Father's habitual vagueness, it is very difficult to make a judgment on the material orthodoxy vel non of what he says. But it seems to me fair to say that if his intention is to teach what the Church has always taught, he is doing a very poor job of it.

It is impossible for me to judge the state of the Holy Father's soul, and gravely sinful for me to try. But I can go a step further and say what follows.

If it were the Pope's intention to undermine the Faith as understood before Vatican II and replace it with a new Faith involving a compromise with the Church's enemies, but without any explicit denial of traditional doctrine, it is hard to picture what the Holy Father would do differently from what he is doing now.

This is the most important aspect of what the SSPX and those agree with it on the issue mean when they speak of a "state of emergency."

Confitebor said...

St. Augustine made his famous remark about our restless hearts after, not before, he embraced the Faith.

The pope, you, and I also have already embraced the Faith.

But it seems to me fair to say that if his intention is to teach what the Church has always taught, he is doing a very poor job of it.

Yes, I'm sure it does.

If it were the Pope's intention to undermine the Faith as understood before Vatican II and replace it with a new Faith involving a compromise with the Church's enemies, but without any explicit denial of traditional doctrine, it is hard to picture what the Holy Father would do differently from what he is doing now.

Hopefully you do not believe it is possible to undermine AND REPLACE the Faith once delivered -- and not only to do that, but to do so without even explicitly, formally denying the Faith once delivered. That would be to believe in the logical coherence and the possibility of the logically incoherent and the impossible. But even if what you suggest about the pope's secret intentions is correct (and you wouldn't so persistently suggest that the pope is a heretic out to destroy the Faith if you didn't believe it and didn't hope others would believe it too), it still wouldn't mean the Church has defected or is about to defect, and it wouldn't justify affiliating one's self with a non-Catholic organisation.

Geremia said...

Would anybody be willing to make a complete English translation of Sacrorum antistitum? It does not appear to exist, and the Oath only comprises a small part of it! Here is the original Latin, 26 OCRed PDF pages from Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Thanks you!