This came my way the other day from another great parishioner, quite elderly, who had it with him since he was a little boy.
The second I saw this picture I exclaimed in joy that this is Saint Pius X as a little boy walking to school on a path of sharp stones but carrying his shoes because his poor family couldn’t afford for him to wear them while walking, just to wear them at school, at Holy Mass. The caption says: “Every day, by foot, on the path of purity.” I love that. Totally love that. SAINT Pius X. That painting above depicts the young Giuseppe Sarto with a determined face, as if he were saying: “Yes, Lord, I will serve as Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter, your Vicar on earth, some day, and I will be happy to smack down the heretics for you. Let’s get this done.” And I see that someone was already holding his beer.
The card is from a very special place in Italy. The stamp on the back of the card confirms my exclamation:
“The little house where Pius X was born (Riese, Treviso).”
In his great encyclical letter, Pascendi Dominici gregis, which I read as a teenager, which changed my life, Pius X attacks modernism, the sum of all heresies; he recalls the great teaching of some of his predecessors, who make it clear that the faith purifies reason from fear so that reason may appreciate in its own way the faith:
- Pius IX: “In matters of religion it is the duty of philosophy not to command but to serve, but not to prescribe what is to be believed but to embrace what is to be believed with reasonable obedience, not to scrutinize the depths of the mysteries of God but to venerate them devoutly and humbly.”
- “The Modernists completely invert the parts, and to them may be applied the words of another Predecessor of Ours, Gregory IX., addressed to some theologians of his time: Some among you, inflated like bladders with the spirit of vanity strive by profane novelties to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers, twisting the sense of the heavenly pages . . .to the philosophical teaching of the rationals, not for the profit of their hearer but to make a show of science . . . these, seduced by strange and eccentric doctrines, make the head of the tail and force the queen to serve the servant.”
This reminds of another defender of Pius X, Dolindo Ruotolo, who once wrote that the Holy Office, in tolerating wrong teaching about the Scriptures, exclaimed that those who worked there were like bursting bladders. Bwahahahaha. ;-)
THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM – Pope Pius X – 1910
To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.
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 (see Rom. 1:19), 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 firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
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…
I suffered a great deal for this very oath, being stripped of years of my life, years in libraries, all that research (before the project on Genesis), all gone, with me being severely reprimanded by a Cardinal and very papabile Cardinal at the time. He really truly kicked me in the face for my efforts to bring out the history of the demise of this oath, by who, and how, and to what end, a truly horrific series of events in the life of the Church. And I was put down. That’s all good with me. I remember the scene to this day. We were alone in the top office of the tower of Saint John hovering over the Secretariat of State overlooking the Apostolic Palace a stone’s throw away and overlooking the Sistine Chapel just below us (see the red circles in the picture above and from a different angle atop Saint Peter’s below).
Our Lord simply wanted me to see the breadth of the history and the destruction even until today, for what end I don’t know, but I will leave that to our dear Lord. I’ve begun to write of this years ago, decades ago now, in a certain volume entitled Jackass for the Hour: the deadly intrigue of interreligious dialogue.
But – Hey! – Maybe if I’m put down once again for my appreciation of the TLM, for my attack on the murder-the-babies vaccines, for my attack on homosexualist “marriage”, for my attack on McCarrick (which brought him down – a still untold story), for my attack on the demon-idol-Pachamama, for my lack of appreciation for ambiguity throughout the strange anti-Catholic pontificate of Pope Francis, etc…….. Maybe if I’m put down for all that I’ll have a chance to write on the Immaculate Conception and Critica Textus and… what? I think I once counted 28 major projects, all of it already researched quite exhaustively.
Saint Pius X, pray for us!