Pascendi Dominici Gregis by Pope Pius X“There’s no such thing as a new truth. Error might be old or new; but truth’s as old as the universe.”* +Frederick Douglass
As a Christian I know that Truth isn’t new—as did Douglass and St. Pius X—because Truth is not a thing, but a Person, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
He is the Son of God, the Eternal Word, the Logos, the Alpha and the Omega, Our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. And He is as He ever was ... unchangeable.
What St. Pius is fighting in this encyclical is arrogant agnosticism, which seeks to undermine the authority of belief by confining human knowledge to the knowable world and faith to the unknowable world. Science and Faith never meet, at least to the Modernists; there is therefore no conflict between them, but there is also no connection. One is perfectly free to hold that Jesus existed in the world of reality insofar as there are historical proofs of His existence, but that only speaks to His reality as a human being. Modernists put all miracles into the realm of faith and those are not deemed ‘knowable’. However one is free to have the ‘sense’ – the feeling – that will move you to pray. According to the modernists, it is not possible to accept supernatural occurrences as ‘real’, so we cannot believe in them. We must not use our minds, only our hearts. Well I don’t know about anyone else, but as soon as someone tells me I can’t use my mind, I can think of one or two things I’d like to tell them! But I digress…
For the Modernist, the reality of the divine does not really exist in itself, but only in the experience of the individual believer. (Poor believer, I say!) Therefore, the modernist does not deny but can actually maintain that all religions are true. And what about Sacred Scripture?
‘We may ask, what then becomes of inspiration? Inspiration, they reply, is in nowise distinguished from that impulse which stimulates the believer to reveal the faith that is in him by words of writing, except perhaps by its vehemence. It is something like that which happens in poetical inspiration, of which it has been said: There is a God in us, and when he stirreth he sets us afire. It is in this sense that God is said to be the origin of the inspiration of the Sacred Books. The Modernists moreover affirm concerning this inspiration, that there is nothing in the Sacred Books which is devoid of it. In this respect some might be disposed to consider them as more orthodox than certain writers in recent times who somewhat restrict inspiration, as, for instance, in what have been put forward as so-called tacit citations. But in all this we have mere verbal conjuring.’ So much for the Holy Spirit!And as for Truth being Eternal, well you can forget about that. Christ isn’t divine. He isn’t even a figment of our imagination. He is just our feelings!
The more I read, the more preposterous the Modernist agenda became and yet I did struggle through to the end, highlighting the more ridiculous ideas. I have only quoted a few of them to give you a general idea, for you reprobate THINKING believers Oout there. It is an enlightening read, but not an easy one. St. Pius is a learned man and writes in the old style; remember this was 1907... It is definitely pre-Vatican II language using the capitalized first person for the pontiff and more than a few anathemas. Also, I suspect little thought was given to a wider audience, so for any outside the Catholic community, please do not take offense; it was a different time with different standards. Although Pius is writing primarily to faithful Catholic clergy with a view to protect the flock from those within seeking to undermine his church, it is not too much of a stretch to apply his words to any/all churches, which he does in a very few cases. Would that he had done it more, but his concern at the time was with his own immediate endangered flock.
When all is said and done, Modernism is such a sad and sorry set of non-beliefs, I kept wondering why anyone would even want to espouse them?!
You can read the encyclical here.
There is also a good review of this encyclical by Father Godfrey Carney which you can google if you so desire. In prudence, I have decided to delete my link due to controversial comments made by the sponsoring site.
*This quote comes from a lecture delivered in 1863, by Frederick Douglass, former slave and leading abolitionist writer and orator, just a few weeks after the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation, at Hillsdale College. The lecture was entitled, “Popular Error and Unpopular Truth”.
August 13, 2017: Reading at recommendation of Professor Brant Pitre who says although it is one of the least known encyclicals it is his favorite. He called the heresy of modernism the heresy of all heresies because it is almost impossible to stamp out much less identify as it can morph into something new (hence the name modernism) at will. That description sent chills down my spine and also piqued my interest. Up til now I thought this was something which had been overcome/solved by Vatican II. Not so!
I like the name of the encyclical, Pascendi Dominici Gregis. It means Feeding the Lords Flock and the author, Pope Pius X, is recognized by the Church as a saint.
Pope John Paul II body is found incorruptible!
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The Saint of the Day. Biographical selection: St. Pius I was born in the city of Aquilea, He succeeded St. Hyginus in the Apostolic See. He was a friend of St. Polycarp of Smyrna and St.
What is the difference between the corpse of the Egyrpian pagan pharaohs and the corpses of the Popes? Source: The Times.
the wild hunt elizabeth chadwick
Officially the rite is called Recognition. On April 4, a delegation of bishops and monsignors in full regalia arrived at Rome's Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls. They descended to the 6th century cathedral's crypt and were led to a white stone tomb. A casket was opened for them. At this point, wrote Monsignor Carlo Liberati of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, "there was a moment of profound and intense commotion. Yet here he was "in the beauty of his humanity, just as he is seen in the photographic documentation" of his deathbed, back when the entire city came "and admired the beautiful face of the Pontiff smiling in the sleep of death.
Pius X is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting liturgical reforms and orthodox theology. He directed the production of the Code of Canon Law , the first comprehensive and systemic work of its kind. Pius X was devoted to the Marian title of Our Lady of Confidence ; while his papal encyclical Ad diem illum took on a sense of renewal that was reflected in the motto of his pontificate. As Roman Pontiff , he vehemently opposed modernism and various nineteenth-century philosophies, which he viewed as an import of secular errors incompatible with Catholic dogma. Pius X was known for his overall rigid demeanor and sense of personal poverty. After his death, a strong cult of devotion followed his reputation of piety and holiness.