Catechism of Modernism by Pope Pius X

I bought a copy of “A Catechism of Modernism” by Rev. J.B. Lemius, which is founded on the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On Modernism) By Pope Saint Pius X. I find it fascinating that to read this and learn more about what Pope Saint Pius X wrote about apparently insidious attacks against the truth that the Church was dealing with over 100 years ago. I find it interesting, how this relates to what the Church is dealing with today. It does seem that the evil one never rests. I welcome any comments about this book or the encyclical or even Pope Pius X. I am curious to learn what others think about this. I am thinking this can help provide evidence of how the Holy Spirit guides the church to protect it in truth, as Jesus promised.

I found it an amazingly good read too, it’s great to see a priest write a book of such quality that the sainted Pope himself wants to see it spread far and wide.

I appreciated how it made clear exactly what Modernism is and who Modernists are. Essential reading all the more in these times.

An interesting fact: All clergy ordained between 1910 and 1967 had to take Pope St. Pius X’s Oath Against Modernism upon being ordained to the sub-diaconate. It was abolished by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1967.

Another: On May 23, 1923, Pope Pius XI began the project of convoking an Ecumenical Council to condemn the errors of Communism and Modernism. Many of the Cardinals were opposed to the idea of a Council because so many bishops in the Church at the time were practicing Modernist and liberal doctrines and that a Council with these bishops would do more harm than good. Louis Cardinal Billot said:

The worst enemies of the Church, the Modernists…are already getting ready…to bring forth a revolution in the Church, like that of 1789.

His Holiness gave up on the idea and focused on condemning the errors with his encyclicals.

In 1948, Pope Pius XII wanted to continue the project of a Council that his predecessor had started because new Modernist errors were spreading in the Church. He, too, gave up on the idea of an Ecumenical Council, mostly because many more bishops within the Church were practicing these doctrines and becoming revolutionary like Cardinal Billot had been saying.

I’m guessing that Pope John XXIII convoked the Second Vatican Council in 1962 for the same reason as his predecessors. Vatican II must have destroyed Modernism if Pope Paul VI saw a reason to abolish the Oath against the “synthesis of all heresies” which had been growing in the Church for 50 years.

The Church is, was, and will always suffer because it is the Body of Christ. It is our lot in life. But we must always defend the Faith.

Quoting from it’s beginning. . .

'Q. Holy Father, are these secret enemies, who wring your paternal heart, to be found among Catholics, and are there even priests among them ?

A. Yes. We allude to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the solid safeguards of philosophy and theology, nay, more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church.

Q. But will these men be astonished at being accounted by Your Holiness as enemies of Holy Church ?

A. Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action. Nor, indeed, would he be wrong in regarding them as the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church.

Q. Why do you say they are the worst enemies of the Church ?

A. As We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate.

Q. Are they satisfied with cutting at the root of immortal life ?

A. Once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none that they do not strive to corrupt.

Q. By what means do they pursue their purpose what tactics do they adopt ?

A. None is more skilful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious devices; for they play the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error.

Q. But must not the consequences of their doctrine alarm and drive back these Catholics, these priests ?

A. As audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink, or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance.

Q. Holy Father, did you yourself not hope to reclaim these erring ones ?

A. Once indeed We had hopes of recalling them to a better mind, and to this end We first of all treated them with kindness as Our children; then with severity; and at last We have had recourse, though with great reluctance, to public reproof. It is known to you how unavailing have been Our efforts. For a moment they have bowed their head, only to lift it more arrogantly than before.

Q. Since all hope of converting such enemies is lost, why, Holy Father, do you lift up your voice?

A. If it were a matter which concerned them alone, We might perhaps have overlooked it ; but the security of the Catholic name is at stake. Wherefore We must interrupt a silence which it would be criminal to prolong.

The catechetical format works very well and smoothly for it, no? It keeps your attention and answers you with direct and unambiguous answer after answer.

The Holy Father does not refrain from drawing attention to the priests who are corrupted by this, he does not draw a veil of deceptively seemly secrecy over it, or speak with what might be called ‘politically correct’ speech but what actually is obscuring speech.

Some of what particularly draws my notice… “express their astonishment” yes this happens many times… they are the good reformers after all, to their minds and put forth as…

“Most pernicious” . . . “worst enemies”. . . “no part of Catholic truth leave untouched,”

Nothing great, nothing small… no dogma, no tradition. . . no practice… nothing inbetween. . is let be untouched, unchanged. . .

“a thousand noxious devices” “play the double part of rationalist and Catholic,” the latter is what convinces so many. . . with their rational arguments that nonetheless deviate from what has always been, however convincingly picking and choosing, whether it be by logical deductions, or revisionist history, false historical claims that cannot be verified. . .

“Audacity is their chief characteristic” “no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink”

And. . . “all hope of converting such enemies is lost”

In other words, since they are set in their errors, and set in their converting others to their errors, indeed from within the Church, converting her, setting their works forth as the Catholic Truth rather than what is and always must be the Catholic Truth. . . they are the most implacable enemies of the Church, clothed in sheep and shepherds clothing, all the time putting themselves forth as in fact, the good reformers.

“easily lead the unwary into error.”

None like to think of themselves as so, but it is the case for nearly everyone. . . or everyone at some times. . .

Quoting the book again. . .

‘Q. What is the object of the Encyclical ?
A. It is one of the cleverest devices of the Modernists to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement, in a scattered and disjointed manner, so as to make it appear as if their minds were in doubt or hesitation, whereas in reality they are quite fixed and steadfast. For this reason it will be of advantage to bring their teachings together here into one group, and to point out their interconnexion, and thus to pass to an examination of the sources of the errors, and to prescribe remedies for averting the evil results.’

… In other words the propaganda is pervasive. . a little here, a little there… an assumption made and put forth in a paper… left unchallenged… popularly adopted and praised by one paper after another, the mutual admiration societies which are set up. … .

It becomes an environment. It because in some places where it is all pervasive and successful, what is accepted truth. . .

'Q. To proceed in an orderly manner in the statement of the errors of Modernism, how many characters are to be considered as playing their parts in the Modernist ?

A. To proceed in an orderly manner in this some what abstruse subject, it must first of all be noted that the Modernist sustains and includes within himself a manifold personality : he is a philosopher, a believer, a theologian, an historian, a critic, an apologist, a reformer. These roles must be clearly distinguished one from another by all who would accurately understand their system, and thoroughly grasp the principles and the outcome of their doctrines.’

Notice the roles: philosopher, believer, theologian, historian, critic, apologist, a reformer.

Roles that on the surface can or should give good repute. . .

The book goes on about various fundamentals in the approach of Modernists. . . perhaps unstated but in effect put forth. . .

And this is part of why it is essential reading because it lifts the white cloak with which these people wear in their efforts. The false halo. . The sheep or shepherd’s clothing. . .

It shows objectively, by words, actions, expressed methods of thought, what is in fact rather than in the service of the Church, though perhaps believed fervently to be so, quite the opposite. And we have to look to ourselves to see if at some points we have not been taken in, in one way or another, and then learn instead to, by learning from the Holy Father. . . how to see clearly. :slight_smile:

This is great information, thanks for providing. I doubt Vatican II destroyed Modernism. I found this interesting read that provides more history. I haven’t taken the time to read in its entirety, though scanned and read that Msgr. Fenton, an eminent American Theologian, said that the oath was abolished because it was not in taste with liberal Catholics.

I need help understanding why Catholics believe that the past three Popes are teaching error. They say they betrayed the Oath of Modernism which they vowed to abide by, which is actually saying they would oppose the heresy of Modernism. I am confused, yet am confident there is a way to reconcile the purported contradictions of actions and words by Popes. I may have more questions later, since this is a new topic for me.

correction: Oath Against Modernism.

From additional research, it seems that those making the claims of heresy occupying the papacy are making specious claims that aren’t solidly defensible. Anyhow, I agree with them that Modernism is still a heresy, as is indifferentism. It seems to me that they want the Popes to be more direct in speaking against heresy and disciplinarians. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The research on this nuanced topic continues.

I’ll try to help a little.

Look up the terms sedevacantism and sedeprivationism.

The former is the belief that the Papal See has been vacant (from Sede Vacante which means the seat being vacant) since either Pope Pius XII or Pope John XXIII based on who you ask. They believe this because they believe that the last 4/5 Popes had taught Modernism that Vatican II introduced into the Church. A lot of what they believe is that everything that has been introduced into the Church since Vatican II has been invalid and erroneous.

The latter, basically the same as the former, is the belief that the Popes mentioned above were defective Popes because of the practice of Modernism. There is no belief that the Papal See is vacant, but that they are the Pope. The term that is used is papa materialiter non formaliter or they are the Pope materially but not formally.

Two consequences flow out of this thesis:

  1. There is no real sede vacante, since a man fills the role of potential Pope;

  2. If the current potential Pope recant from Modernism and return to Catholicism, he will complete the process and attain to the fullness of the papacy.

Hope this helped!

Modernism is good. I am a former Catholic (now an atheist) and I am hurt by, and my conscience cringes, the teachings and actions of conservatives, Catholic and otherwise. It is scary.

Modernism is NOT good. Modernism changes Catholic doctrine. Those “conservative” Catholic teachings are the true teachings of the Church. If you didn’t like them, I’m glad you left. We don’t need any more people in the Church that support heresy.

Did you just say you are glad I left? Quite loving -or not. And since when are you supposed to blindly accept what you were taught? The bible taught against that as well. Did Pope John Paul II and Vatican II not say that catholicism is not the only way to be saved?

EDIT: also, I think the doctrine of the Church can be contained on one piece of paper. What is decided on by ecunemical councils does not automatically become doctrine. If you didn’t know that you are in no position to bash me, as everyone seems to, Catholic and Protestant alike.

I absolutely did. If you’re a heretic, you have no place in the Catholic Church until you refute those heresies and profess the Catholic Faith once again.

Quite loving -or not.

Quite loving indeed. I love the Catholic Church and am happy that heretics leave the Her. Heresy and heretics are diseases which the flawless Bride of Christ doesn’t need.

And since when are you supposed to blindly accept what you were taught?

Since Christ told us to accept what the Church teaches in Matthew 18:17.

The bible taught against that as well.

I believe you but would like to know where it says this. Also, just because the Bible says something, doesn’t mean we take it literally. The Church translates it in accordance with Sacred Tradition.

Did Pope John Paul II and Vatican II not say that catholicism is not the only way to be saved?

Vatican II was not infallible and Pope John Paul II was just enforcing what Vatican II said. I personally don’t accept the teachings of Vatican II because they contradict prior Church Tradition.

also, I think the doctrine of the Church can be contained on one piece of paper. What is decided on by ecunemical councils does not automatically become doctrine.

No because doctrine isn’t created. When the Ecumenical Councils invoke the Holy Spirit and say when they are speaking infallibly. It doesn’t automatically become doctrine because it is already doctrine; the Councils or Popes are infallibly defining more of the same doctrine.

If you didn’t know that you are in no position to bash me, as everyone seems to, Catholic and Protestant alike.

I’m not bashing you, but your heretical views. If you are going to believe false doctines, then you have no right to be in the true Church.

That greatly hurts me. You are what you think. Also; you are a heretic for not accepting Church teachings; no? The definition from
“Roman Catholic Church . a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.”
Where an article of faith is a teaching accepted and taught by the church. I would also like to point out the implications of what you have said: birth control usage, therefore, isnt doctrine-ly wrong -no pope has spoken from the chair, and no council has ruled it wrong. You can’t pick and choose.

The teachings of Vatican II are not infallible teachings of the Church. In fact, it’s teachings contradict Catholic Tradition. Everybody thinks that a new Church was formed from Vatican II; they never mention teachings from previous Councils, it’s always Vatican II said this and Vatican II said that. The new CCC is based only from Vatican II. Vatican II is not infallible, should not be accepted by Catholics, and is the work of Satan.

I am not going to denigrate into that immaturity of calling things evil because I disagree with it or cannot grasp it, as I disagree with you and cannot grasp what you could possibly be saying.

I am no longer going to respond to your posts as they simply upset me, so please do not feel upset if I no longer reply.

I know you left the thread but isn’t that why you left the Church?

Something tells me that was one of MANY reasons he left the Church.

Also, I agree with most if not all of your rebuttles. Good work.

Pius :knight1:

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