Oath against modernism.


I’d like to know why priests today no longer take the oath against modernism as they did in the pre-concilear days of the church? My understanding is that seminarians took an oath against modernism at some point during they’re time in the seminary, or perhaps at they’re ordination. But today, that’s not the case. Any thoughts?

Pax Christi,

I had not heard about this until recently.

I, too am curious as to why it was stopped, and who stopped it.

I don’t know enough about it to really comment, though.

I had never heard of this. I did a Google Search and found this.

Hopefully someone can shine the light of perspective on all this.

The oath against modernism was instituted by St. Pius X on September 1 1910 in the motu proprio “Sacrorum antistitum”- which also tackled other things such as the granting of imprimaturs and nihil obstats and setting up of more rigorous censors. It was to be taken by all the clergy, seminarians and those who taught in the seminaries. In 1967, the Congregation of Divine Worship replaced it with a Profession of Faith (see Canon 833) based on the Nicene Creed with additions at the end. The motu proprio Ad Tuendam Fidei inserted the penalties for denial of doctrine contained in this Profession. The Profession of faith was expanded in 1989

“The oath agains Modernism was rescinded by a decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the former Holy Office) in July 1967.”
(By Marvin R. O’Connell, “oath against Modernism”, The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 1995, ISBN 0006279317, page 926.)

An oath taken before ordination as a deacon today is the Oath of Fidelity and The Profession of Faith.

The Profession of faiith:

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium, et invisibilium.

Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos: cuius regni non erit finis.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur, et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

Firma fide quoque credo ea omnia quae in verho Dei scripto vel tradito continentur et ab Ecclesia sive sollemni iudicio sive ordinario et universali magisterio tamquam divinitus revelata credenda proponuntur.

Firmiter etiam amplector ac retineo omnia et singula quae circa doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab eadem definitive proponuntur.

Insuper religioso voluntatis et intellectus obsequio doctrinis adhaereo quas sive Romanus Pontifex sive Collegium episcoporum enuntiant cum magisterium authenticum exercent etsi non definitivo actu easdem proclamare intendant.

I believe that there is an additional oath (of fidelity) which some are required to swear according to canon 833 but the canon lawyers on the forum would probably be able to tell you about that.

And translate it for those of us who are still Latin challenged. :slight_smile:

The Oath of Fidelity and The Profession of Faith are at ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFOATH.HTM .


You can read St. Pius X’s oath by clicking here.

Well quite simply…the oath against modernists was taken out by modernists and ushered in a era of modernism that can be called “the Spirit of Vatican II”

Welcome to my daily dilemma with the Church.


Considering that it was introduced in 1910 and abandoned in 1967 (57 years, pretty brief in the history of the Church) in favor of the Oath based on the Nicene Creed (just the tiniest bit more ancient), it could be looked upon it as a reversion to “traditionalism.” You really should read up on what “modernism,” a heresy condemned by the Church, actually IS, as opposed to to what some “traditionalists” think it is. New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia might help. You’ll like it, it’s “traditional.”

You know Kirk ive been watching you. You don’t seem to be very fond of tradition in your posts.

But anyways, keeping this in context…

The point is the Oath was introduced organically and by the Pope himself. It was introduced to fight modernism in France. It didnt just ‘pop up’ and it wanst made by the hands of ‘professionals’ and especially not Protestants…something VII cant seem to boast.

The oath should not have been abandoned. Seems kind of a coincidence that taking away an oath against modernism created modernists.

Maybe Im just foolishly conecting dots that dont have anything to do with eachother…oh well.:confused:

And when it comes to whether or not there is modernism in the Church today…well we dont need to argue about that so taking away an oath that is designed to prevent it was hardly a good idea then, and keeping it out is hardly a good idea now.

Dont fix what isnt broken…wise words indeed.
But its even worse when they throw away things that work fine…and replace them with things that need fixing?


On another note you need to stop putting modernism and traditionalism in quotes.

The Catholic Church is as traditional as it is Christian. You wouldn’t put “christian” in quotes when describing our faith would you?

Secondly modernism is real and alive…and im afraid that New Advent is not infallible. (of course now adays only the Popes after VII have teaching authority. Popes like St. Pius V and St. Pius X need to reexamine their teachings in “the spirit of Vatican II”

Modernism was, is, and always will be whatever seeks to modernize the Church, it takes place in many ways. From a deep theological level, to simply changing the prayers of the mass, modernism is whats happening today in today’s Church and what St. Pius X feared. He didnt just write an Oath against modernism because he read it on a fortune cookie…there was modernism then and His Holiness wrote the Oath to fight it. Removing the Oath meant stopping the battle…at least symbolically.

There is modernism now in Today’s Church thanks to VII…and putting it in quotes, citing online sources in what appears like a well hidden defense of modernism, and treating it like a delicate time bomb isnt helping…

Actually, I consider myself a traditional Catholic: I don’t hold the Church up to constant ridicule and I don’t sow dissent or contempt for her authority. That’s kind of traditional. And I believe everything that the Catholic Church teaches to be revealed by God.

Introduced orgainically? C’mon, like most “traditionalists,” you’ve grabbed hold of a term (like “modernism,” which is different from “modern” or "contemporary) and you apply it whenever possible, whether it’s appropriate or not.

Protestants at VII were observers only, they didn’t give input that was “affective.” Those who believe it are usually given to conspiracy theories. You people cook up better XFiles than Agent Mulder.

I had the pleasure of listening to my relative take the Oath against moderism at his ordination to the priesthood. It was in 2001, so, not too long ago…

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


**If you think that New Advent has modernism (the actual heresy of modernism) lurking in it (that would be like saying the Ven. Pius IX was really a Buddhist lama), well, all I can say is that you need to acutually read it. Maybe the word “new” is what is throwing you? Don’t be afraid, it’s actually quite old…and traditional. **

If I might use your post to make a point:

To be clear, I don’t object to the oath. I simply do not object to the Church replacing the Oath (which she did) with another profession. And that’s what I’m defending: Her right to do so and the sufficiency of that profession.

It was abolished in 1967. A new oath was prescribed in (IIRC) 1989

It was abolished by Paul VI - who has been declared Venerable

Maybe Rome should be informed that a man who has been declared Venerable - a Pope, no less - was a Modernist.

Being different from Pius X does not constitute Modernism - if the Church were to be stuck in the year 1910 for the next thousand billion centuries (give or take a few), it would be utterly useless at sharing the Gospel of Christ with any later generation; & all times have their own challenges, difficulties, & so on. The problems of 1910 are not those of 2006, so it makes no sense to insist that what was useful then, has to be applicable now. Fossilising the Church so that it never moves beyond this or that era isn’t fidelity, but stagnation.

Novelty =/= error - St. Paul was “novel” 1950 years ago - today’s “traditionalists” would have hated the Vulgate, monasticism, the use of Aristotle in theology; all of these were new, modern, novel, untraditional, in their time. as for Jesus - He didn’t go around with a halo: He was not a “traditionalist” at all. But He was very novel. ##

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