Sloppy scholarship in a Catholic Answers tract - can anyone fill in the blanks?

Another thread asked a question about the Church’s teaching regarding a point of eschatology.

There have been several similar threads. I have consistently replied that the Church has taught almost NOTHING about the “end-times” apart from what we can read in Scripture (but interpret at our own peril). I’m not talking about the usual death/judgement/heven/hell thing (which comprises Catholic doctrine, and is much simpler, and easily found in the Catechism), but about the “rapture” and the “reign of Jesus,” around which much mythology has evolved.

I would have asserted that the Church teaches NOTHING about end-time theology, except that I had found a Catholic Answers Tract a long time ago, The Rapture. The author of this tract is not credited.

According to this tract,

In the 1940s the Holy Office judged that premillennialism “cannot safely be taught,” though the Church has not dogmatically defined this issue.

Two things strike me as “wrong” (meaning uncharacteristically sloppy scholarship) about this assertion. First of all, it cites a DECADE, not a year or a date. I realize this is a tract, and is intended to be brief, but it would have been more brief (while being more specific) to say “in 1945” rather than “in the 1940s” (more brief by eight characters, if we count a space as a character).

Second, there is no such thing as “THE Holy Office,” apart from the Pope himself. THE Holy Office of Peter belongs to the Pope alone. There are Vatican Offices which speak on behalf of the Holy See, but nobody except the Pope represents THE Holy Office. Other Offices are vicars only.

This tract asserts a teaching which is unfamiliar to me (and to Google, to the best of my ability to utilize it).

Can someone cite any “Holy Office” that taught this idea “in the 1940’s” to fill in the blanks left by this tract?

Below quote is from the Vatican website…it describes the “Holy Office”. Essentially it is the former name of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Still have not yet found the document from the 1940’s. Hoping someone else can help with that. God bless.

"Founded in 1542 by Pope Paul III with the Constitution “Licet ab initio,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was originally called the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition as its duty was to defend the Church from heresy. It is the oldest of the Curia’s nine congregations.

Pope St. Pius X in 1908 changed the name to the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It received its current name in 1965 with Pope Paul VI. Today, according to Article 48 of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, “Pastor Bonus”, promulgated by the Holy Father John Paul II on June 28, 1988, «the duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence.»"

A quick wikiwalk leads me to p 212 of 1944*Acta Apostolica Sedis *, where the phrase in question (and in Latin) is:
systema Millenarismi mitigati tuto doceri non posase
The date is 21 July 1944.


I can’t answer your questions, however, I would speculate the tract may have been one of the early tracts written by Karl Keating and was originally titled, “Are You Pre, Mid, or Post?” Item Number: T002.

Here’s the full quote.

2296 In recent times on several occasions this Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office has been asked what must be thought of the system of mitigated Millenarianism, which teaches, for example, that Christ the Lord before the final judgment, whether or not preceded by the resurrection of the many just, will come visibly to rule over this world.
The answer is: The system of mitigated Millenarianism cannot be taught safely.

In context, this decree was addressing the views of the late 18th century Chilean Jesuit and theologian Manuel de Lacunza y Díaz (Wiki article here), who published a book entitled Venida del mesías en gloria y majestad “The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty.”

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