The Papal Oath -- against modernism

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Papal Oath

The Papal Oath, also known as the oath against modernism, was an oath traditionally sworn by the popes of the Roman Catholic Church during their Papal Coronation. The tradition started with Saint Agatho on June 27, 678. The text’s author is unknown.

The oath-taker vows never to innovate or change anything that has been handed down to him.

Neither Pope John Paul I, John Paul II, nor Benedict XVI took the oath. Until that time, over 180 popes before them had sworn the oath.

The oath:

I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;

To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed-on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort;

To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order, should such appear;

To guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were the Divine ordinances of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to the severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all that I shall confess;

I swear to God Almighty and the Savior Jesus Christ that I will keep whatever has been revealed through Christ and His Successors and whatever the first councils and my predecessors have defined and declared.

I will keep without sacrifice to itself the discipline and the rite of the Church. I will put outside the Church whoever dares to go against this oath, may it be somebody else or I.

If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed, Thou willst not be merciful to me on the dreadful Day of Divine Justice.

Accordingly, without exclusion, We subject to severest excommunication anyone – be it ourselves or be it another – who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic Tradition and the purity of the Orthodox Faith and the Christian Religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture.

END

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Does anyone know if there is a more or less official reason why our present Pope (Benedict XVI) and the two previous ones have chosen not to publicly swear this oath? That would seem to be a rather major historical departure if indeed all true popes have dones so since June 27, A.D. 678!

Indeed, I think it would be great if Catholic Answers would officially research and tackle this question, perhaps publishing an article regarding the same in This Rock magazine.

Any and all insights are welcome on this matter, though personally I’m not a huge fan of “conspiracy theories,” nor do I have much sympathy for the position of the so-called sedevacantists.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA

Hmm very interesting. I agree with you: I’m not suspecting some vast conspiracy to change the Church, but I am simply curious as to why this tradition is no longer honored.

Anyone know?

Uh, does anyone else notice anything strange here? Did modernism even exist in A.D. 678??:smiley:

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Well, I think it’s basically a matter of it becoming known as “the papal oath against modernism” during later centuries. The word “modernism” is not found in the text of the oath. Moreover, note that the article from the encyclopedia employs the phrase “also known as.”

I put “against modernism” in the title of the thread because I figured it would attract more attention that way. :wink:

[quote=whosebob][right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Well, I think it’s basically a matter of it becoming known as “the papal oath against modernism” during later centuries. The word “modernism” is not found in the text of the oath. Moreover, note that the article from the encyclopedia employs the phrase “also known as.”

I put “against modernism” in the title of the thread because I figured it would attract more attention that way. :wink:
[/quote]

OK. So the Papal Oath is different from the"Oath against Modernism," promulgated by Pope Pius X, in 1910.

But neither Peter nor any other Bishop of Rome took the “Papal Oath” for almost 700 years, so why should Popes be required to take it?

[quote=Ahimsa]Uh, does anyone else notice anything strange here? Did modernism even exist in A.D. 678??:smiley:
[/quote]

The Papal Oath is indeed ancient. It was never called the oath against modernism. The oath against modernism was instituted by St Pius X for the Ordination of the clergy. It was also knocked out after VATII.
The papal oath is, in content, prophetically an oath against modernism if you understand modernism as described by St Pius X in the Encyclical Pascendi…

The problem with the Papal Oath was that it promised against changing the Apostolic Church’s teachings and mission. VATII was a change in both.

if a pope refuses or neglects to take the oath of office would he actually be pope?
if a pope has been elected by the college of cardinals and refuses to take the oath of office may he still be pope (defacto) and not be pope according to the law (de jure)?
have a good year. alih.

[quote=alih]if a pope refuses or neglects to take the oath of office would he actually be pope? **YES
**if a pope has been elected by the college of cardinals and refuses to take the oath of office may he still be pope (defacto) and not be pope according to the law (de jure)? He is pope, full and complete, from the moment the election is recognized as valid. What he does thereafter is beside the point.
have a good year. alih.
[/quote]

are you not returning for a year?

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