|Pope St. Pius X|
The oath professed belief in revelation, divine acts, miracles and prophecies as the "surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion." It professed adherence to the papal encyclical Pascendi which condemned modernism and its tenets very specifically. The oath rejected the "error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion."
It affirmed moral truth and rejected the idea, implied in Pope Francis' latest document, Amoris Laetitia, that "dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age." It affirmed instead that "the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way." In other words, "development of doctrine" that involves a break from what was taught before is absolutely impossible.
One of the points that is most important for our age of moral relativism was Pius' statement that "faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source" rather than a "blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and a the motion of a will trained to morality." In other words, Pius rejected the notion that "It can't be wrong when it feels so right" or that each of us is a pope in pew receiving personal messages from the Holy Spirit that can define how much we assent (or dissent) from the faith.
|Pope Leo XIII|
American Catholics, especially, have faced it since the heresy of Americanism, addressed by Pope Leo XIII in
I haven't read the book described in the video below, but I've found Russell Shaw to be a good and honest source so I plan to. The oath against modernism was taken by every priest ordained before 1967 when Pope Paul VI relegated it to the ash heap of history. Why? I will not speculate, but I wonder if he remembered when he made his famous statement that the "smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God," because his action certainly opened a door near the fire.