The Oath Against Modernism

Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by
the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly
opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things,
can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90),
that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his
existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of
revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the
divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the
understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that
the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real
and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince
of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that
the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in
exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical'
misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the
one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of
the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her,
there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been
developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and
sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the
subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is
a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this
assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has
been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations,
declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree
Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject 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. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say
that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time
of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the
believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead
to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging
and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of
faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and
with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I
reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological
subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic
tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they
should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all
sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all
ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is
nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense,
with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact---one to be put on a par with
the ordinary facts of history---the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent
have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold,
then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which
certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The
purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more
suited to the culture of each age; rather, 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.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them
inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I
promise, this I swear, so help me God . . .