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
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
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
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, and these holy Gospels of God which I touch with
May God help us to keep this oath until death. Pray for the Restoration