His death in 1958 prevented it…

Drafts discovered: Pope Pius XII had planned to write new Encyclical against Modern Errors

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When the Vatican opened its Apostolic Archives on the pontificate of Pope Pius XII (1939-58) on Mar. 2 of this year, most people were focused on what researchers would find about His Holiness’ work to protect Jews persecuted during World War II. While there is no doubt that the archives contain much information on that, a thorough research into all the available materials is also uncovering other things of even greater importance.

In tomorrow’s edition of the German Novus Ordo paper Die Tagespost (Mar. 12, 2020; p. 10), there can be found a brief news report by the Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur news agency on a noteworthy find by church historian Matthias Daufratshofer. Researching in the archives pertaining to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the Novus Ordo version of the Holy Office), Prof. Daufratshofer says he came across “elaborate drafts” of an encyclical Pius XII was writing against the “modern errors of his time”.

According to the report, the errors the encyclical was going to condemn concern three specific subjects: moral theology, ecclesiastical authority and the requisite obedience, and the relations between Church and state. That is all the historian is able to tell us for now, as the Vatican archives are currently locked down due to the Coronavirus policies. However, we can surely look forward to more details from Prof. Daufratshofer in the not too distant future!

Pius XII had already published an encyclical against modern errors years prior. It was entitled Humani Generis and, although published as far back as Aug. 12, 1950, it is as relevant today as ever, inasmuch as it rejects many of the principles of the New Theology (Nouvelle Théologie) that were later enshrined in the Second Vatican Council and have infested all of “Catholic theology” since.

With regard to the topic of moral theology, it may be surmised that Pius XII was going to forcefully condemn what he had already spoken against in different addresses and by means of an instruction issued by the Holy Office, namely, the so-called “New Morality” that is essentially what Antipope Francis has been promoting in his infernal exhortation Amoris Laetitia:

With regard to the topic of obedience to ecclesiastical authority, it is quite conceivable that Pius XII’s focal point was going to be the importance and necessity of Catholics adhering not merely to what is proposed infallibly by the Church but also everything else that comes from her teaching office or proceeds from other organs of lawful ecclesiastical authority. In other words, no “recognize-and-resist” nonsense! Pius XII had already touched upon this in Humani Generis: “Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: ‘He who heareth you, heareth me’ [Lk 10:16]…” (n. 20).

Lastly, concerning the topic of the relations between Church and state, Prof. Daufratshofer’s discovery jibes with testimony from another historical investigation done by Robert Nugent, a Novus Ordo priest. Back in 2008, Nugent wrote about the silencing of Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J., who was the architect of Vatican II’s religious liberty doctrine. Murray had been battled by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, Mgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, and other theologians during the 1950s for his errors on Church-state relations. Nugent testifies that had Pope Pius XII not died when he did, Murray and a few others — including Jacques Maritain, the man Antipope Paul VI considered his mentor — would have been condemned by name:

Although the atmosphere was soon to change, the Holy Office was still preparing an official condemnation of Murray, Jacques Maritain and others Catholic thinkers. It was only the death of Pope Pius XII on October 8, 1958 that prevented this from happening. His successor, Angelo Roncalli, John XXIII, was elected and the ecclesiastical mood changed radically when the new Pope called for an ecumenical council in 1959. After his years of faithful silence, Murray’s opportune time had finally arrived although obstacles still came his way.

(Rev. Robert Nugent, “The Censuring of John Courtney Murray: Part Two”, The Catholic World 242, n. 1445 [Mar/Apr 2008], p. 2; underlining added.)

And there we have it: It was the Modernist takeover headed by Antipope John XXIII that made error into official “Church doctrine”, error that would have been condemned more specifically still by the last known true Pope, Pius XII.

All this underscores the incompatibility between Vatican II and the pre-conciliar and true Roman Catholic Church. What’s theologically false in 1958 cannot suddenly be theologically true in 1965.

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