Not exactly a Vatican II document…

Pope Pius IX condemns Anti-Christian Civilization: Exclusive English Translation of Allocution Iamdudum Cernimus (1861)

The Supreme Pontiff Pius IX (reigned 1846-1878)

Virtually everyone who considers himself a traditional Roman Catholic has heard of Pope Pius IX’s famous Syllabus of Errors. It is a list of some of the chief philosophical, theological, and socio-political errors of the 19th century. A total of 80 condemned theses, the list was appended to the encyclical Quanta Cura and released together with it on Dec. 8, 1864.

With regard to how the Syllabus came to be, the Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

The commission [for the creation of the Syllabus] took the wording of the errors to be condemned from the official declarations of Pius IX and appended to each of the eighty theses a reference indicating its content, so as to determine the true meaning and the theological value of the subjects treated. … [When] Pius IX published the Encyclical “Quanta Cura”, … on the same day, by commission of the pope, the secretary of State, Cardinal Antonelli, sent, together with an official communication, to all the bishops the list of theses condemned by the Holy See. The title of the document was: “A Syllabus containing the most important errors of our time, which have been condemned by our Holy Father Pius IX in Allocutions, at Consistories, in Encyclicals, and other Apostolic Letters”.

One such allocution (papal address) in which several modern errors were condemned is that known as Iamdudum Cernimus. It was given by Pope Pius IX at a private meeting with his cardinals on Mar. 18, 1861. If an English translation of the entire document was ever published, it certainly never made its way onto the the internet — until now.

We are excited to present an exclusive English translation of the entire speech, which is a blistering papal reckoning with the anti-Catholic modern world and its attempts to supplant Christian civilization. Although originally given 160 years ago, it has not lost its relevance; for what was still rudimentary at the time of Pius IX has since come to the most frightful maturity in our day.

Here is a small preview:

And, indeed, there is one true and holy religion on the earth founded and established by Christ the Lord Himself. It is called Catholic, Apostolic, Roman by name, the fruitful and nurturing parent of all virtues, the expeller of vices, and the liberator of souls, the touchstone of true happiness. …Further, We ask of those who invite Us to extend [Our] right hand to today’s civilization for the good of religion whether the facts are of such a kind that they can induce Christ’s Vicar here on earth — divinely appointed by [Christ] Himself, to preserve the purity of His heavenly teaching and to feed and confirm the lambs and sheep with the same teaching — to associate himself, without the gravest sin of conscience and to the most considerable scandal of everyone, with today’s civilization, a great number of the undertakings of which (never to be deplored enough) turn out [to be] evil, [and by which] so many most shocking opinions, errors, and principles are promulgated, which wholly oppose the Catholic religion and its teaching.

…This civilization, while it bestows resources upon non-Catholic institutes and persons, despoils the Catholic Church of her most rightful possessions, and employs all measures and efforts to weaken the salutary efficacy of the Church herself. Moreover, while it grants freedom to every utterance or written work that opposes the Church and all those wholeheartedly devoted to her, and while it encourages, promotes, and fosters license, at the same time it shows itself completely circumspect and restrained in censuring the sometimes violent and cruel procedures used against those who publish the best writings; and also it administers every severity in punishing, if it should think that the boundaries of moderation are being bypassed, even if lightly, by these [authors].

Accordingly, could a Roman Pontiff ever stretch out a friendly hand to a civilization of this sort, and sincerely enter into a treaty and mutual agreement with it?

…We plainly and openly declare before God and men that there is absolutely no reason why We ought to be reconciled with anybody.

This is how a true Vicar of Christ speaks! How absolutely refreshing and comforting it is so hear such clear, orthodox, and unyielding words in the face of anti-Catholic aggression!

It is easy to see that Jamdudum Cernimus is not Vatican II-friendly. No endless drivel about dialogue, dignity, mutual understanding, dynamic processes, or “moving forward” — just a fierce rebuff of Christ’s enemies’ attempts to overthrow Christendom.

Ready for more? Access the full English translation of the entire papal address here:

March 18, 1861
Allocution of His Holiness Pope Pius IX
in English

A bonus for those who speak Italian or German: An Italian translation is available at the Vatican web site, and a German translation has been published as part of this book (begins on p. 52).

The proscribed errors in the Syllabus which make direct reference to the content of Iamdudum Cernimus are the following three:

37. National churches, withdrawn from the authority of the Roman pontiff and altogether separated, can be established.

61. The injustice of an act when successful inflicts no injury on the sanctity of right.

80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.

It is the last error, no. 80, that is perhaps the most famous and the most strongly promoted in our own day — when the false pope of the counterfeit church of the Second Vatican Council is anti-Christian civilization’s most subservient lackey.

Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors has been one of the great tools in the Catholic Church’s fight against Liberalism (also known as “Liberal Catholicism”) and Modernism. One can truly say that the Syllabus is the direct antithesis of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Church (as is, for instance, the Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei of Pope Pius VI), which is why it is typically despised by Novus Ordo theologians, at least by those of a more liberal sort.

In fact, a certain “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger (better known today as “Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI) once candidly referred to Vatican II’s insufferable pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes as “a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus” — adding that “as such, [it] represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789”, the year of the French Revolution (Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 381, 382).

Any questions?

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (cropped)
License: public domain

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