Allocution of Pope Saint Pius X
Accogliamo Colla Più Viva Compiacenza (1907)
Allocution which Pope Pius X delivered to newly-created Cardinals on Apr. 17, 1907, against Religious Neo-Reformism
We welcome with the most vivid delight the expressions of devotion and filial love for us and for this Apostolic See, which you have shown to us in your name and in the name of your most beloved brothers for the honor of the purple to which you were called [footnote: Card. Aristide Cavallari, Patriarch of Venice]. In accepting your gratitude, nevertheless, we have also to say that the same preeminent virtues by which you are adorned, the works of zeal which you have performed, and the other distinguished services which in different fields you have rendered to the Church, have made you worthy to be included in the register of Our Sacred Senate. And we are gladdened not only by the hope, but by the certainty, that clothed with the new dignity, you will always devote, as in the past, your talent and strength to assist the Roman Pontiff in governing the Church.
If the Roman Pontiffs have always needed external help to carry out their mission, this need is felt more vividly nowadays because of the very serious conditions of the time in which we live and by the continuous assaults to which the Church is subjected by her enemies.
And with regard to this, do not think, Venerable Brothers, that We mean to allude to the events, however painful, in France, because these are largely compensated for by the dearest consolations: by the admirable union of that Venerable Episcopate, by the generous unselfishness of the clergy, and by the pious steadfastness of the faithful willing to make any sacrifice for the preservation of the faith and for the glory of their homeland; once more it comes true that persecutions do nothing but highlight and hold up for universal admiration the virtues of the persecuted, and, at most, they are like the waves of the sea which, hitting the rocks in the storm, purify them, if necessary, from the mud that defiled them.
And you know, Venerable Brothers, that for this reason the Church did not fear, when the decrees of the Caesars ordered the first Christians either to abandon the cult of Jesus Christ or to die, because the blood of the martyrs was the seed of new converts to the faith. But the agonizing war, which makes her repeat: Ecce in pace amaritudo mea amarissima [“Behold in peace is my bitterness most bitter” — Isaias 38:17], is the one that derives from the aberration of minds by which her doctrines are rejected and the cry of revolt, for which the rebels were driven out of Heaven, is repeated in the world.
And, unfortunately, rebellious are those who profess and spread under subtle guises the monstrous errors regarding the evolution of dogma, the return to the pure Gospel — that is to say, stripped down, as they say, from the explanations of theology, from the definitions of the Councils, from the maxims of asceticism –, and the emancipation from the Church, but in a new way, without rebelling, so as not to be cut off, yet also without submitting, so as not to violate their own convictions; and, finally, concerning adaptation to the times in everything, in speaking, in writing, and in preaching a charity without faith, very accommodating to unbelievers, which unfortunately opens the way to eternal ruin for all.
You can see, Venerable Brothers, how We, who must defend with all our strength the deposit entrusted to Us, have reason to be in anguish in the face of this attack, which is not a heresy, but the synthesis and the poison of all heresies, which seeks to undermine the foundations of the faith and annihilate Christianity.
Yes, to annihilate Christianity, because Sacred Scripture for these modern heretics is no longer the sure source of all the truths that belong to the faith, but a common book; — for them, inspiration is restricted to dogmatic doctrines, which are nevertheless understood in their own way, and it differs little from the poetic inspiration of Aeschylus and Homer. The Church is the legitimate interpreter of the Bible, but she is subject to the rules of so-called critical science, which imposes itself on theology and enslaves it [according to the Modernists]. With regard to tradition, lastly, everything is relative and subject to change, and therefore the authority of the Holy Fathers is reduced to nothing. And all these and a thousand other errors they propagate in pamphlets, in magazines, in ascetic books and even in novels, and they wrap them in certain ambiguous terms, in certain nebulous expressions, in order always to leave a way open in their defense so as to avoid incurring an open condemnation and yet to take the unwary in their snares.
We, therefore, rely heavily also on your efforts, Venerable Brothers, so that if in your regions you, along with your suffragans, become acquainted with these sowers of weeds, you may join us in fighting by informing Us about the danger to which souls are exposed, denouncing their books to the Sacred Roman Congregations and, in the meantime, through using the faculties that are granted to you by the Sacred Canons, solemnly condemning them, in the conviction of the highest obligation you have assumed to help the Pope in governing the Church, to fight error and to defend the truth to the shedding of blood.
Moreover, we trust in the Lord, O beloved sons, who will give us the necessary help at the right time; and may the Apostolic blessing, which you have invoked, descend abundantly upon you, on the clergy and on the people of your dioceses, on all the venerable Bishops and the chosen sons who have adorned with their presence this solemn ceremony, on your and their relatives; and may it be for each and every one a source of the choicest graces and the sweetest consolations.
[Translated by Novus Ordo Watch from the Italian in the Acta Sanctae Sedis, vol. XL (1907), pp. 266-269; italics given.]
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
License: public domain