This is Part 1 of a multi-part group of postings presenting an important Encyclical (ignored by many in the Post Vatican II era) called: Pascendi Dominici Gregis (Feeding The Lord’s Flock): On the Doctrine of the Modernists, given at St. Peter’s in Rome on 8 September 1907 A.D., in the fifth year of Saint Pope Pius X’s Pontificate.
The encyclical letter begins:
PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS
ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE MODERNISTS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X, SEPTEMBER 8, 1907
VENERABLE BRETHREN, HEALTH AND THE APOSTOLIC BLESSING:
Commentary: Feeding the Lord’s Flock (Pascendi Dominici Gregis) is an encyclical, published on 8 September 1907 by Saint Pope Pius X, about the errors of a heresy that goes by the name ‘modernism’ practiced by people, who hold and spread erroneous information about man’s ‘purpose in life’ and about the faith. These heretics are called “modernists.’ The Pope begins the encyclical letter by wishing the readers good health and gives them a blessing.
1. One of the primary obligations assigned by Christ to the office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord’s flock is that of guarding with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and ‘the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called.’
Commentary: The Pope, as the shepherd assigned by Christ to care for the sheep (all humans living on earth), is authorized by God and is required to protect the flock from dangers that are all around. With great watchfulness, the Pope must keep guard over all parts of the faith that were delivered to the Church by the saints. He must warn Catholics not to be fooled by ‘new phrases or ideas’ that appear to be true and holy but are not (‘profane novelties of words’) and fight against the teaching and spreading of wrong information (‘knowledge falsely so called’).
There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body, for owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking ‘men speaking perverse things,’ ‘vain talkers and seducers,’ ‘erring and driving into error.’
It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ. Wherefore We may no longer keep silence, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be set down to lack of diligence in the discharge of Our office.
‘The Catholic Body’ = all members of the ‘human family,’ also known as the ‘Church Militant’ or the ‘Universal Church.’
‘Enemy of the human race’ = the fallen angels; the devils; pure demonic spirits who seek the ruin of God’s human creatures.
‘men speaking perverse things’ = This phrase is from The Acts Of The Apostles: Chapter 20 Verse 30: And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (et ex vobis ipsis exsurgent viri loquentes perversa ut abducant discipulos post se.)
‘vain talkers and seducers’ = This quote is from The Epistle Of St. Paul To Titus: Chapter 1 Verse 10: For there are also many disobedient, vain talkers and seducers: especially they who are of the circumcision. (sunt enim multi et inoboedientes vaniloqui et seductores maxime qui de circumcisione sunt.)
erring and driving into error = This quote is from The Second Epistle Of St. Paul To Timothy: Chapter 3 Verse 13: But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse: erring, and driving into error (mali autem homines et seductores proficient in peius errantes et in errorem mittentes)
A short prayer:
Dear Jesus, teach me, your poor creature, the words of the Holy Gospel and give me the grace to not fall into error or to lead others into error; but not my will but God’s will be done. Amen.