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Pope St. Pius X's
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 all and each of the things defined, affirmed and declared by the inerrant Magisterium of the Church, mainly those points of doctrine directly opposed to the errors of our time.
And in the first place I profess that God, beginning and end of all things, can be certainly known, and therefore also proved, as the cause through its effects, by the natural light of reason through the things that have been made, that is, through the visible works of creation.
Secondly, I admit and recognize as most certain signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion the external arguments of revelation, that is, the divine deeds, and in the first place the miracles and prophecies. And I maintain that these are eminently suited to the mentality of all ages and men, including those of our time.
Thirdly, I also firmly believe that the Church, guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was immediately and directly instituted by the real and historical Christ himself, while dwelling with us; and that it was built upon Peter, prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors till the end of time.
Fourthly, I sincerely accept the doctrine of the faith handed on to us by the Apostles through the orthodox Fathers, always with the same meaning and interpretation; and therefore I flatly reject the heretical invention of the evolution of dogmas, to the effect that these would change their meaning from that previously held by the Church. I equally condemn every error whereby the divine deposit, handed over to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept by her, would be replaced by a philosophical invention or a creation of human consciousness, slowly formed by the effort of men and to be henceforward perfected by an indefinite progress.
Fifthly, I maintain in all certainty and sincerely profess that faith is not a blind feeling of religion welling up from the recesses of the subconscious, by the pressure of the heart and of the inclination of the morally educated will, but a real assent of the intellect to the truth received from outside through the ear, whereby we believe that the things said, testified and revealed by the personal God, our creator and lord, are true, on account of the authority of God, who is supremely truthful.
I also submit myself with due reverence, and wholeheartedly join in all condemnations, declarations and prescriptions contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, mainly those concerning the so-called history of dogmas.
Likewise I reprove the error of those who affirm that the faith proposed by the Church can be repugnant to history, and that the Catholic dogmas, in the way they are understood now, cannot accord with the truer origins of the Christian religion.
I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that the more learned Christian has a two-fold personality, one of the believer and the other of the historian, as if it would be lawful for the historian to uphold views which are in contradiction with the faith of the believer, or to lay down propositions from which it would follow that the dogmas are false or doubtful, as long as these dogmas were not directly denied.
I likewise reprove the method of judging and interpreting Holy Scripture which consists in ignoring the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith and the rulings of the Apostolic See, following the opinions of rationalists, and not only unlawfully but recklessly upholding the critique of the text as the only and supreme rule.
Besides, I reject the opinion of those who maintain that whoever teaches theological history, or writes about these matters, has to set aside beforehand any preconceived opinion regarding the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition, as well as the divine promise of a help for the perpetual preservation of each one of the revealed truths; and that, besides, the writings of each of the Fathers should be interpreted only by the principles of science, leaving aside all sacred authority, and with the freedom of judgment wherewith any secular monument is usually studied.
Lastly, I profess myself in everything totally averse to the error whereby modernists hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition, or, what is much worse, that there is, but in a pantheistic sense; so that nothing remains there but the bare and simple fact to be equated to the common facts of history, namely, some men who through their work, skill and ingenuity, continue in subsequent ages the school started by Christ and his apostles. Therefore I most firmly retain the faith of the Fathers, and will retain it up to the last gasp of my life, regarding the unwavering charisma of the truth, which exists, has existed and will always exist in the succession of bishops from the Apostles; not so that what is maintained is what may appear better or more suitably adapted to the culture of each age, but so that the absolute and unchangeable truth preached by the Apostles from the beginning may never be believed or understood otherwise.
All these things I pledge myself to keep faithfully, integrally and sincerely, and to watch over them without fail, never moving away from them whether in teaching or in any way by word or in writing. Thus do I promise, thus do I swear, so help me God, etc.

Prepared by Bishop Richard Williamson (2002 Doctrinal Sessions, available from





1.       God can be certainly known by reason alone.


2.       External objective facts are valid to prove the Church’s truth, e.g. miracles and prophecies.


3.       Christ really, historically, instituted the Catholic Church, and built it upon Peter and his successors.


4.       Exactly what the Apostles taught is exactly what the Church teaches today.


5.       Faith comes not from feelings inside me, outwards; but from outside me, inwards, through my mind.





1.       Dogma evolves with time, so that its content changes.


2.       Church faith can contradict historical facts.


3.       The historian (of facts) may contradict the believer (of dogma).


4.       Scripture may be freely re-interpreted by human reason, as opposed to what the Church has always said it means.


5.       History and theology need to be studied scientifically, regardless of Revelation, Church Tradition or Church authority.


6.       Catholic Tradition has no divine element in it over and above natural men naturally building on the past.



C)       Conclusion: 


                   The Catholic Church hands down certain and unchanging Truth through Pope and Bishops, from the Apostles.