What Was The Question?

Bro. Juniper

Q. Can you tell me where I can find the Profession of Faith and the Oath against Modernism which was previously required to be taken by every priest before "Vatican II"?

R. Here they are.

Those required to make the Profession of Faith are: 1. All members of a General or particular Council or Diocesan Synod, 2. Persons promoted to the Cardinalate, 3. Persons appointed Bishops, even of titular Sees, or Abbots or Prelates nullius, Vicars or Prefects Apostolic, 4. A Vicar Capitular, 5. One appointed to a dignity or canonry, 6. Diocesan consultors, 7. Vicar General, pastors and all who received a benefice, even a manual one (of temporary tenure) which involves the care of souls; the rector and professors of theology, canon law, and philosophy in seminaries, at the beginning of each scholastic year or at least when they first take up their duties; all who are to be ordained to the subdiaconate; diocesan censors; priests destined to hear confessions, and sacred preachers before they receive their faculties, 8. The Rector of a University or Faculty; all professors in a University or Faculty which has been canonically erected; and also all who upon examination receive academic degrees, 9. Superiors in clerical religious institutes.

Those required to take the Oath against Modernism are: 1. Those to be ordained to the subdiaconate, 2. Confessors and preachers, 3. Pastors, canons, beneficiaries, 4. Officials of the episcopal Curia including the Vicar General, officials of ecclesiastical tribunals including judges, officials of the Roman Congregations and Tribunals, 5. Lenten preachers, 6. Superiors of religious, 7. Professors or lecturers in seminaries and religious scholasticates.

The Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent


(From the Bull of Pius IV, "Iniunctum nobis," Nov.13,1565)

I, N., with firm faith believe and profess all and everything which is contained in the creed of faith, which the holy Roman Church uses, namely: I believe2 in one God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the onlybegotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation descended from heaven, and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was also crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and he rose on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven; he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose kingdom there shall be no end; and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified; who spoke through the prophets; and in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins, and I await the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same Church I most firmly admit and embrace. I likewise accept Holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy Mother Church has held and does hold, whose (office) it is to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures; I shall never accept nor interpret it otherwise than in accordance with the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

I also profess that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the New Law instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, although not all are necessary for each individual; these sacraments are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, order, and matrimony; and (I profess) that they confer grace, and that these baptism, confirmation, and order cannot be repeated without sacrilege. I also receive and admit the accepted and approved rites of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of all the aforesaid sacraments. I embrace and accept each and everything that has been defined and declared by the holy Synod of Trent concerning original sin and justification.

I also profess that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper sacrifice of propitiation for the living and the dead, and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially present the body and blood together with the soul and the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there takes place a conversion of the whole substance of bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood; and this conversion the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation. I also acknowledge that under one species alone the whole and entire Christ and the true sacrament are taken.

I steadfastly hold that a purgatory exists, and that the souls there detained are aided by the prayers of the faithful; likewise that the saints reigning together with Christ should be venerated and invoked, and that their relics should be venerated. I firmly assert that the images of Christ and of the Mother of God ever Virgin, and also of the other saints should be kept and retained, and that due honor and veneration should be paid to them; I also affirm that the power of indulgences has been left in the Church by Christ, and that the use of them is especially salutary for the Christian people.

I acknowledge the holy Catholic and apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles and vicar of Jesus Christ, I promise and swear true obedience.

Also all other things taught, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and ecumenical Councils, especially by the sacred and holy Synod of Trent, (and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching),3 I without hesitation accept and profess; and at the same time all things contrary thereto, and whatever heresies have been condemned, and rejected, and anathematized by the Church, I likewise condemn, reject, and anathematize. This true Church, outside of which no one can be saved, (and) which of my own accord I now profess and truly hold, I, N., do promise, vow, and swear that I will, with the help of God, most faithfully retain and profess the same to the last breath of life as pure and inviolable, and that I will take care as far as lies in my power that it be held, taught, and preached by my subjects or by those over whom by virtue of my office I have charge, so help me God, and these holy Gospels of God.

The Oath Against the Errors of Modernism


(From Motu proprio, "Sacrorum antistitum," September 1, 1910)

I... firmly embrace and accept all and everything that has been defined, affirmed, and declared by the unerring magisterium of the Church, especially those chief doctrines which are directly opposed to the errors of this time. And first, I profess that God, the beginning and end of all things, can be certainly known and thus can also be demonstrated by the natural light of reason "by the things that are made" (cf. Rom. 1:20), that is, by the visible works of creation, as the cause by the effects. Secondly, I admit and recognize the external arguments of revelation, that is, divine facts, and especially miracles and prophecies, as very certain signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion; and I hold that these same arguments have been especially accommodated to the intelligence of all ages and men, even of these times. Thirdly, likewise, with a firm faith I believe that the Church, guardian and mistress of the revealed word, was instituted proximately and directly by the true and historical Christ Himself, while he sojourned among us, and that the same was built upon Peter, the chief of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors until the end of time. Fourthly, I accept sincerely the doctrine of faith transmitted from the apostles through the orthodox fathers, always in the same sense and interpretation, even to us; and so I reject the heretical invention of the evolution of dogmas, passing from one meaning to another, different from that which the Church first had; and likewise, I reject all error whereby a philosophic fiction is substituted for the divine deposit, given over to the Spouse of Christ and to be guarded faithfully by her, or a creation of the human conscience formed gradually by the efforts of men and to be perfected by indefinite progress in the future. Fifthly, I hold most certainly and profess sincerely that faith is not a blind religious feeling bursting forth from the recesses of the subconscious, unformed morally under the pressure of the heart and the impulse of the will, but the true assent of the intellect to the truth received extrinsically ex auditu, whereby we believe that what has been said, attested, and revealed by the personal God, our Creator and Lord, to be true on account of the authority of God the highest truth.

I also subject myself with the reverence which is proper, and I adhere with my whole soul to all the condemnations, declarations, and prescriptions which are contained in the Encyclical letter, "Pascendi" and in the Decree, "Lamentabili", especially on that which is called the history of dogma. In the same manner I disapprove the error of those who affirm that the faith proposed by the Church can be in conflict with history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, cannot be reconciled with the more authentic origins of the Catholic religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that the more erudite Christian puts on a dual personality, one of the believer, the other of the historian, as if it were permitted the historian to hold what is in contradiction to the faith of the believer; or to establish premises from which it follows that dogmas are either false or doubtful provided they are not directly denied. I disapprove likewise that method of studying and interpreting Sacred Scripture, which disregard the tradition of the Church, the analogy of the faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, and adheres to the fictions of the rationalists, and no less freely than boldly adopts textual criticism as the only and supreme rule. Besides I reject the opinion of those who hold that to present the historical and theological disciplines the teacher or writer on these subjects must first divest himself of previously conceived opinion either on the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition, or on the aid promised by God for the perpetual preservation of every revealed truth; then that the writings of the individual Fathers are to be interpreted only by the principles of science, setting aside all divine authority, and by that freedom of judgment with which any profane document is customarily investigated. Finally, in short, I profess to be utterly free of the error according to which the modernists hold that there is nothing divine in the sacred tradition; or, what is far worse, admit this in the pantheistic sense, so that nothing remains but the bare and simple fact to be assimilated with the common facts of history, namely, of men by their industry, skill, and genius continuing through subsequent ages the school inaugurated by Christ and His disciples. So I retain most firmly the faith of the Fathers, and shall retain it until the final breath of life, regarding the certain gift of truth, which is, was, and will be always in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles, not so that what may seem better and more fitting according to each one's period of culture may be held, but so that the absolute and immutable truth preached5 by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed otherwise, may never be understood otherwise.

All these things I promise that I shall faithfully, completely, and sincerely keep and inviolably watch, never deviating from them in word and writing either while teaching or in any other pursuit. So I promise, so I swear, so may God, etc.


1 Rcht App. 575 ff; Msi XXXIII 220 B f; Hrd X 199 D ff; BR(T) 7,32 7 b ff; MBR 2,138 b ff

2 Creed Nic. Const: see n. 86

3 What is included in parentheses is now to be added from Decr. S. C. Conc.(Jan.20,1877)

4 ASS 2 (1910), 669 ff

5 Tertullian, De praeser. c. 28 (ML2,40.)

Return to Contents

Return to Homepage.