A Saint Against the Tide of History

In recalling the life and legacy of St. Pius X, I am reminded of the opening editorial salvo of National Review, the conservative magazine launched in the 1950s: It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no other is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it. So it was with St. Pius X, who, as Pope from 1903 to 1914, went on a crusade against a whole series of errors he denounced collectively as modernism. Pius X issued a letter declaring Gregorian chants to be the highest form of liturgical music. He opposed the separation of church and state in France. He urged Catholic workers to join only those labor unions that were faithful to the Church. And he penned a 932-word oath against modernism that he required all priests, professors, and other Church leaders to take.

If the Church at the Second Vatican Council was throwing open its windows to the world, Pius X would seem to be one who was slamming them shut, nailing the door closed, and pulling up the drawbridge.

But that would be a simplification. Pius was hardly the curmudgeon clinging stubbornly to the skeleton of dead traditions. Rather, this saint and successor to St. Peter was moved by a sincere attachment to the truths of the Church and a deep love for God and His children. St. Pius opened his papacy with a positive call to restore all things in Christ. He was known by his devotion to Mary, to whom he dedicated at least two encyclicals. He urged frequent reception of the Eucharist by the faithful and lowered the age at which children could receive First Communion. St. Pius reportedly shunned the many luxuries of his papal office, opening the Apostolic Palace to refugees from the Messina earthquake in 1908 and refusing any special treatment for family members.

So, yes, it is true that St. Pius perhaps took a more confrontational approach to the relationship between the Church and the world, but he acted out of true Christian charity, not sheer obstinacy to a changing world. Given all the events that followed after his death—two world wars and the holocaust come to mind—who can blame him for so urgently trying to halt history from hurtling into the abyss?

Stephen Beale

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Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1

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  • Lionel Andrades

    IF THE SISTERS CAN GET CANONICAL STATUS THEN WHY NOT THE SSPX: THE REAL ISSUE IS THE LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE DOGMA AND NOT VATICAN COUNCIL II The Sisters of St.Benedict Center, Worcester,USA affirm the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and so does the Society of St.Pius X(SSPX) in their General Chapter communique last month.Since they both affirm the literal interpretation of the dogma it means they do not accept any exceptions to the dogma in Vatican Council II.If any religious community in the Catholic Church accepts the literal interpretation of outside the church there is no salvation it means there are no known exceptions.
    Vatican Council II does not contradict the dogma on exclusive salvation,at least, not for the sisters.For the Sisters of St.Benedict Center, Vatican Council II must affirm the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    Does it ? Yes.
    The Sisters have canonical status when they affirm the dogma and Vatican Council II. Since they hold the literal interpretation of the dogma and it is not contradicted by the Council, their values are traditional on other religions, ecumenism and religious liberty. These are also the values of Vatican Council II for them. These are the same values of the SSPX.They emerge not because of Vatican Council II but because of the dogma.So the real issue is the dogma with respect to the values on other religions etc.The Sisters have canonical status when they affirm the dogma and Vatican Council II. Since they hold the literal interpretation of the dogma and it is not contradicted by the Council, their values are traditional on other religions, ecumenism and religious liberty. These are also the values of Vatican Council II for them. These are the same values of the SSPX.They emerge not because of Vatican Council II but because of the dogma.So the real issue is the dogma with respect to the values on other religions etc.
    Since the SSPX,like the Sisters holds the literal interpretation of the dogma on salvation, Vatican Council II is traditional.It has to be traditional.This would apply to all religious communities who did the same.Vatican Council II would be traditional if they interpreted it according to the dogma and without the Cushing error of being able to see the dead saved in invincible ignorance etc who are assumed to be exceptions to the literal interpretation of Fr.Leonard Feeney, the saints, the Councils, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council I and II.Since the SSPX,like the Sisters holds the literal interpretation of the dogma on salvation, Vatican Council II is traditional.It has to be traditional.This would apply to all religious communities who did the same.Vatican Council II would be traditional if they interpreted it according to the dogma and without the Cushing error of being able to see the dead saved in invincible ignorance etc who are assumed to be exceptions to the literal interpretation of Fr.Leonard Feeney, the saints, the Councils, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council I and II.
    When all religious communities in the Catholic Church can accept Vatican Council II along with the dogma then they all have traditional values. It follows from accepting the dogma. They can all be still granted canonical status.When all religious communities in the Catholic Church can accept Vatican Council II along with the dogma then they all have traditional values. It follows from accepting the dogma. They can all be still granted canonical status.For instance the Franciscans, Dominicans, Cistercians etc can along with Vatican Council II also affirm the literal interpretation of the dogma and still maintain their canonical status.So can the Sisters of St. Benedict Center.So can the SSPX.So can the SSPX.
    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and Ecclesia Dei could make things easy for all ,by announcing the obvious : there are no known exceptions in Vatican Council II to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and Ecclesia Dei could make things easy for all ,by announcing the obvious : there are no known exceptions in Vatican Council II to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    Vatican Coucil II will no more be a problem for the SSPX. The SSPX could announce that they accept Vatican Council II like the sisters, while holding to their traditional values and rejecting the theology of religions etc which are contradicted by the dogma and Vatican Council II.Vatican Coucil II will no more be a problem for the SSPX. The SSPX could announce that they accept Vatican Council II like the sisters, while holding to their traditional values and rejecting the theology of religions etc which are contradicted by the dogma and Vatican Council II.So when the Sisters can be granted canonical status after holding the literal interpretation of the dogma with Vatican Council II and with traditional values, the same can be granted to the SSPX.-Lionel Andrades

  • Lionel Andrades

    SSPX IF THE SISTERS HAVE CANONICAL STATUS SO CAN YOU Reject the Muller-Ladaria version of Vatican Council II and accept the Council in accord with the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.SSPX priests call up the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Worcester USA. May be the conversation will go like this:-SSPX PRIEST : Our communiqué (July 19, 2012) affirmed the dogma outside the church no salvation and excluded any exceptions.SISTERS OF ST.BENEDICT CENTER: Yes there are no exceptions to the dogma also for us.
    SSPX: We don’t know anyone saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire.SISTERS: Neither do we.
    SSPX: Since we don’t know any exceptions, the literal interpretation of the dogma strands.SISTERS:We don’t know any exceptions and the literal interpretation of the dogma according to Fr.Leonard Feeney still is the teaching of the Church.SSPX: So if there are no exceptions to the dogma on exclusive salvation then there are no exceptions to the Syllabus of Errors.SISTERS: None.
    SSPX:Neither are there exceptions to Mystici Corporis and other Church-documents.SISTERS: None. Since invincible ignorance and implicit desire are acknowledged – but they are not exceptions to the dogma on salvation.SSPX: So Vatican Council II also does not contradict the dogma.SISTERS:It does not, since we do not know any exceptions.We do not know any one saved with a good conscience or in invincible ignorance (LG 16) or the seeds of the Word etc. While Ad Gentes 7 supports the dogma.
    SSPX: So if Vatican Council II does not contradict extra ecclesiam nulla salus, the Syllabus of Errors and other magisterial documents then the Council is traditional.SISTERS: Yes. It is traditional.
    SSPX: So your really saying the Council says there is no salvation outside the Church?SISTERS:Yes. It is saying there is no salvation outside the church in the present times.None that we know of or can know of.
    SSPX: If there is no salvation outside the church then there cannot be a theology of religions or an ecclesiology of communion.SISTERS: No.It would be irrational.
    SSPX: So the SSPX can accept Vatican Council Ii and maintain its traditional position on other religions, ecumenism and religious liberty.SISTERS: Yes, since the Council affirms the literal interpretation of the dogma outside the church no salvation.SSPX: So we can publicly affirm the Council and maintain our traditional values on faith and morals.SISTERS: Yes the Council is traditional since you affirm the dogma like Fr.Leonard Feeney.
    -Lionel Andrades

  • Lionel Andrades

    SSPX COULD CHOOSE THE SISTERS OF ST.BENEDICT CENTER MODEL FOR AFFIRMING VATICAN COUNCIL II IN ACCORD WITH TRADITION The Sisters are traditionalists who affirm Vatican Council II in agreement with extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the Syllabus of Errors. They have been granted canonical status.
    The Sisters, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Worcester, affirm the literal interpretation of the dogma on exclusive salvation similar to the Society of St.Pius X (SSPX) July 19,2012 communique.The Sisters interpret Vatican council II according to Fr.Leonard Feeney and not Cardinal Richard Cushing.
    For them Vatican Council II (AG 7) affirms the dogma according to Fr.Leonard Feeney while invincible ignorance etc (LG 16) are not exceptions to the dogma.
    This religious community granted full canonical status knows there is no salvation outside the church.So the theology of religions and ecclesiology of communion would be irrational for them.
    They acknowledge the possibility of a non Catholic being saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire however for them this would also include receiving the baptism of water provided in a way known only to God.
    Since there is no salvation outside the Chruch ,there being no known exceptions,this year or during the last 100 years or more,Vatican Council II is in accord with Tradition. The Council is traditional.The Council does not contradict the Syllabus of Errors, Pascendi, Mystici Corporis and of course extra ecclesiam nulla salus according to Fr.Leonard Feeney.
    The Sisters of St.Benedict Center are a model for the SSPX to accept Vatican Council II and at the same time reject the non-traditional, irrational Ladaria-Koch version of the Council, based on the Richard Cushing error of claiming to be able to see the dead who are saved..-Lionel Andrades

    MSGR.CAMILLE PERL, SECRETARY OF ECCLESIA DEI IN A LETTER TO AN AUSTRALIAN LAYMAN DID NOT MENTION THAT THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE AND INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE WERE NOT EXCEPTIONS TO THE LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE DOGMA EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2012/08/msgrcamille-perl-secretatry-of-ecclesia.html#links

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