Profession of Faith
(Issued by the Sacred Congregation Of the Holy Office for the U.S. in 1942 to replace the previous profession prescribed by the Holy Office in 1859.)
“I _______________________________, ___ years of age, born outside the Catholic Church (or returning to the Church from heresy or schism), have held and believed errors contrary to her teaching. Now, enlightened by divine grace, I kneel before you…, having before my eyes and touching with my hands the Holy Gospels; and with a firm faith I believe and profess each and all the articles that are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, that is: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell, the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
• “I accept and embrace most firmly the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all the other constitutions and prescriptions of the Church.
• “I accept the Sacred Scriptures according to the sense which has been held and which is still held by Holy Mother the Church, whose duty it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, and I shall never accept or interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
• “I profess that the Sacraments of the New Law are truly and precisely seven in number, instituted for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for each individual: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony. I profess that all confer grace, and that of these Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege.
• “I also accept and admit the ritual of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of all the above-mentioned Sacraments.
• “I accept and hold, in each and every part, all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification. I profess that in the Mass is offered to God a true, real and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; that in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is really, truly and substantially the Body and Blood together with the Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there takes place what the Church calls transubstantiation, that is the change of all the substance of bread into the Body and of all the substance of wine into the Blood. I confess also that in receiving under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ, whole and entire.
• “I firmly hold that Purgatory exists, and that the souls detained there can be helped by the prayers of the faithful. Likewise, I hold that the Saints who reign with Jesus Christ should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.
“I profess firmly that the images of Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, as well as of all the Saints should be given due honor and veneration. I also affirm that Jesus Christ left to the Church the faculty to grant indulgences, and that their use is most salutary to the Christian people. I recognize the Holy Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all the Churches, and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ.
“Besides I accept, without hesitation, and profess all that has been handed down, defined and declared by the Sacred Canons and by the General Councils, especially by the Sacred Council of Trent and by the Vatican General Council, and in a special manner concerning the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. At the same time I condemn and reprove all that the Church has condemned and reproved. This same Catholic Faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess, with the help of God, entire, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life; and I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same Faith shall be held, taught and publicly professed by all those who depend on me and by those of whom I shall have charge.
“So help me God and these Holy Gospels.”
Oath Against Modernism Pope St. Pius X, 1907
I, _______________________________, firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.
And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:20), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, His existence can also be demonstrated:
Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.
Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.
Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same sense. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical argument or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.
Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.
Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas.
I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.
I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality–that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.
Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.
Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact –one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history – the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles.
I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.
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