Fideism and the Oath against Modernism

Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths. The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means “faith-ism.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, representing Catholicism’s great regard for Thomism, the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, affirms that it is a Catholic doctrine that God’s existence can indeed be demonstrated by reason. Aquinas’ rationalism has deep roots in Western Christianity; it goes back to St. Anselm of Canterbury’s observation that the role of reason was to explain faith more fully: fides quaerens intellectum, “faith seeking understanding,” is his formula.
The official position of the Catholic Church is that while the existence of the one God can in fact be demonstrated by reason, men can nevertheless be deluded by their sinful natures to deny the claims of reason that demonstrate God’s existence. The Anti-Modernist oath promulgated by Pope Pius X required Catholics to affirm that:

… God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (cf. 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…

The Oath against Modernism was issued by the Roman Catholic Pope, Saint Pius X, on September 1, 1910, and mandated that “all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries” should swear to it.
The oath continued to be taken until July 1967 when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rescinded it. It is, however, still taken voluntarily before priestly ordination by some clergy such as the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter and by certain members of any confraternity: no one is prohibited from taking the oath, nor is compelled to.
Previously Pius X had defined Modernism as a heresy in his encyclicals Pascendi Dominici gregis of 1907, and Lamentabili Sane.
When John Paul II issued the apostolic letter Ad Tuendam Fidem on ecclesiastical discipline, it provoked dissenters into claiming that the letter was a second oath against modernist thought.
The Oath Against Modernism was promulgated by Pius X in the Motu Proprio Sacrorum antistitum.

The swearing of the oath was compulsory for all Catholic bishops, priests and teachers, until its abolition by Pope Paul VI in 1967.

(sourced from wikipedia)

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