Thursday, January 31, 2008

Creed of Pope Pius IV

The Creed of Pope Pius IV

"The "Professio fidei Tridentina", also known as the "Creed of Pope Pius IV", is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. It was issued on November 13, 1565 by Pope Pius IV in his bull "Iniunctum nobis" under the auspices of the Council of Trent (1545 - 1563). It was subsequently modified slightly after the First Vatican Council (1869 - 1870) to bring it inline with the dogmatic definitions of the Council. The major intent of the Creed was to clearly define the Catholic faith against Protestantism. At one time it was used by Theologians as an oath of loyalty to the Church and to reconcile converts to the Church, but it is rarely used these days."

Some Highlights:

I also accept the Holy Scripture according to that sense which holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, and to whom it belongeth to judge the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

I embrace and accept each and everything which has been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.

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, though not all are necessary for everyone;

I steadfastly hold that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise, that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invoked, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated. I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, of the Mother of God, ever virgin, and also of other Saints, ought to be kept and retained, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them.

I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.

I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.

I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching. I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church hath condemned, rejected, and anathematized.

This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, I do so profess and swear to maintain inviolate and with firm constancy with the help of God until the last breath of life.

"The decrees of the Council of Trent contain no profession, but in the twenty-fourth session such a form was suggested. This was prepared by a commission of cardinals under the direction of Pius IV. in 1564. It must be subscribed or sworn to by all priests and public teachers of that church, and also by Protestant converts (hence called the "Profession of converts"). It was solemnly affirmed during the Vatican Council of 1870 at its second session...Since that time the Roman Catholic Church has added two articles which enter into the profession, one on the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, and one on the infallibility of the pope..." Schaff


Anonymous said...

Thank you for publishing this, although it is not clear to me what your point is. You should send this to every Catholic who must make it his/her own.

Edward Reiss said...

Actually, there is nothing surprising in it. It is merely Catholic, IMO.

BJ Buracker said...

I agree with Edward and Dozie. I don't see the point of this. Why no commentary?

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Carrie, you forgot the part where we Catholics have to enter a creepy castle, walk down a long corridor lined with sinister looking hooded monks holding long candles with eerie organ music playing in the background before we intone the solemn oath in our deepest voice possible.

Seriously though, I don't mean to be flippant here, but I think that Chick or Welborn or one of those sorts beat you to scaring the rubes with this kind of portrayal. Fearmongering of this sort is called nativism. The Know-nothings and the Ku Klux Klan in the 19th century used this oath to rile people up against Catholics by claiming was some sort of pledge of loyalty to the Pope requiring Catholics to rise up to overthrow the United States, the last pure bastion of Protestantism in the world.

The fact of the matter is that the oath was promulgated in a time where all sorts of groups, Protestants included, demanded that people take oaths or sign pledges or confessions. St. Thomas More was executed because he wouldn't sign Henry VIII's oath. Cranmer was executed because he wouldn't sign Mary's. Calvin's Genevan theocracy was likewise autocratic.

Schaff wrote that the oath even in his time was rarely administered. Since Schaff died in 1893, it is a fair assumption that the article was written before then. It may be helpful to your readers to provide a more contemporary source than one that dates back a 110 years. Perhaps you could share with the readership the last time it is recorded that the Pius IV's oath was administered. I have personally seen several thousand Protestants join the Catholic Church in my parish as well as several family members who have converted and I am not aware of this oath ever being administered in modern times. Of course, the priest could have done it behind my back and swore them all to secrecy. I have also taught CCD classes and Ad Altare Dei classes and noone ever required me to take such an oath.

Carrie said...

Fearmongering of this sort is called nativism.

I didn't really notice the oath so you have misfired on that one.

I thought the Creed was an interesting summary of doctrines from Trent and wondered why it had fallen at of use. I also thought the additions of Vat I were interesting.

But sometimes I just like to post plain quotes so people can glean their own thoughts and opinions w/out any influence from mine. Your reaction to this Creed was expected. I believe this Creed is still official, even if rarely employed, so I don't think you have reason to fear it.

Paul Hoffer said...

Carrie, I don't fear it. I would have no problem taking it. I do have a problem with people using it for polemic purposes which might explain why it is not used very much any more except as a historical artifact. However, as you indicated that was not your intent, I sincerely apologize that I misperceived your purpose in posting it and ask you to forgive my presumption. (Mt. 6:14)

Carrie said...

I sincerely apologize that I misperceived your purpose in posting it and ask you to forgive my presumption.

Of course. Not a big deal.

I just noticed I said " Your reaction to this Creed was expected.". That should have read "unexpected".