Words of Popes, Saints and Theologians

Quotable Quotes

"I hear around me reformers who want to dismantle the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, to discard all her adornments, and smite her with remorse for her historic past,"
-- Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), to Count Enrico Pietro Galeazzi.

"A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God, that His Son is merely a symbol, a philosophy held by so many others, and in the churches Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Magdalen weeping before the empty tomb, "Where have they taken HIM?"
-- Pope Pius XII

"We observe elsewhere, with anxiety and some apprehension an undue fondness for innovation and tendency to stray from the path of truth and prudence. Certain plans and suggestions for the liturgical revival are mingled with principles with, either in fact or by implication, jeopardize the sacred cause they intended to promote and sometime introduce errors."
-- Pope Pius XII

"The day the Church abandons her universal tongue {LATIN} is the day before she returns to the catacombs."
-- Pope Pius XII

"The desire to restore everything indiscriminately to its ancient condition (antiquarianism) is neither wise nor praiseworthy. It would be wrong, for example, to want the altar restored to its ancient form of table; to want black eliminated from the liturgical colors, and pictures and statues excluded from our churches; to require crucifixes that does not represent the bitter sufferings of the divine Redeemer."
-- Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei"

"We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren -- that is for the Prostestants."
-- Annibale Bugnini (the main architect of the New Mass), Osservator Romano, 19 March 1965

"The Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of any merely human society. For it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular."
-- Pope John XXIII, " Veterum Sapientiae", 22 February 1962

"There is great unrest at this time in the Church and what they are questioning is the faith. I am alarmed, when I reflect on the Catholic world, that non-Catholic thinking sometimes seems to prevail within Catholicism and it could happen that this non-Catholic thinking within Catholicism will become stronger in the future. But it will never represent the Church's thinking. A small flock must survive, no matter how small it may be. "
-- Pope Paul VI

"The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions.

Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith.

They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind.

The Vatican Council says concerning this point:

"For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them."
-- Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.

We cannot consider as altogether blameless the silence which purposely leads to the omission or neglect of some of the principles of Christian doctrine, for all the principles come from the same Author and Master,

"the Only Begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father." --John i, I8.

They are adapted to all times and all nations, as is clearly seen from the words of our Lord to His apostles:

"Going, therefore, teach all nations; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world." --Matt. xxviii, 19.

Concerning this point the Vatican Council says:

"All those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed."
-- Const. de fide, Chapter iii.

Let it be far from anyone's mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ.

There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ. "
-- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae

"What then should a Catholic do if some portion of the Church detaches itself from communion of the universal Faith? What choice can he make if some new contagion attempts to poison, no longer a small part of the Church, but the whole Church at once, then his great concern will be to attach himself to antiquity which can no longer be led astray by any lying novelty."
-- Saint Vincent of Lerins

Points To Ponder


The illegal Council of Pistoia, was held in September of 1786 by the Bishop of Pistoia and Prato, in a daring effort to secure the errors of Jansenism. The Council attempted to spread errors by emphasising the notion of "Community", by give bishops more authority "to restore to the bishops their native rights abusively usurped by the Roman Court".

Vatican II has done the same with the collegiality of bishops, and many other errors of the illegal Council of Pistoia.

Pope Pius VI commissioned four bishops, assisted by theologians of the secular clergy, to examine the Pistorian enactments, and deputed a congregation of cardinals and bishops to pass judgment on them. They condemned the council and stigmatized eighty-five of its propositions as erroneous and dangerous.

Pius VI on 28 August, 1794, dealt the death-blow to the influence of the council in his Bull "Auctorem Fidei", which condemned the propositions of this illegal council:

"[To contend that] ways must be prepared for people to unite their voices with that of the whole Church -- if this be understood to signify the introduction of the use of the vernacular language into the liturgical prayers -- is condemned as false, rash, disturbing to the order prescribed for the celebration of the sacred mysteries, easily productive of many evils."
Auctorem Fidei

Later in history, Pope Pius XII would again repeat the warning against tampering with the liturgy in his encyclical "Mediator Dei" :

"This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise.

It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, ... had every right and reason to condemn."
-- Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei

Has the Church then not already condemned Vatican II?