Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Pope St Pius X

Pius X worked night and day for the Church he so loved, while also being well aware of the enemies of the Church and did all in his power to thwart the Evil One from penetrating the sanctuary. He first addressed this in a decree entitled Lamentabili Sane, then followed that up with his no-nonsense encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis on 8 September 1907 which dealt with the condemnation of the evils of modernism. One of the results of this encyclical was the requirement that all priests take the Oath Against Modernism, something that also has been lost on the vast majority of priests and prelates from the lowest to the highest echelons today. Pius X spoke out repeatedly against the insidious and subtle attacks of liberals to infiltrate the Church with modernistic theories that watered down the true teachings as well as Christ's Own words. He warned of the dangers of those who offer the argument that the Church is out of touch and needs to modernise in order to relate with today's culture and society. This Pope was warning the world of what would occur in less than half a century when one of his successors would pronounce and adopt aggiornamento which was exactly what Pius X feared, but could never have imagined would actually occur. It did.

One would have thought, hoped and prayed that the Church he so loved would not have been pillaged as badly as it has. Pius X adamantly and wisely refused to be persuaded to the false humanistic manifesto, re-emphasising over and over that if it was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for His Church in the 20th Century. Sadly, John XXIII thought differently. One was Catholic (Pius X), the other had abandoned Catholicism. He knew what Christ had set down would be attacked and he also knew that if he and his flock were loyal to Jesus, Christ's words in Matthew 16: 18 would encourage them to remain faithful.

Never one to compromise or capitulate when it came to Dogmas, Doctrines and the teachings of Christ and His Church, Pius X had more than a few run-ins with world powers Russia, the United States, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and of course, France. "Diplomacy be damned" was Pius' watchword if any of these countries promoted liberalism in any way. He sought to cut this evil off at the roots. He had meticulously studied Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum and realised the Communist threat as well as the even more insidious Freemasonry agenda and the clever way they had both crept in. Therefore, he sought to prevent any re-occurrence or allow it to infiltrate the Church by educating the faithful to the errors of Modernism, Communism and Freemasonry. For this he made more than a few enemies of the Church. Though he did not die a martyr, he felt like one as the world press attacked him from all angles. Yet Pius X stayed the course and would not waver from his convictions and his total dedication to Christ's holy cause. He cared not for what people thought, but what his Lord and Saviour thought, unlike the popes of Vatican II who base their programmes on pleasing man and incur the rebukes of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1: 8-10.

Considered a holy person by many, public veneration of Pope Pius X began soon after his death. Numerous petitions resulted in an early process of beatification which started in the 1920s, coming to fruition in 1951. This which resulted in his canonisation on 29 May 1954. The Society of Saint Pius X, a Traditionalist Catholic group, is named in his honour. A gigantic statue of him is enshrined within Saint Peter's Basilica, while the town of his birthplace was also renamed after his canonisation.

While his reforming efforts bore fruit among the faithful, Pope Pius X was distraught over his inability to prevent the coming World War, which he accurately predicted would be a catastrophe for civilisation and the Church. He died on 20 August 1914, only weeks after the war began.

St Pius X was the first Pope to be declared a saint since the 1712 canonisation of the 16th century Pope St Pius V.