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Oath of Fidelity
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OATH OF FIDELITY
He who wants to win the world for Christ
must have the courage to come into conflict with it.
--Blessed Titus Brandsma
Although the members of the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael are not canonically required to make a formal Oath of Fidelity, we do so voluntarily according to the norms of the proper law of the Association, modified, of course, to accommodate the circumstances of our Association.
This oath is based upon the current Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity that the Church requires of certain persons, and the "Oath Against Modernism" promulgated by Pope Pius X on September 1, 1910.
I. Profession of Faith
I, _______________, with firm faith, believe and profess everything that is contained in the symbol of faith: namely,
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven: By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
With firm faith I believe as well everything contained in God's word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the church — whether in solemn judgment or in the ordinary and universal Magisterium — as divinely revealed and called for faith.
I also firmly accept and hold each and every thing that is proposed by that same church definitively with regard to teachings concerning faith or morals.
What is more, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic Magisterium even if they proclaim those teachings in an act that is not definitive (i.e. Code of Canon Law No. 752-754).
II. Oath of Fidelity
I, _______________, upon my (Oblation/Temporary/Perpetual Profession) (or: on assuming the office of __________) promise that I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church whether in the words I speak or in the way I act.
With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the responsibilities by which I am bound in relation both to the universal church and to the particular church in which I am called to exercise my service according to the requirements of the law.
In carrying out my charge, which is committed to me in the name of the church, I shall preserve the deposit of faith in its entirety, hand it on faithfully and make it shine forth. As a result, whatsoever teachings are contrary I shall shun.
I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the whole church and shall look after the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those which are contained in the Code of Canon Law.
[for vowed members only] With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the responsibilities by which I am bound in relation to my vows of the Evangelical Counsels offered in accord with my state-in-life to the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael in which I am called to exercise my service according to the requirements of the Holy Rule of St. Michael.
In carrying out my charge, which is committed to me in the name of the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael, I shall preserve the teachings and charism of the Holy Rule of St. Michael in its entirety according to my state in life, hand it on faithfully and make it shine forth. As a result, whatsoever teachings are contrary I shall avoid.
I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the my community and shall look after the observance of all norms of the proper law of the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael, especially those which are contained in the Holy Rule of St. Michael.
With Christian obedience I shall associate myself with what is expressed by the holy shepherds as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith or established by them as rulers of the Church. And with diocesan bishops I shall gladly devote my energy so that apostolic activity, to be exercised by the mandate and in the name of the Church, is — with provision made for the character and goal of the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael — carried out in the communion of the Church.
[for vowed members only] With Religious Obedience in accord with my state-in-life I shall live out my vows to the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael as best as I am able. I shall also associate myself with what is expressed by my superiors and perform all apostolic activity in the name of the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael in communion with them and its leaders.
[for non-vowed members only] I shall also associate myself with what is expressed by my superiors and perform all apostolic activity in the name of the Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael in communion with them and its leaders.
May God help me in this way and the holy Gospels of God, which I touch with my hands.
III. Oath Against Modernism, Feminism, and New Age
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 that are directly opposed to the errors of this day.
First: 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:
Second: 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.
Third: 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.
Fourth: I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through our Church Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one that the Church held previously. But I do affirm and submit to the progression of understanding of those dogmas over time as the Church and her understanding matures in grace to further explain, not change, such dogmas in her role as the authentic teacher and interpreter of God's word. 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 figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.
Fifth: 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 historical-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.
Modernism: 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.
Feminism: I further declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the feminists, who hold a basic assumption of androgynous utopia in which specifically states that all "forms of domination and oppression of man by man are social expressions of that dualism that is rooted more deeply than any others: the elevation of the male sex above the female (Catharina J.M. Halkes, "God Does Not Only Have Strong Sons", 1980); and who holds a rejection of hierarchy in any structures of society or Church promoting the idea of a "circular" community and which believes that "those who hold office are only the self-articulation of the life of the community" negating the order of God in regard to creation, roles, function, and appointment and negating the proper dignity that God has given to women; and who holds the belief that experience takes priority against the administrative structures of the Church and religious teachings; and who assert "inclusive language" as a political instrument and in particular to subvert the paterfamilias nature of God and the Church; and who promote ideas of "ecofeminism" in relation with nature, asserting the idea that the ills of our earth come from the technological plundering of the earth allegedly traced back to a traditional understanding of an account of creation written by priests; and who hold the interpersonal community deriving from the self-experience of "sisterly" groups which leads to a "feminist socialism"; and who hold that the ecological concern of the experience of "sisterhood" evolves a "new spirituality" linked to a cult of "mother earth" where God is seen in terms of motherly images that effectively push His world-transcending authority into the background; and which finally may be summed up as being "understood as calling into question the male cast of both the image of God and the office of priest" ("Women in the Priesthood" by Fr. Manfred Hauke, 1988).
New Age: I further declare that I am completely opposed to the errors of the various New Age theologies and philosophies based on experiences of monism that lead people to believe in pantheism, with a tendency to hold a millenarian views of history; and which eclectically borrows ideas and practices from Hinduism, Zen, Sufism, and Native American religion mixed with humanistic psychology, Western occultism, and modern physics; and which also uses drugs, non-Christian meditative techniques, holistic health techniques, music, hypnosis, psychedelics, movement, and reverie designed to gain enlightenment, healing, and so-called "union" (the meaning of "Yoga") without the God of Truth. ("Catholics and the New Age" by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.)
Charism of Truth: I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Church Fathers and Doctors 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 contrary to the substance of the Truth.
Promises: I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in the practice of my faith or teaching, in word, or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.