100th anniversary of papal encyclical against modernism

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One hundred years ago next Saturday Pope Pius X issued a papal encyclical, “Pascendi Dominici Gregis,” that would have a huge impact on the Roman Catholic Church and consequently on its role in the blood-drenched history of the first half of the 20th century.

Today, not many Roman Catholics, let alone others, could identify or describe “Pascendi.” Yet compared with the widely known encyclicals addressing social and moral problems, it has probably had a deeper impact on their religious lives.

“Pascendi” was a sweeping and vehement condemnation of a loose movement of Catholic biblical scholars, philosophers and theologians who were labeled “modernists.”

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