Pope Pius X's encyclical "Pascendi Dominici Gregis" turns 100 years old next week. The document decried so-called "modernists" in the Church who looked to new discoveries and theories about human experience and desire to explain religious belief. The ensuing purge of Catholic thinkers did not relent until Paul VI ended the mandated "Anti-Modernist Oath" in 1967.
While the Second Vatican Council largely repudiated "Pascendi," the encyclical has its defenders, some of whom advocate resurrecting it. The Times concludes, "in the short run 'Pascendi' was a success: it stopped risky new ideas dead in their tracks. In the long run, however, it failed abysmally—and at a very high cost."