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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, May 27, 2017

"I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition..."

"I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition..."

This sacred oath was first taken, as recorded in Church annals [Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum, Migne's Patrologia Latina 105, 40-44 and published by Eugene de Rozier, 1869], by Pope Saint Agatho on June 27, 678. Many believe it was even taken by several predecessors of St. Agatho as well as most of his successors. Who composed it is not known. What also cannot be fully verified after much research is whether it was still in vogue in the latter centuries. Also in question is the search for the Latin translation to verify it, considering it would originally have been in the Mother tongue. Because there is not absolute proof, we must say "reputedly" and we welcome any assistance in its verification. Until then, we must publish this with this disclaimer. However, what is important is to read below the absolute Catholicity of the words In this oath, the Vicar of Christ vows to never contradict the Deposit of Faith, or change/innovate anything that has been handed down to him and to do so would gravely violate before God his intention and calling. 


This Papal Oath is part of our Catholic heritage. It began around the 6th or 7th Century. And even though it may not be said anymore, it is, if you will, the Church's vitae of the Pope, the Successor of Peter and, in that role, has no authority to veer from Tradition. Would this not be a given with every successor? Why then did the conciliar popes not heed the basic essence of these words? Why did they give up the tri-regno responsibility to teach, sanctify and govern as the 'servant of the servants', the chief Shepherd of the flock and instead became, as Christ identified, wolves in sheeps' clothing?  

Pope St. Agatho (678-681)

Papal Coronation Oath, to be taken by all Roman pontiffs, showing that no
Roman pontiff has the authority to contradict the Deposit of Faith, or to
change or innovate upon what has been handed by to him by Sacred Tradition
and his predecessors:

        "I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing
thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors,
to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;

        "To the contrary:  with glowing affection as her truly faithful
student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed-on good, with my
whole strength and utmost effort;

        "To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order,
should such appear;

        "To guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were
the Divine ordinances of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place
I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support,
being subject to the severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all
that I shall confess;

        "I swear to God Almighty and the Savior Jesus Christ that I will
keep whatever has been revealed through Christ and His Successors and
whatever the first councils and my predecessors have defined and

        "I will keep without sacrifice to itself the discipline
and the rite of the Church.  I will put outside the Church whoever
dares to go against this oath, may it be somebody else or I.

        "If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or
should permit that it will be executed, Thou willst not be merciful to me on
the dreadful Day of Divine Justice.

     "Accordingly, without exclusion, We subject to severest
excommunication anyone -- be it ourselves or be it another -- who would dare
to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic
Tradition and the purity of the Orthodox Faith and the Christian Religion,
would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with
those who undertake such a blasphemous venture."  (Liber Diurnus Romanorum
Pontificum, Patrologia Latina
1005, S. 54)

Dei verbum, No. 10:

Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Holding fast to this deposit the entire holy people united with their shepherds remain always steadfast in the teaching of the Apostles, in the common life, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers (see Acts 2, 42, Greek text), so that holding to, practicing and professing the heritage of the faith, it becomes on the part of the bishops and faithful a single common effort.

But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church,  whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.