Pius X Communium rerum

Communium Rerum

On St. Anselm of Aosta

Encyclical of Pope Pius X

April 21, 1909.

To Our Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and the Apostolic Benediction.

1 Amid the general troubles of the time and the recent disasters at home which afflict Us, there is surely consolation and comfort for Us in that recent display of devotion of the whole Christian people which still continues to be "a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men" (1Co 4,9), and which, if it has now been called forth so generously by the advent of misfortune, has its one true cause in the charity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For since there is not and there cannot be in the world any charity worthy of the name except through Christ, to Him alone must be attributed all the fruits of it, even in men of lax faith or hostile to religion, who are indebted for whatever vestiges of charity they may possess to the civilization introduced by Christ, which they have not yet succeeded in throwing off entirely and expelling from human society.

2 For this mighty movement of those who would console their Father and help their brethren in their public and private afflictions, words can hardly express Our emotion and Our gratitude. These feelings We have already made known on more than one occasion to individuals, but We cannot delay any longer to give a public expression of Our thanks, first of all, to you, venerable brethren, and through you to all the faithful entrusted to your care.

3 So, too, We would make public profession of Our gratitude for the many striking demonstrations of affection and reverence which have been offered Us by Our most beloved children in all parts of the world on the occasion of Our sacerdotal jubilee. Most grateful have they been to Us, not so much for Our own sake as for the sake of religion and the Church, as being a profession of fearless faith, and, as it were, a public manifestation of due honor to Christ and His Church, by the respect shown to him whom the Lord has placed over His family. Other fruits of the same kind, too, have greatly rejoiced Us; the celebrations with which dioceses in North America have commemorated the centenary of their foundation, returning everlasting thanks to god for having added so many children to the Catholic Church; the splendid sight presented by the most noble island of Britain in the restored honor paid with such wonderful pomp within its confines to the Blessed Eucharist, in the presence of a dense multitude, and with a crown formed of Our venerable brethren, and of Our own Legate; and in France where the afflicted Church dried her tears to see such brilliant triumphs of the August Sacrament, especially in the town of Lourdes, the fiftieth anniversary of whose origin We have also been rejoiced to witness commemorated with such solemnity. In these and other facts all must see, and let the enemies of Catholicism be persuaded of it, that the splendor of ceremonial, and the devotion paid to the August Mother of God, and even the filial homage offered to the Supreme Pontiff, are all destined finally for the glory of God, that Christ may be all and in all (Col 3,2), that the Kingdom of God may be established on earth, and eternal salvation gained for men.

4 This triumph of God on earth, both in individuals and in society, is but the return of the erring to God through Christ, and to Christ through the Church, which We announced as the programme of Our Pontificate both in Our first Apostolic Letters "E supremi Apostolatus Cathedra " (Encyclica diei 4 Octobris MDCCCCIII.), and many times since then. To this return We look with confidence, and plans and hopes are all designed to lead to it as to a port in which the storms even of the present life are at rest. And this is why We are grateful for the homage paid to the Church in Our humble person, as being, with God's help, a sign of the return of the Nations to Christ and a closer union with Peter and the Church.

5 This affectionate union, varying in intensity according to time and place, and differing in its mode of expression, seems in the designs of Providence to grow stronger as the times grow more difficult for the cause of sound teaching, of sacred discipline, of the liberty of the Church. We have examples of this in the Saints of other centuries, whom God raised up to resist by their virtue and wisdom the fury of persecution against the Church and the diffusion of iniquity in the world. One of these We wish especially in these Letters to commemorate, now that the eighth centenary of his death is being solemnly celebrated. We mean the Doctor Anselm of Aosta, most vigorous exponent of Catholic truth and defender of the rights of the Church, first as Monk and Abbot in France. and later as Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate in England. It is not inappropriate, We think, after the Jubilee Feasts, celebrated with unwonted splendor, of two other Doctors of Holy Church, Gregory the Great and John Chrysostom, one the light of the Western, the other of the Eastern Church, to fix our gaze on this other star which, if it "differs in brightness" (1Co 15,41) from them, yet compares well with them in their course, and sheds abroad a light of doctrine and example not less salutary than theirs. Nay, in some respects it might be said even more salutary, inasmuch as Anselm is nearer to us in time, place, temperament, studies, and there is a closer similarity with our own days in the nature of the conflicts borne by him, in the kind of pastoral activity he displayed, in the method of teaching applied and largely promoted by him, by his disciples, by his writings, all composed "in defense of the Christian religion, for the benefit of souls, and for the guidance of all theologians who were to teach sacred letters according to the scholastic method" (Breviar. Rom., die 21 Aprilis). Thus as in the darkness of the night while some stars are setting others rise to light the world, so the sons succeed to the Fathers to illumine the Church, and among these St. Anselm shone forth as a most brilliant star.

6 In the eyes of the best of his contemporaries Anselm seemed to shine as a luminary of sanctity and learning amid the darkness of the error and iniquity of the age in which he lived. He was in truth a "prince of the faith, an ornament of the Church ... a glory of the episcopate, a man outranking all the great men" of his time ("Epicedion in obitum Anselmi"), «both learned and good and brilliant in speech, a man of splendid intellect" ("In Epitaphio") whose reputation was such that it has been well written of him that there was no man in the world then "who would say: Anselm is less than I, or like me" ("Epicedion in obitum Anselmi"), and hence esteemed by kings, princes, and supreme pontiffs, as well as by his brethren in religion and by the faithful, nay, "beloved even by his enemies" (Ib.). While he was still Abbot the great and most powerful Pontiff Gregory VII wrote him letters breathing esteem and affection and «recommending the Catholic Church and himself to his prayers" (Breviar. Rom.. die 21 Aprilis): to him also wrote Urban II recognizing "his distinction in religion and learning" (In libro 2 Epist. S. Anselmi, ep. 32); in many and most affectionate letters Paschal 11 extolled his «reverent devotion, strong faith, his pious and persevering zeal, his authority in religion and knowledge" (In lib. 3 Epist. S. Anselmi, ep. 74 et 42), which easily induced the Pontiff to accede to his requests and made him not hesitate to call him the most learned and devout of the bishops of England.

7 And yet Anselm in his own eyes was but a despicable and unknown good- for-nothing, a man of no parts, sinful in his life. Nor did this great modesty and most sincere humility detract in the least from his high thinking, whatever may be said to the contrary by men of depraved life and judgment, of whom the Scripture says that "the animal man understandeth not the things of the spirit of God" (1Co 2,14). And more wonderful still, greatness of soul and unconquerable constancy, tried in so many ways by troubles, attacks, exiles, were in him blended with such gentle and pleasing manners that he was able to calm the angry passions of his enemies and win the hearts of those who were enraged against him, so that the very men "to whom his cause was hostile" praised him because he was good ("Epicedion in obitum Anselmi").

8 Thus in him there existed a wonderful harmony between qualities which the world falsely judges to be irreconcilable and contradictory: simplicity and greatness, humility and magnanimity, strength and gentleness, knowledge and piety, so that both in the beginning and throughout the whole course of his religious life "he was singularly esteemed by all as a model of sanctity and doctrine" (Breviar. Rom., die 21 Aprilis).

9 Nor was this double merit of Anselm confined within the walls of his own household or within the limits of the school--it went forth thence as from a military tent into the dust and the glare of the highway. For, as We have already hinted, Anselm fell on difficult days and had to undertake fierce battles in defense of justice and truth. Naturally inclined though he was to a life of contemplation and study, he was obliged to plunge into the most varied and most important occupations even those affecting the government of the Church, and thus to be drawn into the worst turmoils of his agitated age. With his sweet and most gentle temperament he was forced, out of love for sound doctrine and for the sanctity of the Church, to give up a life of peace, the friendship of the great ones of the world, the favors of the powerful, the united affection, which he at first enjoyed, of his very brethren in troubles of all kinds. Thus, finding England full of hatred and dangers, he was forced to oppose a vigorous resistance to kings and princes, usurpers and tyrants over the Church and the people, against weak or unworthy ministers of the sacred office, against the ignorance and vice of the great and small alike; ever a valiant defender of the faith and morals, of the discipline and liberty, and therefore also of the sanctity and doctrine, of the Church of God, and thus truly worthy of that further encomium of Paschal: "Thanks be to God that in you the authority of the Bishop ever prevails, and that, although set in the midst of barbarians, you are not deterred from announcing the truth either by the violence of tyrants," or the favor of the powerful, neither by the flame of fire or the force of arms; and again: "We rejoice because by the grace of God you are neither disturbed by threats nor moved by promises" (In lib. 3,Epist. S. Anselmi, ep. 44 et 74).

10 In view of all this, it is only right, venerable brethren, that We, after a lapse of eight centuries, should rejoice like Our Predecessor Paschal, and, echoing his words, return thanks, to God. But, at the same time, it is a pleasure for Us to be able to exhort you to fix your eyes on this luminary of doctrine and sanctity, who, rising here in Italy, shone for over thirty years upon France, for more than fifteen years upon England, and finally upon the whole Church, as a tower of strength and beauty.

11 And if Anselm was great "in works and in words," if in his knowledge and his life, in contemplation and activity, in peace and strife, he secured splendid triumphs for the Church and great benefits for society, all this must be ascribed to his close union with Christ and the Church throughout the whole course of his life and ministry.

12 Recalling all these things, venerable brethren, with special interest during the solemn commemoration of the great Doctor, we shall find in them splendid examples for our admiration and imitation; nay, reflection on them will also furnish Us with strength and consolation amid the pressing cares of the government of the Church and of the salvation of souls, helping Us never to fail in our duty of co-operating with all our strength in order that all things may be restored in Christ, that "Christ may be formed" in all souls (Ga 4,19), and especially in those which are the hope of the priesthood, of maintaining unswervingly the doctrine of the Church, of defending strenuously the liberty of the Spouse of Christ, the inviolability of her divine rights, and the plenitude of those safeguards which the protection of the Sacred Pontificate requires.

13 For you are aware, venerable brethren, and you have often lamented it with Us, how evil are the days on which we have fallen, and how iniquitous the conditions which have been forced upon Us. Even in the unspeakable sorrow We felt in the recent public disasters, Our wounds were opened afresh by the shameful charges invented against the clergy of being behindhand in rendering assistance after the calamity, by the obstacles raised to hide the beneficent action of the Church on behalf of the afflicted, by the contempt shown even for her maternal care and forethought. We say nothing of many other things injurious to the Church, devised with treacherous cunning or flagrantly perpetrated in violation of all public right and in contempt of all natural equity and justice. Most grievous, too, is the thought that this has been done in countries in which the stream of civilization has been most abundantly fed by the Church. For what more unnatural sight could be witnessed than that of some of those children whom the Church has nourished and cherished as her first-born, her flower and her strength, in their rage turning their weapons against the very bosom of the Mother that has loved them so much! And there are other countries which give us but little cause for consolation, in which the same war, under a different form, has either broken out already or is being prepared by dark machinations. For there is a movement in those nations which have benefited most from Christian civilization to deprive the Church of her rights, to treat her as though she were not by nature and by right the perfect society that she is, instituted by Christ Himself, the Redeemer of our nature, and to destroy her reign, which, although primarily and directly affecting souls, is not less helpful for their eternal salvation than for the welfare of human society; efforts of all kinds are being made to supplant the kingdom of God by a reign of license under the lying name of liberty. And to bring about by the rule of vices and lusts the triumph of the worst of all slaveries and bring the people headlong to their ruin-- «for sin makes peoples wretched" (Pr 14,34)--the cry is ever raised: «We will not have this man reign over us" (Lc 19,14). Thus the religious Orders, always the strong shield and the ornament of the Church, and the promotors of the most salutary works of science and civilization among uncivilized and civilized peoples, have been driven out of Catholic countries; thus the works of Christian beneficence have been weakened and circumscribed as far as possible, thus the ministers of religion have been despised and mocked, and, wherever that was possible, reduced to powerlessness and inertia; the paths to knowledge and to the teaching office have been either closed to them or rendered extremely difficult, especially by gradually removing them from the instruction and education of youth; Catholic undertakings of public utility have been thwarted; distinguished laymen who openly profess their Catholic faith have been turned into ridicule, persecuted, kept in the background as belonging to an inferior and outcast class, until the coming of the day, which is being hastened by ever more iniquitous laws, when they are to be utterly ostracized from public affairs. And the authors of this war, cunning and pitiless as it is, boast that they are waging it through love of liberty, civilization, and progress, and, were you to believe them, through a spirit of patriotism--in this lie too resembling their father, who "was a murderer from the beginning, and when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar" (Ioan. viii. 44), and raging with hate insatiable against God and the human race. Brazen-faced men these, seeking to create confusion by their words, and to lay snares for the ears of the simple. No, it is not patriotism, or zealous care for the people, or any other noble aim, or desire to promote good of any kind, that incites them to this bitter war, but blind hatred which feeds their mad plan to weaken the Church and exclude her from social life, which makes them proclaim her as dead, while they never cease to attack her--nay, after having despoiled her of all liberty, they do not hesitate in their brazen folly to taunt her with her powerlessness to do anything for the benefit of mankind or human government. From the same hate spring the cunning misrepresentations or the utter silence concerning the most manifest services of the Church and the Apostolic See, when they do not make of our services a cause of suspicion which with wily art they insinuate into the ears and the minds of the masses, spying and travestying everything said or done by the Church as though it concealed some impending danger for society, whereas the plain truth is that it is mainly from Christ through the Church that the progress of real liberty and the purest civilization has been derived.

14 Concerning this war from outside, waged by the enemy without, "by which the Church is seen to be assailed on all sides, now in serried and open battle, now by cunning and by wily plots," We have frequently warned your vigilance, venerable brethren, and especially in the Allocution We delivered in the Consistory of December 16, 1907.

15 But with no less severity and sorrow have We been obliged to denounce and to put down another species of war, intestine and domestic, and all the more disastrous the more hidden it is. Waged by unnatural children, nestling in the very bosom of the Church in order to rend it in silence, this war aims more directly at the very root and the soul of the Church. They are trying to corrupt the springs of Christian life and teaching, to scatter the sacred deposit of the faith, to overthrow the foundations of the divine constitution by their contempt for all authority, pontifical as well as episcopal, to put a new form on the Church, new laws, new principles, according to the tenets of monstrous systems, in short to deface all the beauty of the Spouse of Christ for the empty glamour of a new culture, falsely called science, against which the Apostle frequently puts us on our guard: "Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ (Col 2,8).

16 By this figment of false philosophy and this shallow and fallacious erudition, joined with a most audacious system of criticism, some have been seduced and "become vain in their thoughts" (Rm 1,1), "having rejected good conscience they have made shipwreck concerning the faith" (1Tm 1,19), they are being tossed about miserably on the waves of doubt, knowing not themselves at what port they must land; others, wasting both time and study, lose themselves in the investigation of abstruse trifling, and thus grow estranged from the study of divine things and of the real springs of doctrine. This hot-bed of error and perdition (which has come to be known commonly as modernism from its craving for unhealthy novelty) although denounced several times and unmasked by the very excesses of its adepts, continues to be a most grave and deep evil. It lurks like poison in the vitals of modern society, estranged as this is from God and His Church, and it is especially eating its way like a cancer among the young generations which are naturally the most inexperienced and heedless. It is not the result of solid study and true knowledge, for there can be no real conflict between reason and faith (Concil. Vatic., Constit. Dei filius, cap. 4). But it is the result of intellectual pride and of the pestiferous atmosphere that prevails of ignorance or confused knowledge of the things of religion, united with the stupid presumption of speaking about and discussing them. And this deadly infection is further fomented by a spirit of incredulity and of rebellion against God, so that those who are seized by the blind frenzy for novelty consider that they are all sufficient for themselves, and that they are at liberty to throw off either openly or by subterfuge the entire yoke of divine authority, fashioning for themselves according to their own caprice a vague, naturalistic individual religiosity, borrowing the name and some semblance of Christianity but with none of its life and truth.

17 Now in all this it is not difficult to recognize one of the many forms of the eternal war waged against divine truth, and one that is all the more dangerous from the fact that its weapons are craftily concealed with a covering of fictitious piety, ingenuous candor, and earnestness, in the hands of factious men who use them to reconcile things that are absolutely irreconcilable, viz., the extravagances of a fickle human science with divine faith, and the spirit of a frivolous world with the dignity and constancy of the Church.

18 But if you see all this, venerable brethren,. and deplore it bitterly with Us, you are not therefore cast down or without all hope. You know of the great conflicts that other times have brought upon the Christian people, very different though they were from our own days. We have but to turn again to the age in which Anselm lived, so full of difficulties as it appears in the annals of the Church. Then indeed was it necessary to fight for the altar and the home, for the sanctity of public law, for liberty, civilization, sound doctrine, of all of which the Church alone was the teacher and the defender among the nations, to curb the violence of princes who arrogated to themselves the right of treading upon the most sacred liberties, to eradicate the vices, ignorance, and uncouthness of the people, not yet entirely stripped of their old barbarism and often enough refractory to the educating influence of the Church, to rouse a part of the clergy who had grown lax or lawless in their conduct, inasmuch as not unfrequently they were selected arbitrarily and according to a perverse system of election by the princes, and controlled by and bound to these in all things.

19 Such was the state of things notably in those countries on whose behalf Anselm especially labored, either by his teaching as master, by his example as religious, or by his assiduous vigilance and many-sided activity as Archbishop and Primate. For his great services were especially accomplished for the provinces of Gaul which a few centuries before had fallen into the hands of the Normans, and by the islands of Britain which only a few centuries before had come to the Church. In both countries the convulsions caused by revolutions within and wars without gave rise to looseness of discipline both among the rulers and their subjects, among the clergy and the people.

20 Abuses like these were bitterly lamented by the great men of the time, such as Lanfranc, Anselm's master and later his predecessor in the see of Canterbury, and still more by the Roman Pontiffs, among whom it will suffice to mention here the courageous Gregory VII, the intrepid champion of justice, unswerving defender of the rights of the Church, vigilant guardian and defender of the sanctity of the clergy.

21 Strong in their example and rivaling them in their zeal, Anselm also lamented the same evils, writing thus to a prince of his people, and one who rejoiced to describe himself as his relation by blood and affection: «You see, my dearest Lord, how the Church of God, our Mother, whom God calls His Fair One and His Beloved Spouse, is trodden underfoot by bad princes, how she is placed in tribulation for their eternal damnation by those to whom she was recommended by God as to protectors who would defend her, with what presumption they have usurped for their own uses the things that belong to her, the cruelty with which they despise and violate religion and her law. Disdaining obedience to the decrees of the Apostolic See, made for the defense of religion, they surely convict themselves of disobedience to the Apostle Peter whose place he holds, nay, to Christ who recommended His Church to Peter... Because they who refuse to be subject to the law of God are surely reputed the enemies of God" (Epist. lib. 3,epist. 65). Thus wrote Anselm, and would that his words had been treasured by the successor and the descendants of that most potent prince, and by the other sovereigns and peoples who were so loved and counseled and served by him.

22 But persecution, exile, spoliation, the trials and toils of hard fighting, far from shaking, only rooted deeper Anselm's love for the Church and the Apostolic See. "I fear no exile, or poverty or torments or death, because, while God strengthens me, for all these things my heart is prepared for the sake of the obedience due to the Apostolic See and the liberty of the Church of Christ, my Mother," (Ib. lib. 3,ep. 73), he wrote to Our Predecessor Paschal amid his greatest difficulties. And if he has recourse to the Chair of Peter for protection and help, the sole reason is: "Lest through me and on account of me the constancy of ecclesiastical devotion and Apostolic authority should ever be in the least degree weakened." And then he gives his reason, which for Us is the badge of pastoral dignity and strength: "I would rather die, and while I live I would rather undergo penury in exile, rather than see the honor of the Church of God dimmed in the slightest degree on my account or through my example" (Ib. Lib. 4,ep. 47).

23 That same honor, liberty, and purity of the Church is ever in his mind; he yearns for it with sighs, prayers, sacrifices; he works for it with all his might both in vigorous resistance and in manly patience; and he defends it by his acts, his writings, his words. He recommends it in language strong and sweet to his brethren in religion; to the bishops, the clergy, and to all the faithful; but with more of severity to those princes who outraged it to the great injury of themselves and their subjects.

24 These noble appeals for sacred liberty have a timely echo in our days on the lips of those "whom the Holy Ghost has placed to rule the Church of God" (Ac 20,28)--timely even though they were to find no hearing by reason of the decay of faith or the perversity of men or the blindness of prejudice. To Us, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, are especially addressed the words of the Lord: "Cry out give yourself no rest, raise your voice like a trumpet" (Is 58,1), and all the more that "the Most High has made His voice heard" (Ps 17,14), in the trembling of nature and in tremendous calamities: "the voice of the Lord shaking the earth," ringing in our ears a terrible warning and bringing home to us the hard lesson that all but the eternal is vanity, that "we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come (He 13,14), but, also, a voice not only of justice, but of mercy and of wholesome reminder to the erring nations. In the midst of these public calamities it behooves us to cry aloud and make known the great truths of the faith not only to the people, to the humble, the afflicted, but to the powerful and the rich, to them that decide and govern the policy of nations, to make known to all the great truths which history confirms by its great and disastrous lessons such as that "sin makes the nations miserable" (Pr 14,34), "that a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule" (Sap. 6,7), with the admonition of Ps 2: "And now, ye kings, understand; receive instruction, you that judge the earth. Serve the Lord with fear ... embrace discipline lest at any time the Lord be angry, and you perish from the just way." More bitter shall be the consequences of these threats when the vices of society are being multiplied, when the sin of rulers and of the people consists especially in the exclusion of God and in rebellion against the Church of Christ: that double social apostasy which is the deplorable fount of anarchy, corruption, and endless misery for the individual and for society.

25 And since silence or indolence on our part, as unfortunately is not unfrequently the case among the good, would incriminate us too, let every one of the sacred Pastors take as said to himself for the defense of his flock, and bring home to others in due season, Anselm's words to the mighty Prince of Flanders: "As you are my Lord and truly beloved by me in God, I pray, conjure, admonish and counsel you, as the guardian of your soul, not to believe that your lofty dignity is diminished if you love and defend the liberty of the Spouse of God and your Mother, the Church, not to think that you abase yourself when you exalt her, not to believe that you weaken yourself when you strengthen her. Look round you and see; the examples are before you; consider the princes that attack and maltreat her, what do they gain by it, what do they attain? It is so clear that there is no need to say it" (Epist., lib. 4,ep. 32). And all this he explains with his usual force and gentleness to the powerful Baldwin, King of Jerusalem: "As your faithful friend, I pray, admonish, and conjure you, and I pray God that you live under God's law and in all things submit your will to the will of God. For it is only when you reign according to the will of God that you reign for your own welfare. Nor permit yourself to believe, like so many bad kings, that the Church of God has been given to you that you may use her as a servant, but remember that she has been recommended to you as an advocate and defender." In this world God loves nothing more than the liberty of His Church. "They who seek not so much to serve as to rule her, are clearly acting in opposition to God. God wills His Spouse to be free and not a slave. Those who treat her and honor her as sons surely show that they are her sons and the sons of God, while those who lord it over her, as over a subject, make themselves not children but strangers to her, and are therefore excluded from the heritage and the dower promised to her" (Ibid. ep. 8). Thus did he unbosom his heart so full of love for the Church; thus did he show his zeal in defense of her liberty, so necessary in the government of the Christian family and so dear to God, as the same great Doctor concisely affirmed in the energetic words: "In this world God loves nothing more than the liberty of His Church." Nor can We, venerable brethren, make known to you Our feelings better than by repeating that beautiful expression.

26 Equally opportune are other admonitions addressed by the Saint to the powerful. Thus, for example, he wrote to Queen Matilda of England: "If you wish in very deed to return thanks rightly and well and efficaciously to God, take into your consideration that Queen whom He was pleased to select for His Spouse in this world... Take her, I say, into your consideration, exalt her, that with her and in her you may be able to please God and reign with her in eternal bliss" (Epist., lib. 3,ep. 57). And especially when you chance to meet with some son who puffed up with earthly greatness lives unmindful of his mother, or hostile or rebellious to her, then remember that: "it is for you to suggest frequently, in season and out of season, these and other admonitions, and to suggest that he show himself not the master but the advocate, not the step-son but the real son of the Church" (Ibid. ep. 59). It behooves Us, too, Us especially, to inculcate that other saying so noble and so paternal of Anselm: "Whenever I hear anything of you displeasing to God and unbecoming to yourselves, and fail to admonish you, I do not fear God nor love you as I ought" (Ibid. Lib. 4,ep. 52). And especially when it comes to Our ears that you treat the churches in your power in a manner unworthy of them and of your own soul, then, We should imitate Anselm by renewing Our prayers, counsels, admonitions "that you think over these things carefully and if your conscience warns you that there is something to be corrected in them that you hasten to make the correction" (Epist., lib. 4,epist. 32). "For nothing is to be neglected that can be corrected, since God demands an account from all not only of the evil they do but also of the correction of evil which they can correct. And the more power men have to make the necessary correction the more vigorously does He require them, according to the power mercifully communicated to them, to think and act rightly ... And if you cannot do everything all at once, you must not on that account cease your efforts to advance from better to better, because God in His goodness is wont to bring to perfection good intentions and good effort, and to reward them with blessed plenitude" (Ibid. Lib. 3,epist. 142).

Pius X Communium rerum