Pius XI is back on the job after a nice vacation

12_11_13_PopePiusXIA few days ago I got a note from a reader that, on the Vatican website, it was no longer possible to access the documents of Pope Ratti, Pius XI (1922-39).   Immediately, I thought, “AH HAH!”  “Ah hah! …”, what? … wasn’t exactly clear, but I thought, “AH HAH!”

Pius XI wrote hard hitting stuff that didn’t mince words.  I’ve done a couple of podcasts about his documents, including about Mortalium animos, which concerns ecumenism.  Was that why he was removed?  Hmmmmm…. conspiracy.

Since discovering this mysterious lacuna, I occasionally checked the Vatican website to see if Pius XI’s would be reinstated, if perchance their disappearance was just another tech mess up.  It’s, by the way, ironic that he wasn’t any longer in the archive, considering that this is Pope Ratti we are talking about.  He was a librarian and was often found hanging out in the archive.  Get it?  And then he was not to be found in the archive.  Get it?  It was even more ironic that, during Ratti’s hiatus you defaulted to John XXIII!

Well, he’s back!

My view as I write…

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 18.02.33

Here’s an explanation of what happened to Pius XI over the last few days.

As future Pope Pius XIII, We assure you that, whether you are a dead Pope, an alive Pope, or even now a retired Pope, being a Pope is not easy. Sometimes you just need a vacation. In view of my future difficult pontificate, while I… while We have the chance We are now hanging out at Lago di Garda. We hope Our future predecessor was able to get a little rest in a nice spot like this. Now that the present guy has decided that Popes won’t stay at Castel Gandolfo – that’s a mistake, by the way, and We teach that with future infallibly with retro force – Popes will need to be creative about where they hang out for R&R.

Heck, if there are enough retired Popes at once, perhaps We could get a time share somewhere!

Anyway, welcome back Pius XI!  It’s great to have you back “on the job” again.

Everyone should listen to your wonderful Mortalium animos, especially as we close in on 2017.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Casti connubii (31 dec 1930) is there, right?

  2. Dr. Peters: Yes, it is there.


    It’s there in Hungarian, but not in German.

    Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 18.34.27

  3. ajf1984 says:

    Can you imagine the impact that reading out the following quotation from Mortalium animos from every Catholic pulpit on ‘Reformation’ Day 2017 would have on true ecumenical dialogue? “[…]for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.” (para. 10). I get shivers reading through this brief, yet mighty, text! Thanks, Fr. Z, for drawing the readership’s attention to Papa Ratti’s contribution to Church teachings!

  4. paladin says:

    The contrast between this, and “Amoris laetitia”, is beyond my ability to describe in any satisfactory way. This (Mortalium animos) is how the voice of the See of Peter should sound. I’m afraid the current occupant of the Chair of Peter (and at least one of his encyclicals) would fall under many of the indictments of Pope Pius XI, given what I’ve read.

  5. Tom A. says:

    So which Pope am I suppose to assent to? Pius XI’s stern prohibition or Francis’ anything goes example? They both can’t be right.

  6. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “Heck, if there are enough retired Popes at once, perhaps We could get a time share somewhere!”

    And enjoy some Papal paintball? – or would that be Simply Not Done?

  7. kiwiinamerica says:

    Trial balloon.

    “Let’s trash Pius XI and see if anyone raises a ruckus”.

  8. Filipino Catholic says:

    @VSL “And enjoy some Papal paintball?” There is a joke in this country about St Peter himself being rather fond of cockfighting, using the rooster that announced his triple denial.

  9. Tony Phillips says:

    Nice to know Pius XI is back. To read the Mail it sounds like Pius X and Pius XII have been busy too: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3857502/The-disturbing-links-anti-Semitic-sect-S-M-orgy-sinister-bid-muzzle-press.html. If you can figure out the convoluted leaps of logic in this article, you’re a better man than I.
    Someone needs to send Mr Pendlebury a polite rejoinder. I emphasise ‘polite’. Going off on what I often refer to as a ‘spittle-flecked nutty’ accomplishes nothing. Mr P needs some kind fellowship and gentle enlightenment. I’d do it myself but frankly I’m too busy.

  10. scotus says:

    Pope Pius XII had this to say about the contents of Encyclicals: “Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me”;[3] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.” (Humani Generis)
    Which, presumably, means that Mortalium animos still applies?

  11. scotus says:

    Talking about Encyclicals and their authority, Leo XII said this in Providentissimus Deus:
    “For the Sacred Scripture is not like other books. Dictated by the Holy Ghost,..”
    But Pope Benedict XVI, in Verbum Domini (A Post-Synodal Exhortation) said:
    “The basic problem with fundamentalist interpretation is that, refusing to take into account the historical character of biblical revelation, it makes itself incapable of accepting the full truth of the incarnation itself. As regards relationships with God, fundamentalism seeks to escape any closeness of the divine and the human … for this reason, it tends to treat the biblical text as if it had been dictated word for word by the Spirit. “
    Perhaps the words ‘word for word’ explain the difference or maybe there is some other explanation?

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    scotus asks, “Perhaps the words ‘word for word’ explain the difference”? My guess is, they probably do, among other things: for example, St. Paul (1 Cor. 7) just might himself add to something dictated “not I but the Lord commandeth”, but I cannot see “For to the rest I speak, not the Lord”and all that follows, being dictated – which does not simply excerpt those verses from being part of “the Sacred Scripture” or make them just “like other books”.

  13. Grant M says:

    Being a dead Pope can be tough, as Pope Formosus discovered.

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