Some interesting thoughts on Our Holy Father and St. Pius X

The following, originally posted by ‘Latinitas’ on, and subsequently on some British blogs does, I think, make interesting reading. Time of course will tell.

As a strong traditionalist, I have been somewhat concerned about what Francis has done in his pontificate (washing women’s feet at Holy Thursday). However, today I received consolation from the Holy Spirit and have come to draw an interesting comparison between our Holy Father, Pope Francis and Pope St. Pius X (r. 1903-1914). I know the media has been cheered by the election of Francis but I feel that that will not last for long. Here is my comparison:

Francis PP.: “I want a church by the poor and for the poor”
S. Pius PP. X: “I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor”

Francis PP.: Cut down on papal ceremonial, including use of iron cross and wore white cassock and others.
S. Pius PP. X: Cut down on papal ceremonial, including use of gilded wooden cross rather than solid gold cross and other things.

Francis PP.: Washed women’s feet on Holy Thursday, horrifying some
S. Pius PP. X: Gave communion to four year old boy, horrifying some

Francis PP.: Expected to reform curia and liturgy, and church law
S. Pius PP. X: Reformed liturgy (Tra le sollecitudini), Curia (abolished Inquistion) and codified Canon Law.

Francis PP.: Comes from unexpected background, Argentina
S. Pius PP. X: Comes from unexpected background, poor

Francis PP.: Strong defender of Catholic moral teachings.
S. Pius PP. X: Strong defender of Catholic moral teachings.

Francis PP.: Known as compassionate and very kind.
S. Pius PP. X: Known as compassionate and very kind.

Francis PP.: Papacy followed an erudite scholar (Benedict XVI)
S. Pius PP. X: Papacy followed an erudite scholar (Leo XIII)

See Wikipedia for more

Let me make it clear. I do not believe Francis is an exact replica of Pius X. But I do believe that the similarities are hard to ignore. And since S. Pius X is praised much by traditionalists, I do believe that traditionalists can rest assured that Francis might actually prove to be a very beloved pope to them.

Ora pro me, ora pro papa


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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16 Responses to Some interesting thoughts on Our Holy Father and St. Pius X

  1. toad says:

    “I know the media has been cheered by the election of Francis but I feel that that will not last for long. “ says Latinitas (Toad thinks he had a bout of that when he was little.)

    That’s right, it won’t.
    The media was “cheered” by the election of Francis, simply because he is a new face, a novelty.
    In a while, he’ll be an old face and of correspondingly lesser interest.
    Then he’ll retire, and the dogs will bark and the caravan will move on.

    (Toad increasingly likes his open contempt for vulgar “bling.”)


  2. clementaustin says:

    Chris Mathews won’t be happy until Roland Williams is elected.


  3. Dear Gertrude

    Let us pray fervently and intensely that it may be so. The Church so needs it to be so and Traditionalist that I am I so want it to be so that it hurts.

    As they say, from your mouth to God’s ears, Gertrude

    God bless and keep us, all

    (Toad is right – less (vulgar) bling will not hurt…so let’s have less useless bling and more real religion)


  4. Gertrude says:

    John Rathowen: Amen – and may it be so.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    St Pius PP. X: “I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor”
    Those words resonate with me, in a counterintuitive way, recalling Maugham’s book (published the year after St Pius died) at chapter 113:

    “Philip had heard that the poor helped one another, but woman after woman complained to him that she could not get anyone in to clean up and see to the children’s dinner without paying for the service, and she could not afford to pay. By listening to the women as they talked and by chance remarks from which he could deduce much that was left unsaid, Philip learned how little there was in common between the poor and the classes above them. They did not envy their betters, for the life was too different, and they had an ideal of ease which made the existence of the middle-classes seem formal and stiff; moreover, they had a certain contempt for them because they were soft and did not work with their hands. The proud merely wished to be left alone, but the majority looked upon the well-to-do as people to be exploited; they knew what to say in order to get such advantages as the charitable put at their disposal, and they accepted benefits as a right which came to them from the folly of their superiors and their own astuteness. They bore the curate with contemptuous indifference, but the district visitor [i.e. social worker] excited their bitter hatred. She came in and opened your windows without so much as a by your leave or with your leave, ‘and me with my bronchitis, enough to give me my death of cold’; she poked her nose into corners, and if she didn’t say the place was dirty you saw what she thought right enough, ‘an’ it’s all very well for them as ‘as servants, but I’d like to see what she’d make of ‘er room if she ‘ad four children, and ‘ad to do the cookin’, and mend their clothes, and wash them.’

    This is not to criticize the two popes referred to above, but to question what it is we can do for the poor, what we should do for the poor. Wasn’t it your IDS who recently said he could live on £53 per week? Not saying he was right or wrong. But as, I think, Maugham intuited, helping the poor is not an easy thing to do.


  6. toad says:

    “Wasn’t it your IDS who recently said he could live on £53 per week? Not saying he was right or wrong.” Then Toad will say. He was wrong.

    Poverty is relative, of course. I had a close friend who became a very successful writer, and who had started life in a Leeds slum.
    It was not until later on in life, that he realized he’d earlier been poor, he told me.
    He had thought everyone lived like that.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad, the testimony of your friend does more to support my point than yours. Maugham again:

    “It seemed to Philip that the people who spent their time in helping the poorer classes erred because they sought to remedy things which would harass them if themselves had to endure them without thinking that they did not in the least disturb those who were used to them. The poor did not want large airy rooms; they suffered from cold, for their food was not nourishing and their circulation bad; space gave them a feeling of chilliness, and they wanted to burn as little coal as need be; there was no hardship for several to sleep in one room, they preferred it; they were never alone for a moment, from the time they were born to the time they died, and loneliness oppressed them; they enjoyed the promiscuity in which they dwelt, and the constant noise of their surroundings pressed upon their ears unnoticed. They did not feel the need of taking a bath constantly, and Philip often heard them speak with indignation of the necessity to do so with which they were faced on entering the hospital: it was both an affront and a discomfort. They wanted chiefly to be left alone; then if the man was in regular work life went easily and was not without its pleasures: there was plenty of time for gossip, after the day’s work a glass of beer was very good to drink, the streets were a constant source of entertainment…

    …which reminds me of the Boston University link by Golden (about Kreeft) yesterday. Isaac Rich, the first major benefactor of Boston University, was an fishmonger whose father died when he was nineteen. George Pepperdine, who established Pepperdine University, another Christian liberal arts college, in California, started his automotive parts supply business with a $5 investment. Fordham University in NYC was a Jesuit institution. Never mind that these institutions are known to their sophomores as BU, PU and FU. Poverty is a state of mind, as their founders well knew, and as your friend from Leeds once told you.


  8. toad says:

    In no way did I suggest it didn’t, JH.
    In fact, I often agree with you.

    Well, occasionally. Well, once in a little while.

    Though Isaac Rich’s father might have been a millionaire fishmonger, for all I know.
    And, if so, he just might have been the one who fist said, “I been rich and I been poor. Rich is better.”


  9. Old Shep says:

    “Poverty is a state of mind”, eh?
    What an appalling, cruel statement.

    You might try telling that to the starving who, if they have the strength, will quickly disabuse you of that notion.


  10. As another traditionalist, one who lives in a German archdiocese (Cologne) and close to a parish where Mass is celebrated in the extraordinary form, I can only say that I fervently hope Gertrude is right. However, as an American progressive Democrat who once had high hopes for what President Obama would achieve, I am at this point, sadly, somewhat reluctant to think that Pope Francis might do and be everything that we traditionalists would like.


  11. toad says:

    Poverty is a state of mind, sometimes, Old Shep.
    That is mental poverty. Even people as magnificent as Donald Trump might be victims of it. But who knows? Do they? Undoubtedly not.

    Physical poverty is an different animal.
    But, even then, if you don’t know anyone else who is less poor than you, you might not recognise your own condition as poverty.
    Poverty, like everything, is relative.
    And Old Shep is quite correct to point out that very often it is relatively and positively fatal.


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    Shep, poverty is a state of mind. Yes, it may be other things too; but like the dude [not Toad, the other dude] says: Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

    In other words, before you condemn me for “appalling, cruel” statements, read the Bible.


  13. Old Shep says:

    Well Mr Henry, I DO condemn your statement. I am certain that all your life you have “taken thought for the morrow”in one way or the other, from eating sensibly to having insurance for this and that . If you have not, there are plenty who will savage you for that, especially those of the Protestant ethic, as can be seen now in an increasingly barbaric UK. The US is lost in brutality already.

    I utterly reject your comment for its total disconnection from reality. I again challenge you to tell the next unfortunate in mind or body that you see to “take no thought for your body”. After you visit Casualty, get back to us. When I hear of your injuries, I will say to you “take no thought for your body”….and you will rise up in righteous but futile anger.

    There are other comments in the contradictory Bible to refute this mindboggling statement.

    As for Donald Trump, he certainly takes no thought for the body when you see his nauseating hair. And wasn’t it his revolting wife who said “Only little people pay taxes”? That’s why there’s less available for the poor in mind or body, as well as your attitude.

    Mr H and Mr T, after reading both of your amazing comments, it seems that Marx was wrong when he said that “religion was the heart of a heartless world”. Not in your case it seems.


  14. toad says:

    “As for Donald Trump, he certainly takes no thought for the body when you see his nauseating hair. And wasn’t it his revolting wife who said “Only little people pay taxes”?”
    No, Old Shep, it was the revolting wife/widow of revolting, dead, hotel magnate/mogul Harry Helmsley – name of Leona – who said that.
    The Donald himself has had several revolting wives. Some of which were actually his own.

    And the reports JH and I are receiving from our Vatican spy Paulo, the Pope Emeritus’s ex-butler – about your own hair – are not encouraging.
    To the poodle parlour with you, Shep! ¡Ahora mismo!

    And be very careful what you say to JH. He’s an expert on irony, as is only to be expected from a Canadian lawyer.

    Toad doesn’t remember Groucho ever saying that “…religion in a heartless world,” stuff..
    Harpo, maybe. Chico, no.
    Thinks it might well be true, though.


  15. Gilberto Antônio Silva says:

    There’s a huge difference between “I want a church by the poor and for the poor” and “I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor”.


  16. kathleen says:

    @ Gilberto

    You are absolutely right! Thank you for your comment that has brought this old forgotten CP&S post to our attention once again.

    Gertrude said at the time, referring to possible similarities between the two above-mentioned popes, “time will tell”. It has indeed….

    There is no longer any doubt whatsoever that there exists a vast chasm of totally opposing characteristics between the holy, staunchly faithful St Pius X (who abhorred the errors of Modernism) and Marxist, environmentalist Pope Francis!


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