Louie Verrecchio has written about the Oath Against Modernism and opines on why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, during the papacy of Pope Paul VI, suppressed it. Certainly, this deals with our identity, and specifically Catholic identity. My cup of tea.
Verrecchio offers three possibilities for the reasoning behind the suppression.
One cannot know for certain, but even so, there seem to be only a handful of possible answers; none of which reflect very well on the Holy Father’s legacy.
One possible explanation is that he personally came to believe that certain portions of the Oath (the same to which he himself swore) were incompatible with his vision for the Church going forward.
Another possible reason is that he naively believed that the threat of modernism had sufficiently passed.
Perhaps the Holy Father simply buckled under the immense pressure being brought to bear by the “enemies of the Cross of Christ” who undoubtedly surrounded him; i.e., at the end of the day, maybe he wilted to the modernists out of fear and weakness.
Then again, maybe it was a combination of all of these possibilities led Pope Paul VI to suppress the Oath. Whatever the case may be, nothing good came of it. Absolutely nothing.
I don’t believe it is possible to predict what would have happened had it not been suppressed, and so it is impossible to prove or disprove that “nothing good” came of the suppression.
Father Z says that he would be okay with it if it were reinstated. Certainly, I would have no problem with signing the oath, but then, I wouldn’t have to. It is for those in authority and in teaching capacity in the Church, not for the rest of us. Having said that, though I have no idea why Pope Paul VI suppressed it, it seems to me that obedience that is offered as a free gift of the heart is of far greater value to the Church than obedience that is blindly pledged.
What many do not see, I suppose, is that Pope Paul VI cut both to the left and to the right. If you are of the right, you see only his cut to the right, and if you are of the left, you see only his cut to the left. So it shall always be with our popes, as those who put political loyalty ahead of the Faith will mutter against any pope who does not bow to their views. In the end, the oath is in our hearts, for no piece of paper will withstand the tests we must endure as Catholics.