A. King Darius appointed three princes over his whole kingdom, to oversee the governors. Daniel was one of these three.
Daniel 6: 1-2
1 It seemed good to Darius, and he appointed over the kingdom a hundred and twenty governors to be over his whole kingdom.
2 And three princes over them, of whom Daniel was one: that the governors might give an account to them, and the king might have no trouble.
B. Daniel excelled over all the princes, and King Darius chose therefore to set Daniel over the whole kingdom.
Daniel 6: 3-4
3 And Daniel excelled all the princes, and governors: because a greater spirit of God was in him.
4 And the king thought to set him over all the kingdom: ……
C. All the other governors and princes in the Kingdom tried to find something about Daniel, that they could accuse of him to the King. However, they could not find anything wrong with Daniel, because he was faultless and above suspicion. (It is inferred in the Scriptural text that Daniel was not trusted by the Babylonians because he was a Jew, and his real allegiance did not lie with Babylon. The thought (and rightly so) that Daniel could not perform his duties without bias, since he put his God above everything else in his life.)
So, they therefor sought to use Daniel’s devout practice of his religion as a means to remove him from his position.
Daniel 6: 4-5
4… whereupon the princes, and the governors sought to find occasion against Daniel with regard to the king: and they could find no cause, nor suspicion, because he was faithful, and no fault, nor suspicion was found in him.
5 Then these men said: We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, unless perhaps concerning the law of his God.
D. The governors and princes were very crafty in their scheming. They devised a law that was designed to remove Daniel from his position, by focusing on Daniel’s devout worship of his God. They deceived the king as to their motives for suggesting a law that appeared to flatter the king, but was a law that was meant to target Daniel.
Daniel 6: 6-7,9
6 Then the princes, and the governors craftily suggested to the king, and spoke thus unto him: King Darius, live for ever:
7 All the princes of the kingdom, the magistrates, and governors, the senators, and judges have consulted together, that an imperial decree, and an edict be published: That whosoever shall ask any petition of any god, or man, for thirty days, but of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
9 So king Darius set forth the decree, and established it.
E. Daniel knew about the law that was passed that forbid praying, but he chose to open his window and pray in open sight. He had the habit of praying daily. His enemies were spying on him, and watching Daniel very closely, just waiting for him to break the new law. When he did break the law, they immediately reported it to the king.
Daniel 6: 10-12
10 Now when Daniel knew this, that is to say, that the law was made, he went into his house: and opening the windows in his upper chamber towards Jerusalem, he knelt down three times a day, and adored, and gave thanks before his God, as he had been accustomed to do before.
11 Wherefore those men carefully watching him, found Daniel praying and making supplication to his God.
12 And they came and spoke to the king concerning the edict…..
F. The King didn’t want to have Daniel thrown to the lions for breaking the new law, but the king could not change the law. Thus, Daniel was thrown to the lions. Daniel spent the night in the lion’s den, but he was untouched. He came back out of the lions den alive and well.
Daniel 6: 16, 22
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of the lions. And the king said to Daniel: Thy God, whom thou always servest, he will deliver thee.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut up the mouths of the lions, and they have not hurt me:
G. When Daniel came out of the lion’s den alive, King Darius ordered that the men who had just accused Daniel should be thrown into the lion’s den. Thus, there was a complete reversal that occurred.. Daniel was in the lion’s den, but he came out, and his enemies went into the lion’s den.
Daniel 6: 24
24 And by the king’s commandment, those men were brought that had accused Daniel: and they were cast into the lions’ den….
***CHURCH HISTORY (NEW TESTAMENT)***
A. Pope Leo XIII died on July 20th, 1903 AD, triggering a conclave to elect the next pope. The favorite to win the election (commonly thought by the majority of historians) was Cardinal Secretary of State Mariano Rampolla, however, there were two others that were viable candidates for election as well… those being Cardinal Girolamo Maria Gotti and Cardinal Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (Soon to be Pope Pius X).
Thus, there were three that were effectively set above the rest, by the support they received in the conclave of 1903 AD.
B. The conclave of 1903 AD was famous, for what occurred during the voting process. Initially, Cardinal Rampolla was receiving the majority of the votes. (In order to win a papal election, 2/3rds majority vote was needed. This rule was established by Pope Gregory XV in 1621 AD).
Just as it looked like Cardinal Rampolla would receive the required votes to win, something unexpected occurred. The Cardinal bishop of Krakow, Cardinal Kosielsko, presented a veto on behalf of the Austrian Emperor (this veto was an old vestige of the Holy Roman Empire… and was considered an artifact of a by-gone age… however, the veto power, called jus exclusivae, was technically still a privilege of the Austrian Emperor.)
The veto by the Austrian Emperor had the effect of turning the direction of the conclave. After the 7th ballot of voting, the conclave elected Cardinal Sarto with a 2/3rds majority vote. Cardinal Rampollo protested the veto. After his election, Cardinal Sarto took the name of Pope Pius X.
(***NOTE*** At this point, some background narrative is necessary. There are various theories as to why the Austrian Emperor used his veto privilege against Cardinal Rampolla. One theory suggests that Cardinal Rampolla favored France over Austria, thus provoking the Emperor to stop his election. Another theory states that the Emperor was presented with evidence that Cardinal Rampolla was a Freemason, and Grand Master of the Ordo Templi Orientis. There is much speculation and argument, even to this day concerning the reason for the veto. However, it is very interesting to note that the Ordo Templi Orientis claims Cardinal Rampolla as one of their members. Here is a link from the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) from the USA district. If you scroll down halfway down the page, Cardinal Rampolla’s name can be found. Or, simply search for the word “Rampolla”.
SUMMARY – Pope St. Pius X was chosen, and placed over the entire kingdom. (but, he had enemies in very high places who resented his new position).
C. Pope St. Pius X was born into a very poor family. He was very simple minded, and his strength was an old fashioned and strong grasp of the traditional Catholic Faith. He didn’t get involved with any of the new ideas that were swirling around the Catholic intellectual classes since the early 1800’s onward. He kept a love for the poor his whole life, choosing the company of simple people over the company of sophisticated nobility. Further, he was incredibly honest. His siblings remained poor, even though their brother was the pope and could have easily enriched them.
He had a love of children, and was a strong advocate of daily Holy Communion. In short, he was a man without spot or fault… and his enemies had nothing of which to accuse him.
But.. Pope St. Pius X made enemies because of his unbending and relentless crusade against “Modernism”. (We will explain Modernism below). As part of his crusade, he condemned a French movement called “The Sillon”. In short, the Sillon was an organization that was teaching heresy, and was intimately connected with the Catholic hierarchy in France. The Catholic bishops in France claimed that the Sillon was really a lay organization, and that it’s teachings did not reflect on the Bishops who were involved.. not because of the teachings, but because of the social work that Sillon was engaged in.
Pope St. Pius X condemned the group, stating that the Bishop’s liberal ideology was manifest in their involvement of the Sillon. In short, it was not possible for the French bishops to separate the heretical beliefs of the Sillon from their active participation in the Sillon.
SUMMARY – Pope St. Pius X was honest, simple and overall faultless. Pope St. Pius X criticized the modernist movement of “the Sillon” and stated that the French clergy could not separate the groups beliefs from their personal involvement.
D. Pope St. Pius X launched a crusade to eliminate Modernism from the Catholic Church. In short, Modernism is loosely defined as the belief that Truth is not objective, but instead, is changeable. Pope St. Pius X called Modernism “the synthesis of all heresies” because it embraced all heresies… in that it denied any objective Truth. Thus, modernists were amorphous by nature, and as a group, did not have common beliefs. Modernism had been slowly and stealthily growing among Catholic clergy in various quarters of the Church. It was strongly influenced by the growing secular nature of the world, and the diminishing political power of the Catholic Church. (remember, the popes at this time are still without any land… due to the Spoliation of the Papal States in 1870 AD).
Many inside the Vatican did not adhere intentionally to Modernism (it is caught in much of the same way that the flu is contracted. Modernism isn’t necessarily something that is intentionally adopted, but instead, is something that was “in the air”. Vigilance was needed to guard against it, and it was much easier not to resist.)
He recognized that there were those who intentionally and purposefully accepted modernism… and also, that the others were too weak to resist. Consequently, Pope St. Pius X was known to have made the following statement to express how he felt alone in the fight against Modernism.
“De gentibus non est vir mecum” Among all men that surround me there is no one with me.
In his valiant attempt to combat Modernism in the Church, Pope St. Pius X took various measures. In 1907, he wrote a decree called “Lamentabili Sane Exitu” in which he officially identified and condemned 65 Modernist errors. Later he wrote an encyclical called “Pascendi dominici gregis” which further identified and condemned Modernism. Here is a quote from that encyclical.
“But since the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) employ a very clever artifice, namely, to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement into one whole, scattered and disjointed one from another, so as to appear to be in doubt and uncertainty, while they are in reality firm and steadfast, it will be of advantage, Venerable Brethren, to bring their teachings together here into one group, and to point out the connection between them…”
Finally, in 1910 AD, Pope St. Pius X instituted an oath that all clergy were required to take. This was his an oath against Modernism, and was a “top down” oath that effectively made it illegal to profess any modernist beliefs (at least, in public). The effect was to drive Modernists underground, and out from the open forum.
SUMMARY – Pope St. Pius X identified Modernists as being very crafty and duplicitous, not stating their true intentions, but instead accomplishing their goals through deceit. Therefore, Pope St. Pius X devised a law (an oath) that would force them to make a public renouncement of Modernism.. as a way to target them, and trap them.
E. Most of those who tended towards Modernist beliefs recanted. After all, most were just trying to find the path of least resistance, and did not want to sacrifice their careers for any ideology. However, there were some (especially in the French clergy) who were cemented in their Modernism, and refused to ‘go underground’. The kept on professing modernist beliefs in public.
Pope St. Pius X, along with the oath against modernism, also accepted the formation an organization called the “Sodalitium Pianum”. This group was formed by Monsignor Umberto Benigni, and it was a type of secret police force that would search out suspected modernists, then keep a close eye on them. If they noticed any infractions of the “modernist oath” this group would report back to St. Pope Pius X.
SUMMARY – The proud modernists, who were not ashamed of their beliefs, chose to still openly profess modernism. A secret organization was formed to spy on them, and report back to the pope with any infractions of the oath.
F. Thus, by the efforts of St. Pope Pius X and the “Sodalitium Pianum”, Modernists were driven deep underground. They would remain underground during the entire pontificate of Pope St. Pius X… because if they emerged into the open with their beliefs, they would be excommunicated. However, their time underground did not cause the movement to perish. It remained untouched, patiently waiting the time until they could re-emerge.
SUMMARY – The overall effect Pope St. Pius X’s crusade was to drive the Modernists underground. However, the movement did not perish, but simply waited until they would be able to emerge back into the open again.
G. After the death of Pope St. Pius X, a new pope was elected, whose name was Pope Benedict XV. Pope Benedict XV was the protege and personal assistant to Cardinal Rampolla. Upon the election of Pope Benedict XV, he reversed many of the measures and appointments of St. Pope Pius X. Most notably, perhaps, he stopped the crusade against the Modernists. He abolished the “Sodalitium Pianum”, and took all the pressure off the Modernists. They were free to emerge from the underground and were free to openly discuss and spread their ideas once again.
Although there is no evidence to support this theory, one has to wonder if the orthodox Catholic clergy felt the need to hide their staunch orthodoxy… thus themselves having to go underground.
SUMMMARY – Upon the election of Pope Benedict XV (the former protege of Cardinal Rampolla) the crusade against the Modernists was called off, and they were free to emerge from the underground.