A Proclamation


The twenty-fifth day of December.

In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;

the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;

the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;

the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;

the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;

in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;

the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;

the whole world being at peace,

in the sixth age of the world,

Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,

desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,

being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception,

was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Thank you for printing the Proclamtion of Jesus’ Birth. I just heard it at the beginning of Mass, but couldn’t hold it long enough to let each perspective sink in. A yearly favorite to ponder about today’s place throughout God’s history lessons and how He loves us. Thank you. Best of Christmas to you, your family and everyone.

  2. I too heard this at Mass last night, and being just a baby Catholic, I’m wondering where this comes from? Is it from the Missal?

  3. It is from the Roman Martyrology Jeff:


    The analysis I linked to above is a hoot, demonstrating just how “pc” some of our present pre-occupations tend to be. I prefer the traditional proclamation for just that reason. Jimmy Akin shows at the link below how the Traditional Proclamation was neutered and bowdlerized to suit the sentiments of politically correct moderns, lay and ecclesiasts:


  4. Venite Adoremus. Oh Nat, you have taken this old Granny back half a Century. Merry, Merry Christmas to you all and a Blessings-filled New Year 2012

  5. Question: If one believes the cosmos to be 13.7 billion years old, and the earth to be at least 4 billion, then how can one *not* “bowdlerize” the proclamation?

    Lex orandi, lex credendi.

    May I ask if every one of the posters, and the author of this piece, have come to the conclusion that the Church’s apostolic Faith is true, and all of modern science wrong?

  6. Religion and science Rick are different things. When the proclamation was written, and I believe it is derived from Eusebius and his Church history of the fourth century, he was using the best information available to him to assess the age of the Earth in reference to Christ. In reference to the time periods set forth in the Proclamation I prefer to use the original as it illustrates the great age of the proclamation and not something drafted the day before yesterday in a chancer, desperately trying to update it to keep pace with everchanging science. My bowdlerized comment was more aimed at the attempt to neuter the proclamation through feminist grammar.

  7. It appears you are saying that the Church got it wrong on the proclamation in all of Her important assertions, but right on the question of gender.

    If the Church got it wrong on all of Her important assertions, that is;

    1. The Church got it wrong on when God created the heavens *and the Earth* (same time, according to Genesis, the Fathers, and essentially every Catholic to have lived up until the time of Darwin)

    2. The Church got it wrong concerning the Flood

    3. The Church got it wrong concerning the date of the birth of Abraham

    4. The Church got it wrong concerning the date of the Exodus

    5. The Church got it wrong concerning the anointing of David

    6. The Church got it wrong concerning the weeks of the prophecy of Daniel

    7. The Church got it wrong concerning the dates of the 194th Olympiad

    8. The Church got it wrong concerning the date of the foundation of Rome

    9. The Church got it wrong concerning the dates of the reign of Caesar Augustus

    10. The Church got it wrong concerning the whole world being at peace

    11. The Church got it wrong concerning the sixth age of the world

    Is it really that difficult to see why billions upon billions of human beings would conclude that perhaps the Church got it wrong, also, conceding the rest?

    Lex orandi, lex credendi.

    Either there Church has it right, or modern science has it right.

    The testimonies are directly contradictory.

    So I ask again:

    Are you telling us the Church has it wrong on 1-11 above, or not?

  8. “It appears you are saying that the Church got it wrong on the proclamation in all of Her important assertions, but right on the question of gender.”

    No, and God alone knows how you could have gleaned that from my comment unless you are being deliberately obtuse for some axe grinding purpose, which I assume has to do with your support for geocentrism.


    As to your various queries, the Church has no charism giving it infallibility either to scientific or historical facts, and to contend otherwise is to make oneself a laughingstock and to attempt to make the Church a laughingstock.

    Saint Augustine said it well long ago in De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim:

    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

  9. Thank God for small mercies. At least, those who poison our youths’ minds with what to think, but do not show them how to think don’t believe the Universe is eternal as is God.

    It seems they believe the Universe created itself 13,600,000,000 years ago.

    How ingenious. Did they see the Universe’s birth certificate. Obama refuses to show his.

  10. Now here we have a remarkable insight.

    Don, rather than answering my questions, decides that I must be crazy for believing *yet another one of those pesky things the Church held from Scripture, as a unanimous consensus of the Fathers, and enforced*- right up until science came along and (falsely) claimed the contrary.

    Now it is very helpful that Don links to Dr. Tom “Blogger Tom” Bridgeman, so I suppose it is only fair that the response Blogger Tom was too cowardly to post on his website be made available to the fair-minded observer:


    The remarkable truth is that Don first posted a proclamation, which teaches things he insists cannot be true, and then denigrates the very modernists who have altered the proclamation, so as to bring it into line with what Don himself believes!

    Behold, the pathetic, the illogical, the intellectually pretzel-twisted neo-Catholic “apologetic” in action.

    I believe I shall make Don the subject of my first post of the New Year at:


  11. Rick, as I said, you simply make yourself out to be a laughingstock, and you wish to make the Church a laughingstock with you. You play into the hands of atheists and others who, as you do, attempt to confuse religion and science.

    Pope Leo XIII had your number in Providentissimus Deus:

    “There can never, indeed, be any real discrepancy between the theologian and the physicist, as long as each confines himself within his own lines, and both are careful, as St. Augustine warns us, “not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known.”(51) If dissension should arise between them, here is the rule also laid down by St. Augustine, for the theologian: “Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures; and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so.”(52) To understand how just is the rule here formulated we must remember, first, that the sacred writers, or to speak more accurately, the Holy Ghost “Who spoke by them, did not intend to teach men these things (that is to say, the essential nature of the things of the visible universe), things in no way profitable unto salvation.”(53) Hence they did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature, but rather described and dealt with things in more or less figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time, and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even by the most eminent men of science. Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers-as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us – `went by what sensibly appeared,”(54) or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

    19. The unshrinking defence of the Holy Scripture, however, does not require that we should equally uphold all the opinions which each of the Fathers or the more recent interpreters have put forth in explaining it; for it may be that, in commenting on passages where physical matters occur, they have sometimes expressed the ideas of their own times, and thus made statements which in these days have been abandoned as incorrect. Hence, in their interpretations, we must carefully note what they lay down as belonging to faith, or as intimately connected with faith-what they are unanimous in. For “in those things which do not come under the obligation of faith, the Saints were at liberty to hold divergent opinions, just as we ourselves are,”(55) according to the saying of St. Thomas. And in another place he says most admirably: “When philosophers are agreed upon a point, and it is not contrary to our faith, it is safer, in my opinion, neither to lay down such a point as a dogma of faith, even though it is perhaps so presented by the philosophers, nor to reject it as against faith, lest we thus give to the wise of this world an occasion of despising our faith.”(56)”


    Since we have better things to do at TAC than to argue with geocentrists, you are banned from this site.

  12. The Proclamation is what someone eloquent wrote for the Birth of Jesus on December 25. There is literary beauty in it.
    I wish I had put quotes around the word history. In and of itself, it is an expression of the events told in Old Testament which led to the first Christmas, and then the New Testament. I appreciate a sense of the spans between events and Abraham, Moses, and David; just simply having a sense of the majesty and mystery of the roots of Catholicism. Why change it? Let a different one be written (hopefully from the awe in the original).
    I think a proclamation of scientific discovery markers through time would be interesting, too. A proclamation written today could be replaced next year or so, but not rewritten or edited. Each would stand in and of itself for what it is.

  13. Donald, it is time for this Cradle Catholic Granny to go on her knees. We Catholics Walk by Faith and not by Sight. Time for the daily Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3.00 O’Clock Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament

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