A kind friend has sent me an interesting text: the oath fidelitatis that (?) newly consecrated or translated bishops have to swear in the Latin Church (how about the sui iuris Oriental Churches?).
My first impetuous reaction was to feel that no man with any sense of his dignity would sign such a grovelling formula (vide praesertim verba atque consilia prope finem) . Then I recollected that, over the last thirty years, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bishops may have signed this piece of paper with no intention (exempli gratia) of doing anything to implement Canon 249 (seminarians being taught to be fluent in Latin). Or of doing anything to repress liturgical abuses. So I expect this 'oath' is just an empty formality that one performs and then has a good laugh about. As when we Anglican clergy used to swear an oath to use only the Book of Common Prayer. Ha Ha Ha. Indeed. Ha Ha Ha.
I would be interested, nevertheless, to know the history of this formula, and to what extent its wording is recent. Quite a bit of it seems to me to be redolent of the catch-phrases of Vatican II.