Do You Read Papal Encyclicals?


I usually find I just can’t read the encyclicals. Either I feel like I don’t understand, or I drift off thinking about something else, or lose interest. It’s not that the subject matter is boring, just that they seem really long-winded and I feel like a lot of it is going over my head.

Do you manage to read most of the encyclicals?


I try sometimes but I agree it is difficult :o


Wow, 50%! Not bad!


My dear friend

I do occasionally. Where Peter is there is the church. We should read Peters writings if we want to know what the church teaches.

May God bless you always:thumbsup::slight_smile:


Are you sure its okay? The encyclicals are addressed to “the bishops”… is it an invasion of privacy to read things that aren’t addressed to you? (Excuse me if you’re actually a bishop, its hard to tell on here) :slight_smile:


They are not private. You can even view them at the Vatican website.

Here is another site which has Papal Encyclicals for the past 800 years.


I voted the first option, even though I haven’t read very many yet. I’ve only been Catholic two and a half years and have a lot of other things to read as well. I plan on reading as many as possible since so far, I’ve really enjoyed them.:slight_smile:


My dear friend Neil

No bishop here. Just a simple layman. I think the word encyclical means a letter meant to go around. Below is from the pocket catholic dictionary. If it’s available and you can get it you may read it too. If it’s private you’ll find it hard to get a copy.:slight_smile:

ENCYCLICAL. A papal document treating of matters related to the general welfare of the Church, sent by the Pope to the bishops. Used especially in modern times to express the mind of the Pope to the people. Although of themselves not infallible documents, encyclicals may (and generally do) contain pronouncements on faith and morals that are de facto infallible because they express the ordinary teaching of the Church. In any case, the faithful are to give the papal encyclicals their interior assent and external respect as statements of the Vicar of Christ. (Etym. Latin encyclicus; Greek enkyklios, circular, general.)
An encyclical epistle is like an encyclical letter but addressed to part of the Church, that is, to the bishops and faithful of a particular area. Its contents may be doctrinal, moral, or disciplinary matters of universal significance, but may also commemorate some historical event or treat of conditions in a certain country or locality.

May God who is Wondrous Love, envelope you with His being and keep you always:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#9 has the papal encyclicals. I have read quite a few but not nearly half of them. Considering you are covering nearly 2000 years of encyclicals it is going to take a while to read them all. I have read the three that Pope Benedict XVI wrote plus Providentissimus Deus, Spiritus Paracletus, Divino Afflante Spiritu. I have also read Vatican II documents Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, Gaudium et Spes as well as exhortations Laborem Excercens, Christefedelis Laicci. Most recently I have been following Fr. Mitch on the Threshold of Hope studying Pastores Dabo Vobis.


I think one that should really be on the list is Humanae Vitae by Paul VI. It contains such important teaching and it really caused a stir when it first came out.


I read that one! :smiley:


Re: Do You Read Papal Encyclicals?

Yea, I have no problem reading any of the papal encyclicals that the real Popes might publish.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit