Do you read the Encyclicals by the Popes?


As the title suggests.


I have tried but they have been hard reading in the sense of the vocabulary used.


This made me curious, so I went through and counted. I’ve read 37 so far, if motu proprios, apostolic constitutions, apostolic letters, apostolic exhortations, and bulls are included.

I am also currently reading Redemptoris Missio and have read part of Fides et Ratio, both by John Paul II.

May God bless everyone who reads this thread. Happy reading!


Yes, I have read almost all by the last 7 or 8 popes, including their apostolic letters and apostolic exhortations, etc.


I love reading anything written by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, so I have most certainly read his two encyclicals. I tried reading an encyclical by Pope John Paul II a while back, but had trouble forcing myself through it. Perhaps it is time to try them again though.


Some - not because they are formally Encyclicals, but insofar as they are relevant to whatever one is interested in at a given moment.

I’m interested in the content - not in the literary genre.

It would be a pity to read only the more weighty Papal utterances on a topic, as this would mean disregarding less weighty (but perhaps no less valuable) utterances on a doctrine, which might be more valuable as indications of how a doctrine functioned in practice, or of how it was intended by the Popes to be understood.

As an OP pointed out, they are not easy reading :slight_smile:


I forgot to add something saying over 15 encyclicals…


Well I agree some of them are considerably harder than others to read. But you can always start reading off with the easier ones.

‘Spe Salvi’ is considerably easier to read than ‘Humani Generis’


I don’t ever read them word by word. Sometimes I think I should rather than skim from top to bottom quickly. :o Perhaps I should read them slowly and contemplate and pray along the way.


Why don’t you have an option for more than 15?
Deacon Ed B


I’ve just started reading them. I think they should be available in every church. I also think that when one comes out, priests should, at the very least, tell everyone that it has come out and give a brief synopsis of it. I’m a cradle catholic and never knew what encyclicals were.


I agree, far too many people have no idea what an encyclical is, and it is an important source of information for Catholics. The language I agree is not easy in most encyclicals, but a few re-reads and a dictionary isn’t a problem.

Considering they are promulgated in many different languages. I have only read one of PBXVI’s encyclicals ‘Spe Salvi’ and that was rather easy and very interesting. However some others like ‘Humani Generis’ by PPXII took me a while to understand.


I have read somewhere between five and ten. I have read Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals and his apostolic exhortation. I have read the scriptural encyclicals by Pope Leo XIII, Pius XII and I think one by Benedict XV. I have also read a couple by Pope John Paul II.


I have read some, not all. What astounds me the most, is the ability that they have to say so much with so few words. Boy I wish I had that economy of speech. Pope John Paul II was the best for this.
Deacon Ed B


Cannot answer your poll b/c you did not have an option for MORE than 15.


I know! Now I can’t vote! :wink: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:


You should probably change the “less than 15” category to more than 10 or something to that effect.

i.e. What does the guy who’s read 20 or more answer?



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