Friday, 26 June 2009

The Voice of... Pope Clement XIII

On 17th September, 1759, Pope Clement XIII issued his Encyclical Cum Primum on the discipline of and against worldliness among the Clergy.

"It is true that from the very beginning of the Church right up to our own times, there was nothing more plainly or more attentively legislated either by the decrees of the councils or by the constitutions of the popes who preceded Us. Nothing seemed to be stressed more frequently or more eagerly by the holy fathers and the pastors of the churches than that the ministers of the church, both clergy and monks, abstain from the desire for temporal wealth and that they should remove themselves from worldly concerns. Not only spiritual censures but also very serious temporal punishments were decreed for those who presumed to infringe or violate the canonical rules in this matter. Having carefully considered everything, We think that there is nothing left for Us to do, Venerable Brothers, other than to exhort you to cling to the intention of Our predecessors and the spirit of the church in all things. We exhort you to be zealous in obtaining the observance due these holy laws by all churchmen-both those subject to your ordinary jurisdiction as well as those subject to your delegated jurisdiction-according to the example of the sacred canons and the decrees of the Holy See and the synodical statutes of each diocese."
Cum Primum, No. 3

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