Friday, 24 July 2009

The Voice of... Pope Leo XII

On 5th May, 1824, Pope Leo XII issued his Encyclical Ubi Primum upon his election as Pope.

"8. Bishops who do not with due concern try to obey the precepts of residence or visitation will not avoid the fearful judgment of Our Savior the supreme shepherd by pleading that they fulfilled their duties through delegated ministers."

"9. For care of the flock has been entrusted to themselves not to their ministers; it was to themselves that the gifts of the Spirit were promised. Consequently the sheep listen more gladly to the voice of their own shepherd than to that of a representative. They seek salutary food with more confidence from the shepherd's hand than from his representative's, and rejoice more to obtain it. For His hand is as the hand of the Lord, whose person is reverenced in His bishops. All this is also amply borne out by experience, the world's instructor."
Ubi Primum, Nos. 8 & 9

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