Friday, 21 August 2009

The Voice of... Blessed Pius IX (Part II)

On 25th March, 1852, Blessed Pius IX issued the first of his Encyclicals of that year on the subject of the discipline of the Clergy, entitled Nemo Certe Ignorat, which was addressed to the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland.

"6. Now, however, as you know, nothing instructs others more in piety and the service of God than the lives and example of those who have dedicated themselves to the divine ministry. Therefore labor so that all who are called to the vineyard of the Lord, mindful of their proper vocation and office, abstain entirely from things forbidden to clerics and from things that are not proper for them. Then they may be an example for the faithful in word, in their dealings with others, in love, in faith, and in chastity. They must wear a clerical habit appropriate to their order and dignity, and they must perform their ministry piously and reverently. Further they must administer to the faithful, with fitting piety and reverence, the holy sacrament of the Eucharist. With it all true justice begins; or if already begun, is increased; or if already lost, is recovered. They should be devoted to prayer and study, especially sacred studies, and under your guidance let them zealously serve the salvation of souls. Each one of you knows very well how eager the Church is, especially in these hard times, to have suitable servants, who come only from well-trained clerics. Therefore devote all your care, thoughts, and diligent study to this, that the young clergy, even from their earliest years, are trained in all piety, virtue, and ecclesiastical spirit, and that they are carefully taught literature and the more serious disciplines, especially the sacred ones, free entirely from every danger of profane innovations and error. Then resplendent with the raiment of all the virtues and armed with salutary and solid doctrine, they may in time be able to teach the Christian people by word and example and to refute those who contradict them.

Nemo Certe Ignorat, No. 6

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