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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encyclicalese translated, September 19, 2009
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This review is from: John Paul 2: The Encyclicals in Everyday Language, Definitive Edition of All Fourteen Encyclicals (Paperback)
John Paul II stood across the last quarter of the twentieth century like a Collosus. His intellect was formed in modern and scholastic philosophy. The larger corpus of his thought and output consisted of many speeches, sermons, letters, interviews, etc. In the top tier of his output stand his encyclicals. In Roman Catholic tradition, encyclicals are letters from the Bishop of Rome to other bishops, to the church and to the world. Encyclicals contain teachings accepted as true and are given great deference among Catholics.

Unfortuantely, much of the wisdom contained in encyclicals comes wrapped in centuries' old manners of communication, much of which are foreign to today's ear.

Father Joseph Donders has provided a service to Catholics and others by rendering all of John Paul II's encyclicals into language more accessible to modern readers who are not professional theolgians. Donders points out, appropriately, that the first source always are the original encyclicals; Donders recommends having the original encyclical alongside his "translation." To enhance using this book as a refernce, Donders prepared a short Epilogue which traces some of the threads that run through the encyclicals. This makes it possible to trace the development of certain of John Paul's thought over time. This is aided also by an index of main terms and themes found in the encyclicals.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 26, 2015 7:49:42 AM PDT
"Encyclicals contain teachings accepted as true and are given great deference among Catholics."

From the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907-1914): "As for the binding force of these documents it is generally admitted that the mere fact that the pope should have given to any of his utterances the form of an encyclical does not necessarily constitute it an ex-cathedra pronouncement and invest it with infallible authority. The degree in which the infallible magisterium of the Holy See is committed must be judged from the circumstances, and from the language used in the particular case."
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Location: St. Paul, MN USA

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