Then, I will start what I hope to carry through the whole Year of Priests, that is, drilling into some texts which might bring the priest into focus.
This time, we will hear Bl. Pius IX (+1878) speak, in his encyclical Amantissimi Redemptoris of 1858, about who the priest is, what Holy Mass is, what the cura animarum is all about especially in light of the obligation priests have to say Mass for their people on feast and Holy Days of Obligation.
In canon law today, Holy Church still requires pastors, that is those who hold the office of pastor, or parish priest, to say Holy Mass for the intention of the people under his care, his subjects, on Sundays and Holy Days. This is the “pro populo” Mass. If the priest can’t say that Mass himself, he must see to it that it is celebrated for that intention.
In times past Holy Church has relaxed the discipline of of the faithful to hear Holy Mass in Holy Days, reducing obligations. However, human nature being what it is, that led to a certain laxity on the part of priests and people alike. That was bad for their souls. That eroded the care of souls entrusted to priests.
Therefore, Pope Pius changed the law about these obligations a bit. The instrument of that change in law was his encyclical Amantissimi Redemptoris of 1858.
Along the way, the Blessed Pope also gives us some fine liturgical theology and a reflection on the priesthood in regard to the splendor of Holy Mass and its fruits.
I read the text of the encyclical in English, indicating some things to listen for, and then ramble for a while when the reading is finished…. as is my wont.
UPDATE: In my original recording I misread Pius and had him quoting Benedict XVI instead of Benedict XIV. opps. I corrected the error.
085 09-05-03 Gregory the Great on the Good Shepherd
084 09-04-30 St. Pius V and Quo primum
083 09-04-19 St. Augustine on the challenge of remaining faithful
082 09-03-19 St. Joseph: a hymn dissected & sermon of Bernardine of Siena
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