Today we are going to hear St. Pope Pius X’s encyclical letter of 1905 on Catechetics, On Teaching Christian Doctrine, Acerbo nimis. This could have been offered to us today.
As you listen, tune your ear for how Pius talks about the wretched state of souls of both the simple and the cultured and the grave spiritual danger they in. Their danger comes from ignorance of religion. The woes of society stem principally from ignorance of religion. Therefore religious instruction is important not only for the church bur all of society.
Listen to how he described the special role of catechists. Fancy and erudite sermons are one thing, but the simple consistent explanation of faith and morals is even more fundamental. Catechetics are like food for children, whereas refined sermons are like food for adults: you have to have the one before the other. Pius places a great deal of importance on the preparation of the priest for teaching and preaching.
Given the fact that today we are in far sorrier shape than things were in the pontificate of Pius X, the saintly Pope’s admonishments and solutions provide great wisdom as we look to our present duties and the care of souls.
I’ll give you some historical context so you can get into the swing of things.