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The Popes Must Be Militant |
Guardians of the Flock
In a conception completely different from that of the conciliar Popes, who say that the Pontiffs should act only through dialogue,
Pope Leo XII defined the mission of the Roman Pontiff as a militant guardian of the Catholic Church against the constant scheming of her enemies.
Here are his words in the Apostolic Letter Quo graviora of March 13, 1826.
Pope Leo XII
The more grave the catastrophes threatening the flock of Jesus Christ, Our God and Savior, the greater the solicitude that must be employed in preventing them by the Roman Pontiffs, to whom the power to teach and govern and the protection of this flock were entrusted in the person of St. Peter, prince of the Apostles.
For those who have been placed in the highest watch tower of the Church have the mission to discern from afar the snares that the enemies of the Christian name have prepared to exterminate the Church of Jesus Christ, a goal they will never achieve. The Sovereign Pontiffs have the mission to denounce them and expose their ruses to the faithful so that the latter can take care to avoid them and deny their authority.
(Quo graviora n. 1,
in Recueil des Allocutions Consistoriales, Encycliques et Autres
Lettres Apostoliques Citées dans l’Encyclique Quanta cura et le Syllabus,
Paris: Adrien le Clerc, 1865, p. 125)
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