Satis cognitum is an encyclical of Pope Leo XIII dated 29 June 1896 on the unity of the Church, and some heresies of his time.

Satis cognitum
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII
Coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII
Signature date 29 June 1896
SubjectOn the Unity of the Church
Number59 of 85 of the pontificate
← Insignes
Fidentem piumque animum →

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"The pontificate of Leo marked a change in how popes exercised their teaching authority. With Leo, the popes begin to offer theological treatments on important topics.[1] It also saw a beginning the Church's participation in ecumenism.[2]

The encyclical is an invitation to those who are without the Church to return to it.[3] It is an affirmation of the Church's unity, and the role of the Magisterium in preserving that unity,[4] through the threefold responsibilities of sanctifying, governing and teaching.[5]

The document contains an extensive articulation of and apologia for Catholic ecclesiology as it relates to the Church's unity, one of the four marks of the Church according to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, which professes belief in "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." The purpose was to indicate Leo's desire for unity and his interest in Catholic Ecumenism.[2]

In the second half of the text, Pope Leo strongly defends the primacy of the Roman Pontiff as taught at the First Vatican Council as a corollary of the Church's unity, but notes

...He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also "chose, twelve, whom He called apostles" (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church.[6]

The encyclical concludes with an appeal to non-Catholic Christians and others for reunion with the Catholic Church.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Gaillardetz, Richard R. (2012). When the Magisterium Intervenes: The Magisterium and Theologians in Today's Church. Liturgical Press. p. xi. ISBN 9780814680551.
  2. ^ a b Oliver, James M. (1999). Ecumenical Associations: Their Canonical Status with Particular Reference to the United States of America. Gregorian Biblical Book Shop. p. 27. ISBN 9788876528378.
  3. ^ "The Encyclical "Satis Cognitum" on the Unity of the Church". The Sacred Heart Review. Vol. 16, no. 8. 22 August 1896.
  4. ^ Sakowski, Derek (2014). The ecclesiological Reality of Reception: Considered as a solution to the debate over the ontological priority of the universal church. Gregorian Biblical Book Shop. p. 245. ISBN 9788878392717.
  5. ^ Lacey, Michael J.; Oakley, Francis (2011). The Crisis of Authority in Catholic Modernity. Oxford University Press. p. 71. ISBN 9780190207977.
  6. ^ Pope Leo XIII (29 June 1896). "Satis cognitum". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. at paragraph 14.

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