For the preceding chapter (Part 1), please click here.
Now We, who by the help of God, and not without fruit, have by frequent Letters and exhortation endeavoured to promote other branches of study which seemed capable of advancing the glory of God and contributing to the salvation of souls, have for a long time cherished the desire to give an impulse to the noble science of Holy Scripture, and to impart to Scripture study a direction suitable to the needs of the present day.
The solicitude of the Apostolic office naturally urges, and even compels Us, not only to desire that this grand source of Catholic revelation should be made safely and abundantly accessible to the flock of Jesus Christ, but also not to suffer any attempt to defile or corrupt it, either on the part of those who impiously and openly assail the Scriptures, or of those who are led astray into fallacious and imprudent novelties.
We are not ignorant, indeed, Venerable Brethren, that there are not a few Catholics, men of talent and learning, who devote themselves with ardour to the defence of the sacred writings and to make them better known and understood. But whilst giving to these the commendation they deserve, We cannot but earnestly exhort others also, from whose skill and piety and learning We have a right to expect good results, to give themselves to the same most praiseworthy work. It is Our wish and fervent desire to see an increase in the number of approved and persevering labourers in the cause of Holy Scripture; and more especially that those whom Divine Grace has called to Holy Orders, should, day by day, as their state demands, display greater diligence and industry in reading, meditating, and explaining it.
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– From: Providentissimus Deus, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Study of Holy Scripture, Rome, 1893