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Aeterni Patris


The name of two papal documents of Pius IX and Leo XIII. The first is the apostolic letter of June 29, 1868, convoking the Vatican Council I; it indicates the office of the pope as guardian of faith and morals, the role of ecumenical councils, and summarizes the then prevailing dangers to faith and morals. The second document is the encyclical of Leo XIII, dated Aug. 4, 1879, and written to restore scholastic philosophy in general and that of St. Thomas Aquinas in particular. Beginning with a consideration of the Church's concern for teaching true philosophy because of its relation to theology, the pope declares that many modern evils stem from false philosophy. The encyclical mentions the esteem in which St. Thomas has been held and urges the revival of St. Thomas's philosophy and of his spirit of investigation.

Bibliography: pius ix, Acta Pii IX 4:412423. r. aubert, Le Pontificat de Pie IX, 18461878 (Paris 1952). leo xiii, Acta Leonis XIII 1 (187879) 255285. Denz 313540. j. collins, "Leo XIII and the Philosophic Approach to Modernity," Leo XIII and the Modern World, ed. e. gargan (New York 1961) 181209. c. a. hart, "America's Response to the Encyclical Aeterni Patris," American Catholic Philosophical Association Bulletin (1929) 98117. g. f. ritzel, "Some Historical Background of the Encyclical Aeterni Patris," Nuntius Aulae 38 (1956) 135155. a. alexander, "Thomas Aquinas and the Encyclical Letter," Princeton Review N. S. 5 (Jan. 1880) 245326. pedro rodriguez, Fe, razon y teologia en el I Centenario de la Enciclica "Aeterni Patris" (Pamplona, Spain 1979); Atti del'VIII Congresso Tomistico Internaziole: L'Enciclica Aeterni Patris (Studi Tomistici, 1012, Vatican City 1981). v. b. brezik, CSB (ed.), One Hundred Years of Thomism: Aeterni Patris and Afterwards, A Symposium (Houston 1981).

[w. f. hogan]

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