Pope Francis' Laudatio Si is a treasure trove of practical advice for living simply or at least moderately. He seems to want people do use less air conditioning and facebook. I've already used "The Pope says if you don't eat all your meat your robbing poor people" on my kids.

But, in a letter that is addressed not just to Catholics, but to the whole world (or at least Matt Damon), what sort of submission does Joe Catholic have to give to the popes words (especially the practical advice, not the 2nd part where he goes in to the theological aspects of everything).

And by sort of submission I mean in terms of specific Latin words like Obsequium.


1 Answer 1


Since you distinguish "practical advice" from "theological aspects of everything", the latter by which I think you mean "faith & morals" [the competency of the pope], then by CCC 891 & 892, this does not require adherence to with the obedience of faith or religious assent.

Since the Pope is Father, good children listen with profound respect to even the simplest advice of the common Father and try sincerely to put it into practice. [cf. In Conversation with God, 68.3, Francis Fernandez, Fourth Sunday of Easter, THE GOOD SHEPHERD. LOVE FOR THE POPE.]

Assuming of course, just as in the case of an earthly father, that the practical advice is good.

The Pope is also Pastor, and provided he speaks in the name of the Good Shepherd, the sheep will hear his voice, if not, the sheep will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. [Cf. Jn 10:1-6]

Cf. Encyclical Ghostwriter: Pope Francis 'Did Not Intend to Canonize' Scientific Theories, by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D..

  • 3
    Dangit, you beat me. It's your fault for being six hours ahead of me. :-P Jun 25, 2015 at 10:26
  • @MattGutting Thanks Matt! PS see you have been doing very well with Catholicism answers. Please keep up the good work and keep the Faith!
    – user13992
    Jun 26, 2015 at 3:23
  • @MattGutting and FMS... come over and join the area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/88300/… proposal! Jul 30, 2015 at 17:59

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