Course: Papal Encyclicals - Level One
This is the easiest introduction to the popes' beautiful writings that we offer in our curriculum. We have carefully chosen three fundamental, yet easier encyclicals, to introduce the student to these critical writings. But should you have concerns, please read on.
Papal Encyclicals for high school?? Really???
Although it may at first seem like papal encyclicals are not suitable material for Catholic high school students, we believe this is not necessarily the case. Experience has, in fact, strongly taught us otherwise. Some of the readings our high schoolers have gotten most excited about are the very encyclicals offered here.
We think they are critical reading. In fact, one Traditional Catholic priest who has seen multiple Catholic high school graduates lose their Faith after high school and be swept away, has traced much of the problem to ignorance of the basic catechism and ignorance of the beautiful teachings of the popes in these encyclicals. He said, "It is criminal that high school curricula do not include the encylicals in their upper grades." Our Catholic youth need these more than ever.
It is true that the encyclicals are addresed to bishops. This, however, does not mean that laymen and even high schoolers should not read them. On the contrary, nobody "says it better" or explains these particular topics of the Catholic Faith better than the popes themselves. No commentary should be substituted for the original writings.
But aren't the encyclicals too hard for high school students?
First, let us say that not all papal encyclicals are of equal difficulty. Some are quite easy and approachable, like those we include in this Papal Encyclicals Level One course. Others, such as Pope Saint Pius X's On Modernism ("Pascendi") are indeed quite difficult. But whether easier or very difficult, please rest at ease because the versions of these encyclicals that the student will read are Angelic Doctor Academy's own carefully annotated texts. We take the original Vatican texts and annotate them, paragraphy by paragraph. Help with difficult concepts, vocabulary, references, and historical context are all provided for the student with study aids and footnotes.
This is a modular course. Please click on any of the links below to see details for the subcourses.