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Pastoral Letter
(157 words)

[German Version]

A pastoral letter is a modern medium used by (Catholic) bishops to proclaim the faith, in the tradition of biblical and early Christian letters to churches. They may be published periodically (e.g. Lenten pastoral letters) or to address a current issue. They may be addressed to the faithful of the bishop’s own church, as a means of instruction and encouragement, or they may present to a general audience the church’s position on ethical, social, or political questions. In recent times, some pastoral letters have been preceded by a lengthy process of consultation. Joint p…

Cite this page
Haering, Stephan, “Pastoral Letter”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 18 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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