[...] with the French Revolution problems for the Catholic Church multiplied dramatically and needed addressing by the popes. Since the reign of Pius IX (1846-1878), the encyclical has become an expected medium of the pope's ordinary magisterium.
From the Editor's Desk David G Schultenover Theological Studies; Mar 2010; 71, 1; Docstoc pg. 1 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.
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