" ... the teachers of the people should establish boundaries around them so that no word strays beyond that which is necessary or useful for salvation.
The faithful should obey the apostolic advice not to know more than is necessary, but to know in moderation."
-Pope Clement XIII, In Dominico Agro, 1761
"On Instruction in the Faith" - In Dominico Agro
(Encyclical of Pope Clement XIII, promulgated on June 14, 1761)
To the Venerable Brothers, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops and Bishops. Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Benediction.
In the Lord's field, for the tending of which Divine Providence placed Us as overseer, there is nothing which demands as much vigilant care and unremitting labor in its cultivation than guarding
the good seed of Catholic teaching which the Apostles received from Jesus Christ and handed on to Us. If in laziness this is neglected, the enemy of the human race will sow weeds while the workers sleep. Then weeds will be found which should be committed to
the flames rather than good grain to store in the barns. However, St. Paul strongly encourages Us to protect the faith that the saints handed on to Us.(1) He told Timothy to preserve the sacred trust (2) because dangerous times were coming (3) when evil and
deceitful men would exist in the Church of God.(4) The insidious tempters would use their work to try to infect unwary minds with errors which are hostile to evangelical truth.
It often happens that certain unworthy ideas come forth in the Church of God which, although they directly contradict each other, plot together to undermine the purity of the Catholic faith in some way. It is very difficult to cautiously
balance our speech between both enemies in such a way that We seem to turn Our backs on none of them, but to shun and condemn both enemies of Christ equally. Meanwhile the matter is such that diabolical error, when it has artfully colored its lies, easily
clothes itself in the likeness of truth while very brief additions or changes corrupt the meaning of expressions; and confession, which usually works salvation, sometimes, with a slight change, inches toward death.