Online Encyclopedia

PASTORAL LETTER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 898 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PASTORAL LETTER, an open letter addressed by a bishop to the clergy or laity of his diocese, or to both, containing either general admonition, instruction or consolation, or directions for behaviour in particular circumstances. In the Catholic Church such letters are also sent out regularly at particular ecclesiastical seasons, particularly at the beginning of fasts. In the non-episcopal Protestant churches the name "pastoral letter " is given to any open letter addressed by a pastor to his congregation, but more especially to that customarily issued at certain seasons, e.g. by the moderator of a Presbyterian assembly or the chairman of a Congregational or Baptist union.
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