Download Pope Francis’ Encyclical on PDF, Kindle, Nook, iPad and More!

Pope Francis

Instead of our usual weekly giveaway, today I’m distributing Pope Francis’ new encyclical. At 6:00am ET this morning (noon Rome time), the Pope released Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith). Described as “the work of four hands,” the document originated with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI before Pope Francis “made it his own.”

An encyclical is simply an open letter from the pope to the entire Church. It comes from the Latin word encyclicus meaning “general” or “encircling” and carries significant authoritative weight. For the pope, encyclicals are second in importance only to Apostolic Constitutions.

Though most popes release several encyclicals during their pontificate, it’s unusual for a pope to release one so quickly. It took Pope Francis only four months, fewer than any pope in modern history.

It’s also unusual for an encyclical to feature two major emphases. Lumen Fidei reflects on the theological virtue of Faith (Pope Benedict devoted encyclicals to Hope and Charity.) But Lumen Fidei also sums up and expands on the recent Synod on the New Evangelization. The Pope typically releases an Apostolic Exhoration after each synod, such as Evangelii Nuntiandi (Paul VI), Christifideles Laici (John Paul II), and Verbum Domini (Benedict XVI). However, Pope Francis didn’t think it was a good idea to release an encyclical and an Apostolic Exhortation so close together, deciding instead to cover both topics in one document.

This morning the Vatican posted the full text of Lumen Fidei online. Yet in case you’re not a fan of parchment background, I’ve converted it to many other popular formats. Enjoy!

(PS. If you’re more of a paper fan, Ignatius Press is taking pre-orders for the hardcover edition.)
Lumen Fidei

Update 1:

In the last couple hours, I’ve received a litany of emails from both the USCCB and the Vatican accusing me of “[violating] both civil and moral law” and “stealing from the pope” (actual words used) by making the encyclical available in other formats. They’ve ordered me to remove the documents with full knowledge that this would prevent hundreds of people from reading it who otherwise wouldn’t read the encyclical online or in print.

In my view, this is tragic and unjust. It’s valuing profit over catechesis, and I have to believe Pope Francis (and Pope Benedict) would be extremely perturbed. Their goal and the goal of the Church is to evangelize—to spread the message of Jesus Christ, especially through papal encyclicals—not to make a dime off each copy printed.

I’m heading out the door for a three-day spiritual retreat without access to the Internet, so I’ll save my fuller reaction for another time. But per their request, I’ve removed the documents. Feel free to read the encyclical online or pre-order the Ignatius hardcover version.

Update 2:

I’ve finally had time to process the problem, which has actually frustrated me for months, well before the Lumen Fidei incident, and I’ve published a manifesto in response:

Free the Word: Why the Church Needs to Release Her Teachings to the World (SIGN THE PETITION)

  • Harshit Raj Gupta

    Screen resolution is a thing that manages appearance of your display and display properties and all display properties. You can get the tutorial of the screen resolution by thsi given link change screen resolution windows and manage your screen resolution.

  • John Bennett

    Are here Vatican documents available for blind people in audio formats?

  • John Bennett

    Sorry for the question, but you seem to know a lot about Vatican documents available online in various formats. Do you know how I can find the apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” in audio format? I have a friend who is blind who would like to hear what the Pope has to say. Thanks.

  • Jill Rivas

    Good ideas very helpful .I was able to fill out a form
    online yesterday ( you might want to try. It was easy and it
    works for me.

  • Rick DeLano

    Thank God the Church has stepped in to mitigate the catastrophic effect of the wide distribution of EG #254, the most ominous case of material heresy taught with the authority- albeit the lowest authority- of the papal magisterium since Pope Liberius.

    • Catastrophic? Material heresy? I hope this is just hyperbolic rhetoric.

      Also, I’m curious if you have anything positive to say about the other 50,000 words in the exhortation.

      • Rick DeLano

        I have no problem with any of the 50,000
        words that do not explicitly contradict the dogmatic definitions of the Catholic Church, and the words of Jesus Christ in Scripture.

        Unfortunately, #254 does both.

        • Rick DeLano

          I recant, with complete horror, my rash and presumptuous accusations of late against Pope Francis, specifically, I recant and detest the false claim that heresy was taught in EG #254.

          My bad will led me to this rash presumption. It is absolutely true that sanctifying grace can exist in a non-Christian.

          I know this, because I have lived this, and I would rather be exposed as a fool, than to continue as an hypocrite.

          The Pope does not teach that these people are saved.

          Whether His Holiness has prudently taught is a matter which I ought to have pursued, but instead I rashly accused Him of heresy.

          I will confess this tomorrow, God permitting, and I sincerely apologize to those whom I have offended or incited, and I thank all of those whose patience has finally allowed me to confront the error in my own words and the malice in my own will.

  • Rebecca_A_M

    Sorry to get here too late to download as an iBook for iPad. Much clunkier to highlight text for future reference with the PDF.

  • Jose Bulao Jr., OCDS

    This is really shameful for Catholics that we do not feel free to publish our teachings online for free. The Seventh Day Adventists publish online for free the writings of their prophet Ellen G. White.

  • Dominic Sternhagen

    Hey, they are still out there @ I think these people don’t realize that if these formats are not available we will take two minutes and copy the texts from and make our own.

    • I took the links off my server, though. If you try to download them through that cached page, they won’t work.

  • Andy

    Holy obedience ๐Ÿ™‚ do it with love and joy.

  • dondon

    thank you for the sharing of this precious Lumen Fidei. God bless your intention…

  • Zephaniah

    I have long considered the morality of keeping any church teachings under lock and key open only to those who pay for them. This is an immoral and unjust action and, quite frankly, is the same for our Bible. The teachings of the Church belong to everyone and the only reason they should be copyrighted is to keep others from making them private.

  • Newp Ort

    If it makes you feel any better, Brandon, I probably wouldn’t have read it anyway.

  • CatholicFiles

    Anyone can download Lumen Fidei in various formats here:!3Q0hDbBC!fiHH0DbsVuYwp315UUVukw

  • Halny

    I don’t usually get into argument with monkeys, unless they are my monkeys… But if you claim I’m judgemental, then who are these people:
    “In the last couple hours, I’ve received a litany of emails from both the USCCB and the Vatican accusing me of “[violating] both civil and moral law” and “stealing from the pope” (actual words used) by making the encyclical available in other formats. ” According to you, my friend, they must be judgemental too. But seriously, you miss my point, and I’m sure Brandon being a good, well meaning Catholic can speak for himself. You must have been living on Planet Kim-Jong-Un for the past couple of months not to know that the Encyclical was coming, and in order to get it, you go to the source- i.e. the Vatican website. I think the whole post was one, the Catholic community would better do without it.

    Here is to smiling at you Kid ๐Ÿ™‚

  • FrederickSanford

    “People, here is the infallible word of God , and you can read it for a mere $10.” Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you kidding me??

  • FrederickSanford

    Why does the Vatican and UCCB want to prevent the spreading of the Pope’s encyclical??? What’s next? Will they say they are the only ones who can distribute the Bible too? Will they try to trademark it? Are you kidding me? of course this is an outrage, and anyone defending them is lost. Lost I say. Lost and in need of being found.

    • michigancatholic

      They already did. The NAB at the USCCB site is copyrighted. And not searchable. There are better options online.

  • I don’t think you have the right to be angry at the bishops asking you to remove the download. You are clearly using the encyclical to add value to your website and detracting from readers going to the Vtican website to download it for free from the Vatican website. Why do you think you have the right to divert web traffic from the Vatican website to your website?

  • I’d be willing to buy a native Kindle formatted version of this, but the publisher hasn’t made it available.

  • Quittin’ time at Tara!

    The stooges move with a quickness when they sense money is at stake. Not so when you want to defrock a pervert, excommunicate a heretic, or report a clown Mass. Then, you get the Vatican crickets.

  • Fr. Brian Carpenter
  • Thadeus

    It appears that the Vatican has taken your lead, Brandon. I just found the PDF document download icon on the Vatican website. Yeah!!

    • John Drake

      It was already there. No credit is due Brandon.


    Brandon, there are likely significant issues other than profit that play into the Vatican’s and USCCB’s concern over conversion of the html document into other formats. Not the least of which will be the integrity of the document itself. This is not to suggest that you would make revisions to the document, but in our world one must be concerned about these sorts of things and the scandal that can be caused. I note, too, that the Vatican page now provides an option to download the encyclical as PDF file. I think your rush to convert this document into other formats and the stir it caused has pushed Vatican techies to work faster. Pray that this encyclical will be a greater tool in the New Evangilzation and reap a harvest of souls for salvation and the Glory of God!

    Mr. Jody Lamar Finklea, O.P.

  • I lament that the Church doesn’t make documents freely available as ebooks, which cost nothing to distribute. How I wish that the USCCB would make the NAB, the CCC, etc, were freely available as ebooks. Those who prefer dead trees would be welcome to pay for the paper and fuel costs to make and transport it.

    Maybe someone should create ebooks of Church documents and put them up on Pirate Bay!

    • Cassandra

      So one should sin in order to pander to select few? Pray tell how you are even familiar with Pirate Bay!

      The CCC doesn’t belong to the USCCB, and NAB is a horrible translation best left unavailable.

      • Pray, tell, how is it a sin?

        • Cassandra

          Duh, stealing is a sin.
          Patronizing a site devoted to stealing is also a sin.
          While I think the Digital Millenium Act is onerous it came about as the result of rampart electronic theft on the part of internet users.

          • Stealing what? Please, be very specific.

            And who patronized a size devoted to stealing? Do you work for the NSA? You are aware that slander is a sin, aren’t you?

  • Cassandra

    Let’s take this a step further.

    The Apostle Brandon accuses the USCCB and the Vatican of “valuing profit over catechesis”. Yet, by providing his own version of someone else’s work, he, the Apostle Brandon, actually profits himself. He profits by the promotion of his website; by establishing himself as a “go to” site; increases his web traffic statistics; and therefore, raising his desirability as a speaker which I doubt he does for free.

    Let’s imagine–I realize this is a stretch, but work with me–that I were to find his blogging worth sharing. That I don’t like his format with the busy layout, and certainly not the self-promotion. So I write a webbot to go out to his website each day, download his latest blog, extract the text, and then post on MY site. My site is laid out better, more user-friendly, works better across more platforms, and of course has my ads by which I profit.

    Now, is that wrong? Isn’t “catechesis more important than the Apostle Brandon’s claim to his own writings (of which any truth contained actually belongs to God)?
    Are things a bit clearer to everyone?

    The Apostle Brandon “ha[s] to believe Pope Francis (and Pope Benedict) would be extremely perturbed” by the injunction against him. Really? I can assure you, rather, that both Popes would prefer the Apostle Brandon submit himself humbly to the lawful authority of the Church hierarchy. Haven’t the last 4 (5) popes going back to Paul VI been plagued by churchmen and laity who resist the authority of Mother Church?

    • Cassandra, with all due respect: If you knew Brandon personally as I do, you would know that his sole intention of making the encyclical available in multiple formats was for purposes of evangelization. Period. Clearly, he submits to Church authority by removing the files.

  • Cassandra

    Classic case of a layman annointing–er, I mean appointing–himself as apostle. The document is easily assessible to anyone with an internet connection–which is also required to download the Apostle Brandon’s version. If you think that is harsh and quick to judge the Apostle Brandon’s motive, note how quickly he claims “injustice” and attributes motive to the USCCB and the Vatican.
    Why is it good that Brandon creates an alternate location so that laity go to HIM for the document, rather than go to the MAGISTERIUM for the document? Gee, someone might actually take time to read something else the Magisterium has written.
    I find it rather disturbing–er, I mean amusing–that Kindle users should be so wrapped up in their toys that they’ve come to believe the Church–er, I mean the world–revolves around them.

  • chrisinva

    Thanks, Brandon. Kindle users can copy and paste the document into Word or their Mac program to send to their kindle address for free.

    This is useful because one can mark up the document and highlight it on the Kindle or the Kindle Galaxy or iPad app.

    Then your computer can go to Amazon and there are all your highlighted passages in text – for citing and insertion into other documents.

    It’s a shame that the USCCB was so clumsy with their response. Why should they make readers spend an extra 15 minutes doing what you proposed to do for them? The result is the same, and you are right: I believe that as many people should read this document as possible, with as little tech hassle as possible.

    As it is, anyone who can’t follow the ten-step process (at Manage your kindle) will lose out.

    Way to go, USCCB!

  • Fr. Jay Finelli

    Brandon, I agree 100%. I pray Pope Francis intervenes in this. Evangelization is way to important to be ruined by money. All of these formats should be freely available on the Vatican website. They still don’t get the whole digital evangelization thing. Pretty sad!

  • RJH

    Ever notice how they go after all the wrong people? Priests who say the Latin Mass, homeschooling families, bloggers trying to get the pope’s words out? Ah well, the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops…and their publicists?


  • Maggie Scheck Geene

    I preferred your Kindle version because it was so readable, but I had to close it and it went away before I finished reading it and I had to download the PDF to my kindle from the Vatican and it isn’t as readable. They should have thought of that and converted it to a kindle format. Surely they have that technology i their new evangelization department.

  • KimS

    totally bummed. I saw your link and had a chance to download early yesterday and didn’t. The Vatican link does have a pdf button, which I chose because I’d prefer to read it on the couch as opposed to sitting at my computer, plus that might allow me to make notes–however 88 pages! I tried to print them (using my printer which has manual duplex)…got an error and what did print could surely have been printed on MANY less pages. Is the Vatican into reforestation? There’s a small amount of text in the middle of the page. Oh well, it’s probably over my head anyway….

  • Javier H. von Sydow

    Easy, champ! Remember St. John Bosco, who was forced to apologize for something he had not done. Obedience can be hard, but it is always a virtue. I don’t mind the parchment background anyway. God bless you and your good work!

  • John Albertson

    Brandon is a well-meaning, very decent, and most welcome convert. May his tribe increase. – But his enthusiasm outruns his understanding of the Church, historically and philosophically. One should wait a few years, and study more, before giving lectures to Catholics on how to be Catholic.

  • Phil Steinacker

    Folks, please don’t overreact to what you don’t understand.
    This is a copyright protection issue. The Church invalidates Her copyright if She fails to order Brandon to cease and desist. Then She will lose control over anything She publishes, which would be disastrous.

    Please read my comment above

    • Why is the church using secular copyright law to begin with?

  • chezami

    Brandon: God bless you. Sorry the bureaucrats put the screws on you. You’re a good egg! Don’t let it get you down.

  • Edward

    If the document is available online, I fail to see how making it available in other formats is a copyright violation. Especially since no fee is being charged.

  • rozdieterich

    There’s nice little extension on Chrome called “send to Kindle.” An option in the Print menu is “send to Kindle”. It works flawlessly for me.

  • Gloria

    It seems that humility is called for here, Brandon. This was a beautiful and inspirational day for the Church. Forgive me, but today’s events really weren’t about you or your blog post. I pray that your 3 day retreat will bring you to a clearer and more prayerful understanding of the intent of the emails you received. (The Church is in the midst of battle, after all, and the Internet is a very uncertain and scary place for all.)

  • thog brophy

    And I downloaded it pdf version this morning from church sites. BUT I could not save it the computer locked up but I got it and have it down with all the summaries ,.

  • throughmyis

    aww and I was looking forward to a kindle copy. I suppose I will copy and paste it myself and turn it into a PDF. DOn’t they realize we can do that anyway? You were offering it for free as a way to spread the message. I am sorry to hear about the backlash. I will pray for them!

  • I’m guessing these people don’t realize that what you are doing is essentially the same as copy/paste. If you were selling them I could understand the hostility, but you’re just trying to help the word get out there. It is unfortunate that an “open letter” can’t be openly distributed. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for your efforts Brandon.

    I hope these people realize that however good their intentions are, they are the ones who keep these documents from reaching the masses.

  • Samuel63

    Thanks for trying Brandon. It is surprising how fast the bishops react to an “unauthorized” kindle version of the encyclical. Imagin if they reacted this fast to our public speaking “catholic” politicians. Imagine the USA today if they had reacted with such speed against dissent from Humana Vitae upon its release. Wow!

  • Halny

    Brandon, these are not charitable words. The Church needs our prayers as much as our dimes. The Popes have used all the proceeds from their published works for good, unselfish, charitable works. Would you pocket a dollar found on a church floor, or would you put it in the poor box? The Vatican is trusting that people will not abuse its trust. You have not committed a crime, but you have abused the unwritten trust that pertains to the Church and its electronic libraries. An unscrupulous reader would print it and sell it, you didn’t do it, but it’s a question of ethics. I hope the three days of spiritual retreat will help you see beyond your anger. Prayerfully yours!

    • JeffAStevens

      How is such trust being abused? Is it not our calling to spread the Gospel as far and wide as possible? Why do we put these gates on the sacred texts? Why do we restrict them from the people? If I go and shout the words of Lumen Fidei from the rooftops, will I get a cease and desist letter?

      We are losing sight of our mission; make disciples of all men.

    • FrederickSanford

      Huh? They give it away free on the Vatican website! Hello? Anyone can download it free, alter it, and redistribute if desired. And Brandon is not angry at all. Where the heck did you pick that up? Sorry, but you seem very judgmental. Perhaps you should read Romans 14? God bless you Halny. Try to smile today.

  • Scotty

    USCCB is just mad they didn’t come up with your idea first ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • EIA

    It ‘s for everyone’s greatest good that the Vatican retain full control of the document. Otherwise, unfortunately, anyone could tamper with its content and then publish it as a PDF, on the Kindle, etc. The Vatican has published it online, and thus it is available freely to those who have Internet access.

    But people who don’t have Internet access will not have it for free. That’s what’s lamentable, for they probably most need the economic assistance. The question then is: who is able and willing to pay for paper, printing, binding, storage, distribution, and the human resources to orchestrate all of this? I think that is how a not for profit publisher might look at the problem.

    • The trouble to create an ebook is the same as creating a PDF. It could then be freely distributed as either a Kindle or an EPUB file, preferably both, without paper, binding, storage, distribution and human resources costs. In other words, the teaching of the pope could reach a much wider audience. Alas, no. So very sad.

  • Catherine Garrison Foster

    Brandon ~ Sometimes we have to swim against the tide … even within the Catholic church … to be heard and spread His Word. THANK YOU for listening to your heart and attempting to follow the Spirit’s lead in making Lumen Fidei available in the different formats. And, THANK YOU for setting the example by being OBEDIENT to what the Church has asked you to do. Wherever you go next, please keep on swimming, swimming, swimming … May God continue to bless you abundantly.

  • Maccabeus24

    An email to the nuncios should make that a non issue

  • Timothy Black

    Interesting. Links for converted files just disappeared from the site between reading about this on my phone and walking to the computer to grab the mobi version.

    Either way, you can just convert the pdf to mobi (the Kindle extension) pretty easily at and then just mail to the file to your unique Kindle email if you so choose. There is no reason anyone can’t just do this themselves in 3 minutes and Brandon was simply saving everyone a step.

    I don’t think the USCCB or the Vatican quite understands this type of thing just yet nor why Brandon did it. Certainly not for profit nor to take away any revenue from the Church. They are giving it away for free themselves after all. It’s just a different “translation” so to speak. He just changed it from one digital language (pdf) to another (mobi). It’d be like getting upset he took it in English and translated it to an Inuit language for a small village who preferred to read it in their language.

    I understand Brandon’s reaction, too. Seems like he is just helping spread the word, and he is a bit ahead technologically speaking, so this came as a shock I’m sure. He was only motivated by love and the Holy Spirit to spread this encyclical even wider.

    The Church will eventually catch up and “get” all of this. He is neither stealing from the Pope nor are the Vatican in in just for a buck. This is just a small wrinkle on the way to using new media to spread the Word. Pray that all parties come to an understanding.

    • Vicki Thurmond

      Very well said.

      • Catherine Garrison Foster

        Bravo … and Amen!!!

    • Phil Steinacker

      It is a copyright protection issue. The Church invalidates its copyright if She fails to order Brandon to cease and desist..
      Please read my comment above

      • So what? Let everyone reproduce the words by the pope! If anyone attributes to him words that are not his, one can then be prosecuted for libel.

        Preemptively restricting the distribution of a freely available document is nonsense. It sounds more like the issues that PP Francis has been warning against: careerism, prestige and other worldly values that plague curiae around the world.

        Perhaps the Church needs a Holy Napster to learn the digital ways…

        • sjay1956

          ” If anyone attributes to him words that are not his, one can then be prosecuted for libel.”

          Not necessarily true.

      • Guest

        Phil, you are correct. I’m sorry you’re not being heard. You are trying to explain copyright law.

      • While I am sure that is true- that makes a great argument for NOT copyrighting church teachings at all, or at least, releasing them under creative commons license.

        Oh well, I’m sure on this, like many other issues, the Church will catch up sometime in the next 12 centuries.

      • You can still copyright it with an open license. 1900 years of the Church without copyrights did not seem to harm our documents. In reality, the copyright protects nothing but profits.

  • Peter

    God have mercy on the Roman Catholic hierarchy… they’re collecting more and more ropes with which to hang themselves.

    • Athanasius

      Actually the information given here is incorrect as you can verify for yourself by the other comments here alone. Brandon’s assumption that profit etc has anything whatsoever to do with this is both rash and utterly false. The PDF is available and free to everyone on the Vatican’s website. Peter, you should not assume everything you read on the internet is the truth without verifying it first. Everyone else here please take note!

    • Phil Steinacker

      Really, Peter. Get a grip!

  • jeff lokanata

    ahh… i want to read it in epub format, so i can read with my iPad.
    Is any company would give in ibook store?

    • Timothy Black

      see my reply below. you can convert to epub at zamzar as well.

  • Lloyd Duhon

    The comments from the USCCB and the Vatican are tragic, and misunderstand the nature of the audience. That is very unfortunate. Many blessings and prayers for a fruitful retreat, Brandon!

  • Mary H.

    I followed the link to read it online and discovered that there’s a PDF button you can click to download it to your computer. I’d rather have it in Kindle format, but I’m very happy to have a PDF that I can read right now without waiting for the hard copy to become available. And the background is white. Yay!

    • Timothy Black

      see my comment below

  • Andrew

    Brandon, thanks for your post and your efforts at helping to spread the Pope’s encyclical far and wide. A few minor quibbles: (1) encyclicals and apostolic constitutions are used for different purposes, so comparing their importance is a kind of apples-and-oranges issue; encyclicals are the highest form of Papal teaching; (2) Pope Francis has said that he’s still issuing a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation for the Synod on the New Evangelization, he’s just saving it for later in the year, and he’ll be working on it in August; and (3) in order for this to be the fastest first encyclical in “modern history” you have to mean “modern” in a fairly limited way because Benedict XV’s first encyclical in 1914 was issued less than two months after his election, so this isn’t even the fastest first encyclical in the last 100 years.

  • Maria Neva

    And here’s a link to the Vatican’s own PDF version (not the HTML website version)

  • Maria Neva

    People with Kindles: You can of course transfer the Vatican PDF to your Kindle directly like any PDF, but you can also use the Chrome web browser and the application extension to one-click send it or ANYTHING on the web wirelessly to your Kindle. I just used it to send the Vatican PDF to my Kindle (free!) and, yes, it takes away the parchment background – plain text only. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fred K

      Klip.Me cut it short for me. Also PDF is terrible to read on my Kindle because I have to zoom and navigate to get through each pageโ€” no flowing text. I ended up pasting the vatican’s text into Wordpad and converting to mobi via Calibre. If they did at least did one flowing text format, I could use it on my Kindle.

  • Theophilus2

    Sorry my typos abound and late to post. Oops.

  • David W

    Like it or not, the proper religious authorities do have the right to determine who may distribute the works of the Holy Father.

    I would suggest consulting the CCC on “Rash Judgment” before making claims of profit as the motive.

    • Austin

      Amen! The Church as always made its documents free on the Vatican website. If they were in for profit, they are doing a bad job.

    • JeffAStevens

      They have the right, yes. But we also have the right to criticize them for their exercise of that right. And in this case, Brandon is correct to criticize them. Also note the reference to money came from Brandon’s critics first, not himself. (c.f. stealing from the pope).

      Just yesterday I ran across the Holy Father’s message from May 25th in which he warns against becoming “controllers of faith, instead of becoming facilitators of the faith of the people.” (see I don’t know if the motive here is profit or not, in that regard we should be charitable. But I continue to not understand why the Church or any organ thereof insists on controlling release and use of what are, effectively, sacred texts. The only argument I’ve heard which makes any sense whatsoever is concenr over its misuse, but it seems to me that those who would misuse sacred texts will misuse them regardless of copyright. The only people you’re preventing from using such texts are those who revere them.

      It is wrong.

      • Austin

        I agree with being concerned with limited availability, but we should not value and uphold the teaching authority of the Church only to complain when she uses that authority. Again, I’m not saying I think the move is good, but that it can make sense for many reasons (concern of unauthorized editing, for one).

        To claim that this will stifle readership of the document is exaggerating a bit. The document is free for everyone to download on the Vatican’s site. They have not limited anyone. If anyone complains of inaccessibility, they fall prey to anachronistic assumptions of our time. Namely, we have unprecedented access to all that the Church teaches and has taught in ways that previous generations could never have imagined. Church teaching has never been more accessible than it is now and to complain of lack of access is to dishonor the millions who have been faithful before us, with far less access.

        Blessing is in obedience.

        Titus 3:1-3 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.

        It is impossible for it to be wrong for the Vatican to set the parameters for distribution of its own documents, especially when the document and its release are completely voluntary by the Church and of no necessity.

        I love you all with fraternal love and I encourage all brothers and sisters in Christ to not be too quick to complain about things that are non-essential.

        In Christ,

      • Phil Steinacker

        Jeff, I respectfully suggest you are in the wrong, just because you believe that such freedom to distribute Church documents “should” be unrestricted.

        A more salient reason is that when a copyright holder brings to U.S. court an entity which has wrongly violated that copyright, the copyright holder must be able to show they have been vigilant in an aggressive manner in dealing with other violators.

        Applied to this instance, it means that if the USCCB and the Vatican fail to demand Brandon immediately cease and desist, then they will be unable to successfully prosecute violators with worse motives later. Those violators could introduce as evidence that Brandon did it without consequence which, I believe, is seen by copyright law as a tacit admission the Church gives up Her claim to legitimately hold copyright to anything she will not defend.

        The Church must control its own documents to prevent not only piracy but also distortion. I doubt you wish the Church to be unable to protect her documents and sacred texts from malevolent twisting by her self-serving enemies.

        The Church is making these documents available to the faithful and Her adversaries for free, but she must control their publication and distribution. This means well-intentioned mavericks like Brandon (may God bless his heart) really cannot be permitted to decide on their own to offer alternative publications of Church documents.

        It is NOT wrong – you are. And I believe Brandon simply doesn’t know this about copyright law. He is doing the right thing and will soon obtain his own verification that he is correct to do so

        • Timothy Black

          Excellent explanation.

        • Timothy Black

          Although I will say that “violating moral and civil law” and “stealing from the pope” don’t sound particularly like legalese from a cease and desist but the language of someone who still doesn’t quite “get it” as far as social media and the internet are concerned.

        • Copyright law is an unjust law. Enough said.

        • mwic

          “when a copyright holder brings to U.S. court an entity which has wrongly
          violated that copyright, the copyright holder must be able to show they
          have been vigilant in an aggressive manner in dealing with other

          This is not true. It’s somewhat true of trademark law but not copyright

        • JeffAStevens

          I’m aware of that stipulation.

          It is irrelevant, even if it is accurate (see MWIC’s comment). Copyright is a matter of the ability to reproduce a work in whole or in part. Reproduction of this work is exactly what we WANT. We WANT people to reproduce it. We WANT people to read the sacred texts. Let them reproduce it. Go to town. Shout it from the rooftops. Go ahead! It’s good stuff! It’s salvific stuff!

          Copyright does not prevent or address distortion.

        • What about all those years we had with sound documents and no copyright?

          Your argument is completely without merit. First off, copyrighting and licensing are two different things. Just because you have a copyright does not mean it has to be restrictive in its licensing.

    • The Church is getting in the way of itself for the New Evangelization. This is why 99% of the Christian software out there is protestant. The Church stops Catholic developers from spreading the Word by threatening everyone who wants to add the NAB or the Catechism to their app. The Church can still copyright it with an open license, but for some reason that is not good enough. 1900 years of the Church without copyrights and all of the sudden you think it is needed?

  • Theopholis2

    Um… I just downloaded the pdf from vatican free. Also saved for offline reading w android browser.

  • DeaconsBench


  • Christine~Soccer Mom

    Also, I notice there is a “download PDF” right on the site. I imagine you can do that, then do the “email to your Kindle address” thing by going directly through the Vatican site.

  • Christine~Soccer Mom

    It’s okay. i simply copy the text from the Vatican site, then pop it into Pages on the Mac. I think I have a template that puts a sidebar of notes-taking lines, but often I’ll just print the text and highlight as I go.

    I don’t understand the idea that they have it online for free, but get upset if it’s converted to another format. Is there a reason for that? Am I breaking the law by printing copies off for myself or by converting it to a study-guide format for myself? What if I share it?


    (FWIW, I am not surprised by the reaction of the USCCB. They take the copyright thing pretty seriously, including when sharing NAB & CCC.)

  • Joel Everett

    So to hear that about the response – thanks for originally posting – I’m sure some of the concern has to do with unauthorized copies / translations being out there, but I hear you.

  • Bethanie Ryan

    Thank you! You rock!

  • Kathleen

    Thanks. That was easy enough even for me to do! It’s now on my Kindle.

    • Charlie Lewis

      How did you get it on your kindle. I went through Amazon and it was not available?

      • Kathleen

        Save the file to your computer then email it as an attachment to your kindle email (name) In my case, the (name) is the same as my email address used as ID on Amazon with the ending

  • Brandon, you da bomb. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for doing this…and so quickly! But then, we all know already that you don’t sleep… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wow, you work fast Brandon! Thanks for doing all the work for us on this!

    • Would you mind sending it to me via Facebook message, please? I’m at


      VERY sad about the Vatican’s pulling of this encyclical and I hope Pope Francis just didn’t know what the officials were doing.

  • Thanks for this digital conversion. I am downloading the PDF now.