I once heard someone accuse Francis of only using Post-Vatican II sources in his encyclicals and Exhortations. Is this true? Should we expect someone living 55 years after Vatican II closed to often quote pre-Vatican II works?
I did a quick survey of other Popes and how far back quote church documents in their encyclicals and exhortations. (This excludes quotes from the Church Fathers and other saints which are often and numerous with all Popes including Francis and often go back to the first centuries)
From the quick survey of the table below, Francis does quote pre-Vatican II sources. Although one can admit he may quote them at a lower frequency than others this is only to be expected as history moves on. Vatican II was the major Council of our time it is to be expected that it becomes the source of most Church teaching regarding modern issues. It would seem from the table that a good 70-90 years worth of previous Church documents are often referenced in papal encyclicals and exhortations. Thus, we should expect to see pre-Vatican II sources continually referenced for the next 30 years or so.
This was done just in a quick read through of the footnotes so the years may be off give or take but the general idea is presented regardless.
|Pope Francis||Frataelli Tutti, 2020||Reach Back 89 years to Quadragesimo Anno by Pius XI|
|Pope Francis||Lumen Fidei, 2013||Reach Back goes to the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council|
|Pope Francis||Gaudete et Exsultate, 2018||Reach Back goes to the Synod of Orange in the 500s, Also references from the Council of Trent|
|Pope Francis||Laudato Si, 2015||Reach Back 49 years to Paul VI’s Address in a Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plant|
|Pope Benedict XVI||Dues Caritas Est, 2005||Reach Back 114 years to Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII|
|Pope Benedict XVI||Spe Salvi, 2007||Reach Back 15 years|
|Pope Benedict XVI||Caritas In Veritate, 2009||Reach Back 118 years to Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII|
|Pope John Paul II||Ut Unum Sint, 1995||Reach Back 35 years to Superno Dei Nutu by John XXIII|
|Pope John Paul II||Redemptor Hominis, 1979||Reach Back to the First Vatican Council. Also references Quadragesimo Anno by Pius XI|
|Pope Paul VI||Ecclesiam Suam, 1964||Reach Back 68 years to the Acta of Leonis XIII (1896)|
|Pope Paul VI||Mense Maio, 1965||Only references to current events ongoing in Second Vatican Council|
|Pope Paul VI||Mysteruim Fidei, 1965||Reach Back to the Council of Trent|
|Pope Paul VI||Christi Matri, 1966||Reach Back 71 years to Adjutricem Populi Chritiani by Leo XIII|
|Pope Paul VI||Populorum Progressio, 1967||Reach Back 82 years to Immortale Dei by Leo XIII|
|Pope Paul VI||Sacerdotalis Caelibatis, 1967||Reach Back 59 years to Haerent Animo by Pius X|
|Pope Paul VI||Humanae Vitae, 1968||Reach Back 88 years to Arcanum Divinae by Leo XIII|