In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.
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An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The term has been used by Catholics, Anglicans and the Eastern Orthodox. Although the term "encyclical" originally simply meant a circulating letter, it acquired a more specific meaning within the context of the Catholic Church.
In , Pope Benedict XIV wrote a letter titled Ubi primum , which is generally regarded as the first encyclical in a modern sense. The term is now used almost exclusively for a kind of letter sent out by the Pope.
For the modern Roman Catholic Church, a papal encyclical is a specific category of papal document, a kind of letter concerning Catholic doctrine, sent by the Pope and usually addressed especially to patriarchs, primates, archbishops and bishops who are in communion with the Holy See. The form of the address can vary widely, and may concern bishops in a particular area, or designate a wider audience.
Papal encyclicals usually take the form of a papal brief due to their more personal nature as opposed to the formal papal bull. They are usually written in Latin and, like all papal documents, the title of the encyclical is usually taken from its first few words its incipit. Within Catholicism in recent times, an encyclical is generally used for significant issues and is second in importance only to the highest ranking document now issued by popes, an Apostolic Constitution. However, the designation "encyclical" does not always denote such a degree of significance.
The archives at the Vatican website currently classify certain early encyclicals as Apostolic Exhortations , a term generally applied to a type of document with a broader audience than the bishops alone. Pope Pius XII held that papal encyclicals, even when they are not of ordinary magisterium , can nonetheless be sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:. It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium.
For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent: "He who heareth you, heareth Me. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts, after due consideration, express an opinion on a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among theologians.
Encyclicals indicate high papal priority for an issue at a given time. Pontiffs define when, and under which circumstances, encyclicals should be issued. They may choose to issue an apostolic constitution , bull , encyclical, apostolic letter or give a papal speech. Popes have differed on the use of encyclicals: on the issue of birth control and contraception , Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Casti connubii , while Pope Pius XII gave a speech to midwives and the medical profession, clarifying the position of the church on the issue.
On matters of war and peace , Pope Pius XII issued ten encyclicals, mostly after , three of them protesting the Soviet invasion of Hungary in order to crack down on the Hungarian Revolution in Datis nuperrime , Sertum laetitiae and Luctuosissimi eventus. Pius XII spoke on the same topic to a consistory of cardinals , in his Christmas messages and to numerous academic and professional associations. Amongst Anglicans the term encyclical was revived in the late 19th century.
It is applied to circular letters issued by the English primates. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Letter, usually treating some aspect of Catholic doctrine, sent by the Pope and addressed to the Catholic bishops. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. New York Times. Retrieved 30 August Episcopate of the bishop of Rome. Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran St.
Encyclicals of Pope Pius XI. Encyclicals of Pope Paul VI. Encyclicals of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Presented at Amazon Events
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Laudato si ' English: Praise Be to You! The encyclical has the subtitle "on care for our common home". The encyclical, dated 24 May , was officially published at noon on 18 June , accompanied by a news conference. The encyclical is the second published by Francis, after Lumen fidei "The Light of Faith" , which was released in