Guest essay by Joe Ronan
Today we see another set of meetings in Rome. One is that of the Pontifical Academy of Science, and the other the Heartland Institute. Both organisations are hoping to influence the widely heralded Encyclical from Pope Francis that will include references to climate change. Given that the text of the Encyclical has already been finalised, and is currently being translated, there may not be much that either party can do to affect it’s content. The headlines they are making will be building up expectations on both sides, and it’s worth having a closer look at the background to an encyclical.
What is an Encyclical?
Simply put, it is a circular letter written by the Pope to the Church which forms a part of the Ordinary Magisterium or teaching of the Church. It is not a formal statement of the type that is regarded as infallible…
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