from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Intended for general or wide circulation.
- n. Roman Catholic Church A papal letter addressed to the bishops of the Church or to the hierarchy of a particular country.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A papal letter delivered to Bishops in the Roman Catholic Church.
- adj. Intended for general circulation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. intended for wide distribution
- n. a letter from the pope sent to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world
In the early centuries the term encyclical was applied, not only to papal letters, but to certain letters emanating from bishops or archbishops and directed to their own flocks or to other bishops.
Of course, once the encyclical is available, I'll be posting about it with as much economy as possible.
The encyclical is expected to be released on July 6th or 7th, shortly before President Obama is scheduled to meet with the Holy Father on the afternoon of July 10th.
The publication of a social encyclical is a significant event both in the Church and in the world.
What we may see with each new encyclical is a return to this theme, a blueprint for his pontificate.
Amongst Anglicans, however, the name encyclical has recently been revived and applied, in imitation of papal usage, to circular letters issued by the English primates.
The message, called an encyclical - a Greek word meaning a letter that is circulated among the population - tells how the birth of Christ is the appearance of God in human form, and
This larger injection of theology indicates one of the things Benedict is seeking to do in this encyclical, which is to shoe-horn papal social doctrine into tradition with a capital "T".
Reading this quote from the encyclical is a very strange experience.
I ask because the Pope will presumably not want this affair to overshadow his economics encyclical, which is coming on Tuesday; nor will he want it to overshadow the visit of Barry Soetero to the Vatican on the 12th.