What is an Encyclical?

- Term, derived from Greek word for circle, means circular letter.
- One of highest forms of pope teachings and represents his take on Catholic doctrine.
- Document released June 18 is titled "Laudato Si" which means Praise Be
- Previous Encyclicals have never discussed environment
- Catholics are required to follow basic doctrine and teachings in document
- Although Encyclical is meant for Catholics, Pope Francis' document is seen as reaching farther, and is likely to be the subject of discussion around the world

Source: The Associated Press