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 word comes from Late Latin encyclios (from Latin encyclius, a Latinization of Greek ἐνκύκλιος enkyklios meaning "circular", "in a circle", or "all-round", also part of the origin of the word encyclopedia).[2]

Pope Benedict XVI (left) signs the third encyclical of his pontificate as Archbishop Harvey (right) looks on.[1]

The term has been used by Catholics, Anglicans and the Eastern Orthodox.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Encyclical, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.