One of the rarest and most important things a pope does is issue encyclicals. In the eight years of Pope Benedict’s papacy, he issued three encyclicals. In the 27 years of Pope John Paul II’s papacy, he issued 14 encyclicals.Since his ascendancy to the papacy in March 2013, Pope Francis has issued one.
But Pope Francis is about to issue an encyclical to the world’s 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests that tells us a great deal about him, about Latin America and, most of all, about the influence of what has been the most dynamic religion in the world for the last hundred years.
Hint: It isn’t Christianity or Islam.
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