An encyclical (or papal bull) is a letter addressed to the bishops of the

world from the Pope. It contains admonitions and instructions, and is

thought to be binding, although few theologians ascribe infallibility to an

encyclical. However, Roman Catholic writers have equated papal encyclicals

to the Apostolic epistles of the Bible. The title of an encyclical

(circular letter) is the first two words in Latin.

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