Never has a declaration from the pope been more hotly anticipated. The leaking of an early draft of Pope Francis’s latest encyclical—an official addition to Catholic doctrine—certainly helped. The fact that it deals with global warming means that it has been discussed across many media outlets that rarely pay close attention to papal pronouncements. Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper even published whole sections of it and live-blogged its release.
This suits the pope’s purpose for the document perfectly. In his introduction he makes clear that, unlike his last encyclical, he is not just writing to members of the Catholic Church. Instead, he writes, “I would like to enter into dialogue with all people.” The Guardian called it “the most astonishing and perhaps the most ambitious papal document of the past 100 years.”