Excitement has been building for months about the release of an encyclical on climate change by Pope Francis.
A Papal Encyclical is a formal teaching document that outlines the official position of the Catholic Church on important issues. Most popes release at least one encyclical during their tenure. But public awareness of past releases was usually pretty limited.
PEPPARD: “In prior generations, people in the pews might have heard that the pope was making comments on some kind of issue. Their pastors, priests, etc. might have talked about it from the pulpit on Sunday. Newspapers might have covered it in a very superficial and distant sort of way. Social media has changed all that.”