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For those long engaged in environmental issues, the encyclical proved a valuable rallying tool, one that opened doors, spurred mobilization and generated not-seen-before excitement within Catholic circles.
Finally, no mention has been made of the most obvious omission from the Encyclical.
I am writing this early Thursday morning, having read about a leaked copy of the long-awaited papal encyclical Laudato Si-On the Care of Our Common Home.
23) Note the encyclical does not make any reference in footnote or otherwise, either from Vatican II or other papal encyclicals, when it condemns the separation of an ethical order from an order of salvation.
It starts with taking a papal social encyclical and combing through it for sentences that match one's own way of thinking about politics or economics.
The issuing of encyclicals indicates a high papal priority for an issue at a given time; but they are not the only means available to popes to teach on social issues.
Subsequent issues of the journal will feature a series of articles and notes on the encyclical from various perspectives.
In the new encyclical, Benedict writes: "A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance.
The second part of the encyclical concludes with the words, "Love is possible, and we are able to practice it because we are created in the image of God.
The real contribution of The Two Wings of Catholic Thought is to convey very effectively--better than the encyclical itself does--just why Fides et Ratio ultimately matters inside the Church and for important issues in wider culture.
The effectiveness of such gestures has been magnified dramatically in this age of modern media, giving them more potential for communicating basic gospel imperatives than any carefully worded encyclical, whose readership may number in the mere thousands.
In a landmark 1891 encyclical, Pope Leo XIII said that the right of workers to associate freely was fundamental, and he called on all employers to pay an adequate wage.