Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Papal Documents

One of the largest sources of insight into the Catholic Church in world affairs comes from the wide collection of papal encyclicals written and promulgated by the pope, the head of the Catholic Church. These letters and exhortations address significant issues and often serve as authoritative statements on Catholic thought and policy. Issued from the Holy See, these encyclicals, along with other papal documents, provide a foundation for Catholic doctrine across the diversity of cultures, political climates, and socio-economic conditions where the Church finds itself. Encyclicals such as Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, and Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas In Veritate have been both extremely influential and controversial in discourse and thinking among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
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