Encyclical

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An encyclical is an authoritative letter send to a group, such as a papal encyclical occasionally send by a pope to the bishops of the Catholic Church.

A papal encyclical ranks as follows in authority:[1]

  1. apostolic constitution
  2. encyclical letter (written for the entire church)
  3. encyclical epistle (written for only part of the church)
  4. apostolic exhortation
  5. apostolic letter
  6. letter

References

  1. http://www.secondexodus.com/html/catholicdefinitions/encyclicalletter.htm
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