New Encyclical: Pope Francis visits Assisi

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Pope Francis left on Saturday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. The head of the Catholic Church drove to the pilgrimage city of Assisi, some 150 kilometers north of Rome, to sign his new encyclical. According to the Ansa news agency, he arrived there in a car.

The encyclical will be the third such teaching letter of the 83-year-old Francis. The text, which bears the Italian title “Fratelli tutti”, is to be published only on Sunday noon in the Vatican in Rome. The new encyclical will deal with social cohesion in the world.

As a precautionary measure, the Papal States had stopped the Pope’s travel activities in March. The fact that Francis came specially to Assisi, the city of his namesake Francis of Assisi and the home of the Franciscan Order, for the signature can be seen as a symbolic gesture.

Special significance of the new encyclical
It underlines the high value he gives to the new social encyclical. Francis had previously visited the monastery in Spello, Ansa wrote. The pope was probably to return to the Vatican on Saturday evening.

Shortly before the appointment in Assisi, he wrote on Twitter: “The effort to build a more just society requires the capacity for fraternity, a spirit of human community. Sometimes the Italian word for brotherhood in the quote is translated as “fraternity”.

More than five years ago, the Pope had brought out his previous, so-called environmental encyclical from Argentina. In the text of 2015, entitled “Laudato si”, Francis commented on issues such as climate protection and poverty. An encyclical is a central message to the universal church.

  • Hector Pascua with reports from religion.ORF.at/APA/dpa. Picture: stockilyapp.com
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