circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area
An w:encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Christian church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Latin encyclia (from the Greek "en kyklo, ἐν κύκλῳ") meaning "general" or "encircling", which is also the origin of the word "encyclopedia". The Roman Catholic Church generally only uses this term for Papal encyclicals, but the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion retain the older usage.
This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.