The recent encyclical of Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti (FT), is another literary behemoth. Its massive size means that, upon an initial reading, it is not possible to take in all of the specific items covered — from immigration to criminal justice to war and peace. It might be better, then, to situate FT broadly in the tradition of Catholic social teaching, in light of the Holy Father’s own magisterium and as a response to current global political realities.
Eight years in to his pontificate, the Holy Father has evidently decided that bigger is better, producing relatively few magisterial texts but of truly gigantic size. Pope Francis has now authored four of the five longest documents in the entire history of the papacy: Amoris Laetitia (approximately 60,000 words), Evangelii Gaudium (52,000), Fratelli Tutti (45,000) and Laudato Si (42,000).
Staggering length combined with sprawling reach renders it difficult for any particular element