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The Church Speaks to the World: On Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi Blessing

April 6th, 2020 | 8 min read

By Brandon McGinley

Pope St. John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris broke new ground with its greeting: It was the first encyclical addressed not just to the Church but to “all men of good will.” Thus, in the midst of his Second Vatican Council, John catalyzed another development in the Church’s engagement with the modern world. Last month’s extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing by Pope Francis should be considered, in substance and symbolism, just as important a moment in Church history.

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