An encyclical is an exceptionally high-level teaching document issued by a pope. Encyclical letters have been addressed to Catholics or, in recent decades, to "all people of goodwill." Pope Francis said, "This encyclical is aimed at everyone. Let us pray that everyone can receive its message and grow in responsibility toward the common home that God has entrusted to us." Although Pope Francis follows his predecessors in speaking about ecology and climate change, this is the first time a papal teaching of such high authority has been exclusively devoted to ecology. Through this encyclical, Pope Francis is fulfilling his role as a pastor to teach Catholics about the moral obligation to care for God's creation and care for the poor who are most impacted by climate disruptions.
Source: Catholic Climate Covenant