In a recent NY Times op-ed, Ross Douthat helps us to see the complexity–and the controversy–in a papal encyclical.
(Kudos to Andrew for the tip.)
For an example of what Douthat means by the following,
It’s a “social” encyclical, in the church’s parlance, covering issues ranging from globalization and the environment to unions and the welfare state. Inevitably, liberal Catholics spent the past week touting its relevance to the Democratic Party’s policy positions.
see this NPR article, written by NPR’s European correspondent, a first-generation Italian-American.