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Letter from Rome: Brothers and Sisters all!

How a long-standing suspicion of inclusive language is killing the Church's message

Letter from Rome: Brothers and Sisters all!

Last week's "Letter from Rome" reported that an Italian bishop had rather casually let slip at a press conference some days earlier that Pope Francis was about to publish a new encyclical on human fraternity.

Just hours after the article went online, the bishop's forecast was confirmed.

The Franciscan Friars in Assisi announced that the pope was not only issuing a new encyclical called Fratelli tutti but he was coming to their idyllic hilltop town on Oct. 3 to celebrate Mass privately at St. Francis' tomb and then sign the document.

It seemed odd (and still does) that the pope chose Oct. 3 instead of the saint's Oct. 4 feast day to visit Assisi. And what a short visit it is to be.

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