Phew! I finally read it – all hundred and more pages – you certainly expect a lot of a chap!
You’ve hit just the right note, if you ask me. Nobody wants to read pages and pages of an old man going on about saving souls. But saving the planet, that’s another matter entirely! Stick to whales and white rhinos is my advice; the less said about the other stuff the better.
Obviously a man in your position has to go on a bit about abortion and contraception and all that; but I think you are right to play it down. Whoever thought up the ‘Who-am-I-to-judge?’ line was a genius. In today’s world a few words on a plane count for more than pages and pages of careful theology. It’s always safer, in my view, to ask questions rather than to give answers – especially, I suppose, when you’re supposed to be infallible.
A word of caution: don’t overdo the Benedict XVI stuff. Keep it simple and go with the flow. We Anglicans find that it’s always better to agree with people rather than to challenge them –and it’s a no-brainer deciding which people to agree with.
Here’s hoping your next letter will be shorter,
PS Why call it an encyclical? Most people can’t even spell it.