What is an Apostolic Exhortation?

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02/04/2018
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An apostolic exhortation is a magisterial document written by the pope. One could argue it ranks third in importance, after apostolic constitutions and encyclicals. 

It's essentially a pastoral message the pope sends out to Catholics to highlight key points about a particular issue. 

Usually the Pope writes apostolic exhortations after consulting with bishops who participate in relevant synods. But that's not always the case. 

An apostolic exhortation establishes a clear direction for Catholics to critically address issues that are being discussed within the Church and in modern society.

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