The Many, Many, Many Words of Pope Francis

Some interesting data concerning the papal writings of Pope Francis.

Word count for papal encyclicals from 1878 to 1978 averaged between 4,000-10,000 words. Pope Francis has averaged 30,000 words per encyclical, and his post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, alone runs nearly 60,000 words.

The pope’s shortest encyclical (Lumen fidei) is longer than St. Mark’s gospel and his 2013 exhortation Evangelii gaudium is 5x longer than St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

In his 2019 post-synodal exhortation Christus vivit, Pope Francis cites himself 64 times in 299 paragraphs.

[All research & graphics courtesy of Mrs. Sharon Kabel. More data on this topic can be found at her blog, A Wild Sostenuto].

Posted on April 12, 2019, in holiness, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. More words = less truth.

    • A similar analysis could be applied to the word count of V2 documents vs. the word count of all previous Council documents. How many words were written for all previous Council documents compared to how many words written in V2 encyclicals?

      Pre V2 Council docs = simple, concise, clear, most paragraphs beginning with “if ever someone were to say ‘______________……'” and concluding with “…..let him be anathema”.

      V2 Council docs = lots of nice sentiments, many, many, many words, mostly concerned with man’s problems in this world, man’s concerns, what man thinks about this or that: no anathemas.

  2. This is just one more straw on this camel’s back. If I were Catholic, I would leave.

    • In charity, one does not abandon the Bride because of Judas.

      • Jesus is still the head of the Church. You are the Church Militant and we’re in the midst of a huge fight. This is what Confirmation’s for. There are still many faithful. Seek them out.

  3. Hi Brian. At my age it is best I ignore P Francis and his pronouncements and continue with what I have learned and followed for 74 years, keeping a steady course. One could throw in the towel and give up everything if one were to take him seriously. Talk about Bi-polar ! We have plenty to keep us on track. It amazes me people are still finding their way into the Church…warts and all. God bless. Treasa. Australia.

  4. Rufino Elizondo

    The irony being that in 2013 prior to his election, Cardinal Bergoglio urged the Church to think outwards, to avoid being self-referential:

  5. Kind of like the blathery documents of Vatican II.

  6. I’m with you, Treasa.

  7. I kind of wonder how much of a difference being able to write on a typewriter, and later a computer, has made in word counts. If I had to hand-write everything, I’d probably be far more pithy.

  8. Brandywine Blue

    Well when you’re making up a whole new religion…..

  9. Katzenellenbogen

    Think of the five-hour-long-speeches of Fidel Castro: Hispanic Lefties among themselves…

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