The pope's encyclical will be successful if it helps all of us — whatever our religious convictions — to progress toward a "responsible collective answer" to one of the great challenges of our age. That may require that we refrain from the knee-jerk response of our political camp. It may require that we pause, reflect and — at least in the case of some of us — pray. For the immediate question may not be whether or not we agree with the letter. It may be what kind of people we have to become to hear what the pope is trying to tell us.