Benedict XVI's third encyclical is ready. Less than six months after the second one, Spe salvi (released on November 30), Papa Ratzinger has reportedly put the finishing touches on the document.
Apcom has learned that it should come out next month, most probably shortly after Easter, and that the test is now in translation. Besides being issued in the official languages of the Vatican (Latin, Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish), it will also be released in Arabic and Chinese.
The text is said to consist of two parts. The first would be a review of Populorum progressio, Paul VI's social encyclical issued 40 years ago (March 27, 1968), and of Centesimus annus, John Paul II's social encyclical in 1991.
The second part is focused on current problems and takes a 360-degree view of the social problems which grip mankind today, highlighting the Church's concern for man in all his dimensions, from a global viewpoint.
Poverty, globalization, peace, disarmament, the war between rich and poor, the wars over energy sources and the environment: these are the themes the Encyclical will treat - a rather substantial text of 60 pages, though the Pope may still make changes.
The encyclical has five chapters and is addressed to all men of good will as well as those who have national leadership responsibilities , namely, heads of state and heads of government.
The text takes up the most important principles from the Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, which has now been translated to 38 languages. After the publication of Benedict's third encyclical, the Compendium will need to be updated.
The social encyclical interrupts a presumptive cycle of encyclicals on the theological virtues.
Deus caritas est, on love, was published in January 2006 (although it is dated December 25, 2005. Spe salvi, on Christian hope, came out on November 30, 20007, the same day the Pope signed it (Feast of St. Andrew).
It is speculated that the Pope will issue an encyclical on faith in 2009, after the publication of the second volume of JESUS OF NAZARETH, now expected to come out around autumn this year.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The Social Encyclical
~from Apcom via Papa Ratzinger Forum