Introduction

Caritas in Veritate is the first social encyclical of the 21st century, and Pope Benedict XVI’s chosen topic couldn’t be timelier. Forty years after the publication of Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio, and following in the footsteps of his predecessor John Paul II (who marked its twenthieth anniversary with his own Sollicitudo Rei Socialis), Benedict conveys his desire to

“pay tribute and to honour the memory of the great Pope Paul VI, revisiting his teachings on integral human development and taking my place within the path that they marked out, so as to apply them to the present moment.”
It is Benedict’s conviction that Populorum Progressio deserves to be considered “the Rerum Novarum of the present age”, shedding light upon humanity’s journey towards unity.”

Benedict’s reflection is a lengthy and substantial one — 30,468 words: an introduction, six chapters, conclusion, and 159 footnotes, to be precise.

Pope Benedict XVI signs his new Encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate

Caritas in Veritate online

And for those who just want to quickly skim over a coffee break:

What follows is a compilation of coverage, commentary and resources which may perhaps assist us in doing so — none of which, of course, should substitute for reading the document itself — (I cannot emphasize that enough).

First Things Online Symposium — August 17–21, 2009