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.
Caritas in Veritate online
- The full text of the encyclical, now available in Latin, the official language of the Catholic Church.
- From the Vatican Information Service, a chapter-by-chapter summary of the encyclical
- Full text of Caritas in Veritate from the Vatican’s website
- Ignatius Press, the primary English-language publisher of the works of Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), makes use of the occasion to announce its expansion into electronic and audio formats, beginning of course with the encyclical.
And for those who just want to quickly skim over a coffee break:
- A helpful summary from Dr. Jeff Mirus (CatholicCulture.com)
- Sandro Magister provides selected highlights.
- Encycli-bites for reading “Caritas in veritate” - key thoughts from the encyclical condensed into helpful bullet points, courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano and Fr. John Zuhlsdorf.
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