Vatican Secratery of State, Cardinal Bertone, confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI’s third encyclical is on the way. The topic? Let’s just say I suspect much of what appears on Vox Nova will be well vindicated. Here are two reports:
The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, confirmed today that Pope Benedict XVI is about to finish his Encyclical on social issues.
“Yes, the Pope is working on a social encyclical, which will have, I believe, a significant impact on the great social and economic problems in the contemporary world,” said Cardinal Bertone during an interview published today by the Italian daily “La Repubblica.”
Pope Benedict, according to Cardinal Bertone, “will address issues particularly related to the third and the fourth world.”
The concept “fourth world” was coined by Pope John Paul II in his social encyclical “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis”, in reference to the poor and marginalized living in developed countries, especially in inner cities.
The Secretary of State gave no clue as to when the document will be released, but unnamed sources from the Vatican quoted previously by the daily “Il Messaggero,” said the third encyclical of Pope Benedict would be signed on the feast of St. Joseph –March 19th – and released during Easter.“The encyclical will focus on international social problems, with special attention to developing countries,” Cardinal Bertone told “La Repubblica.”
Ignacio Ingrao of Panorama via Rorate Caeli:
Six months after Spe Salvi, the Pope publishes his third encyclical. The document should bear the date of May 1st, feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. It will be a social encyclical … .
The document is divided in two parts. In the first one, the Pope recalls the encyclicals Populorum progressio, of Paul VI, and Centesimus annus, of John Paul II; in the second part, [he] assesses the great challenges of our time.
Incidentally, both Michael Novak and Richard John Neuhaus have asserted that there is discontinuity between Popularum progressio and Centesimus annus. Hence, the talk of Pope John Paul II’s “liberalism” and “positive reception” of Novak’s ideas in the 1990’s. Early indication seems to suggest, however, that Pope Benedict XVI sees the two encyclicals as harmonious and continuous with one another.