Yee-Haa! It's OUT! "Caritas in Veritate: On integral human development in Charity and Truth"

And here’s the link:

You can guess what I will be spending the rest of the day doing…

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7 Responses to Yee-Haa! It's OUT! "Caritas in Veritate: On integral human development in Charity and Truth"

  1. Schütz says:

    Progress report: I’ve read the first few chapters. It is a dense document – as one would expect. The first chapter did not disappoint: already the Holy Father is presenting the sort of rationale for Catholic Social doctrine that I was hoping he would, connecting the dots between the Catholic Faith and the obligation of the Church to be involved in teaching and action in the social sphere.

    I am especially noting the eschatological dimension – the way he strongly connects the “development of peoples” with the eschatological hope of the renewal of humanity. Here there are many themes in common with Spe Salvi, and the false hopes of ideologies to provide justice (one can see the way the Holy Father is building each successive encyclical upon the foundations of the previous encyclical). At the same time, while the categories which he employs to address this connection between social action and justice here and now and the final vocation of humanity are quite different, mutis mutandis he does seem to be addressing much the same thing that NT Wright (yes, I know, here I go again) seems to address.

    Wright has tried – and I think largely succeeded – to place the need for concrete involvement in the life of this world (both social and ecological) in the context of the whole Christian narrative. However, the result, as I think I have said before, in Wright’s case is not wholly convincing, because he seems to fall back on the all-to-common ideological rhetoric of the modern era.

    No one can accuse Pope Benedict of that.

    Anyway, I continue to read. The project is, however, complicated by the fact that my wife has just finished reading the sequel to Twilight, New Moon, leaving the book free for the next reader. Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous…

  2. matthias says:

    schutz would be interested in your comments on the article regarding this encylical ,that appears in FIRST THINGS.
    I happened to have stumbled across it whilst looking at a Lutheran blog

  3. Paul says:

    I have started working my way through Caritas in Veritate, with the help of some media comments

    but a first impression is how practical are the ideas and guidance Pope Benedict is giving. Of course he will be criticised from all sides, depending on people’s preconceptions, but I think we really need some guidance on real issues.

    For example, I accidentally switched on to a replay of this year’s BBC Reith Lecture on Genetics and Morality

    Prof Sandel brought up some scary thoughts, eg
    – the deaf couple who wanted to have a deaf child (what is wrong with this, the defect or the design?)

    – the future basketball coach who doesn’t criticise his players for not being in the right position in the match, he criticises them for choosing to be too short.

    – we are trying to leave less and less to chance in life (we are less “open to the unbidden” as Prof Sandel puts it.)

    Maybe I’m drawing a long bow to link this with Caritas in Veritate, but I think it might relate to the trust in technology that Pope Benedict talks about.

    • Schütz says:

      Thanks, Paul. I am not surprised by your comment about needing help of other commentaries. It is a very difficult encyclical to read. I have one chapter to go still, and it will take a lot of work to try to get a handle on the overall document.

  4. Schütz says:

    Okay, progress update. I have finally finished reading the Encyclical. Working it all out might take a little bit longer.

    I must say that it is very easy to see the finger prints of Pope Benedict on this document. I don’t quite recognise the handwriting, though. Let’s be honest. Economics and social justice are not quite Benedict’s “thing”. Somewhere, however, he has some damned good economics and social justice advisors standing in the wings. Yet he has still managed to give this entire encyclical his over all “stamp” and “flavour”. It’s almost as if someone gave him a first draft of the encyclical, and he said “Sehr Dank”, and took it off and finished it himself.

    The echoes of the two previous encyclicals are so strong, that one almost gets the sense he foreknew the current financial crisis and desired to pre-empt it by laying a foundation about love and truth and hope first before diving into these topics. There are so many other typical “Benedictine” emphases (such as the continuity of Catholic teaching, and seeing the Face of God in Christ etc) that no-one could doubt that this is Benedict speaking. And ultimately, I think he succeeds in giving the Church what it needs – a convincing connection between religious faith and moral action in every aspect of daily life.

    I gather that Paul VI’s “Populorum Progressio” was a pretty near unintelligible document. Honestly, that cannot be said for “Caritas in Veritate”. There is a continuing subtheme throughout the entire encyclical (well, probably more than one, but this is the one that stood out for me): the Church will always stand and speak and act in favour what is ultimately (in the eschatological sense of the word) truly good for mankind, for that is what God himself desires and to which he himself calls us.

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