Catholic World News News Feature
Social encyclical coming next? August 13, 2007
The second encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI will focus on economic issues, Vatican officials say.
The forthcoming encyclical would continue the series of papal statements on Catholic social teaching. The Holy Father is preparing the document for the 40th anniversary of Populorum Progressio, the social encyclical released in 1967 by Pope Paul VI.
The Vatican has not formally confirmed that the Pope is writing an encyclical, nor have officials given any indication of when the document could be released. However in July, as the Pontiff began his vacation in the Alps, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that the Pope would spend part of his time working on a new encyclical. Ignazio Ingrao, who covers the Vatican the Italian magazine Panorama, reports that the focus of the new papal statement will be the process of globalization. Pope Benedict will emphasize the need for economic structures and regulations that promote solidarity and favor the equitable distribution of resources, he said.
In Italy, the Panorama report drew widespread attention because Ingrao predicted that the Pope would explicitly condemn tax evasion. The use of tax havens by wealthy individuals has become a hot topic in that country.
Deus Caritas Est, the long-awaited first encyclical by Benedict XVI, was released in January 2006. Shortly after his election, the Pope disclosed that he did not expect to issue many papal documents-- a statement that surprised the many readers familiar with the prolific work of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger prior to his election as Roman Pontiff.