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Pope drafting new encyclical?

August 03, 2012

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has added to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI is writing a new encyclical for the Year of Faith.

Cardinal Bertone, who is vacationing in the Italian Alps, told reporters that the Holy Father might now be drafting an encyclical, since he has completed work on the 3rd book of his trilogy, Jesus of Nazareth. The cardinal did not claim any direct knowledge of the Pope’s current writing schedule, however.

Pope Benedict has produced 3 encyclicals during his pontificate. Along with his social encyclical Deus Caritas Est, which appeared in 2005, he has also written an encyclical on hope (Spe Salvi, 2007), and an encyclical on charity (Caritas in Veritate, 2009). A new encyclical on faith, completing the trio the theological virtues, would be perfectly timed for the Year of Faith that the Pope has proclaimed, which begins in October.

The Vatican has made no announcement regarding a new papal encyclical. In March, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the idea of an encyclical on faith was a "hypothesis"--although a reasonable one. He said at the time that the Pope had not told him of any immediate plan for another encyclical.


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  • Posted by: spledant7672 - Aug. 06, 2012 12:11 AM ET USA

    The Holy Father is an exemplar of biblical scholarship, modelling how critical biblical studies, shorn of irrational presuppositions, not only support faith but can be the locus of an encounter with Christ. I have been praying that he would be able to finish this 3rd volume - Glory to God! On the eve of the Feast of the Transfiguration I find myself needing to take the lesson to resist wanting to make a "booth" for his pontificate.