Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New encyclical due Friday

Pope Benedict XVI will release the 2nd encyclical letter of his pontificate, entitled Spe Salvi, on November 30.

The new encyclical, a reflection on the theological virtue of hope, will be formally introduced to the media at a Friday news conference by Cardinal Georges Cottier, the former theologian of the pontifical household; and Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, SJ, the former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

The subject matter of the Pope's new encyclical, and the timing of its release, have been a subject of intensive speculation since July, when the papal spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, disclosed that the Holy Father had spent a part of his summer vacation drafting a new document.

Earlier this autumn, Italian press reports had indicated that the Pope was writing on Catholic social teaching. Vatican sources now indicate that another papal document on that subject is still forthcoming.

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.

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