Saturday, March 15, 2008

Caritas in Veritate

Reports have been circulating that the Holy Father's next encyclical will be entitled Caritas in Veritate and it's supposed to deal with social doctrine. The strange thing is that the suggested title doesn't immediately seem to square up with the reported contents. Deus Caritas Est was about the particularly Christian sort of love which is 'Caritas' in Latin. Spe Salvi was about hope and salvation. However, Caritas in Veritate would seem to suggest an encyclical dealing with the relationship between truth and Christian love.

What's going on?

My guess is that this 'social encyclical' is going to draw on a theme that's very close to the centre of the Holy Father's thoughts. He's consistently argued that the praxis of Christian charity and social reform must be preceded by confronting the question of the truth about God and man... namely in the contemplation of Jesus Christ. Ratzinger has been arguing this for decades. In fact, I think that this is where his fundamental objection to Liberation Theology lies - the huge problem with this movement in was in its prioritising of action over the question of truth. Ratzinger rejects such an approach as failing to respect human dignity and a betrayal of the concrete nature of God's revelation in and through the person of Jesus Christ, Truth-incarnate.


Augustine said...

I do hope so!

Love the blog by the way...

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with this post, but everything to do with a previous one.

I hope you enjoy.

-B. D.

Anonymous said...

If he plans on completing the terna of the theological virtues, then "faith" should be the focus. A center formed around "truth" would fit that--a kind of backdoor approach to social doctrine via faith, belief in the truth, rather than starting with action.