This is the obligatory post on Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate. The document itself is on the Vatican website and and a link on the front page of EWTN. The EWTN one has a table of contents which makes the first reading a bit easier.
I’ve skimmed the encyclical and may post later on it, but meanwhile, here is a round-up of some of the commentary.
Of course, who better to start than with the pope’s own explanation that “charity in truth is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity…” and that the document “intensifies Church analysis and reflection on social themes of vital interest to humankind in our century.” (hat tip to Rich Leonardi)
My favorite headline of all the commentaries is Carl Anderson’s: It’s a Moral Document, not a Political One. It always bugs me when anyone tries to makes a political statement from moral teaching.
Jimmy Akin, with his usual clarity, notes the MSM’s tendency to impose political leaning on everything in “Early Tentative Thoughts.”
There certainly has been no lack of political aspects to the reaction of this encyclical. Witness the kerfluffle over George Weigel’s article. The entry and first comment at First Things has a round-up of reactions to Weigel’s article.
Fr. Fessio picks up on a very important point: “the continuity of the church and her teaching. … Pope Benedict makes it clear that we do not have “two typologies of social doctrine, one pre-conciliar and one post-conciliar, differing from one another: On the contrary, there is a single teaching, consistent and at the same time ever new.'” (paragraph 12 of the encyclical)
Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute also offers a commentary.
Last but not least, The Anchoress offers her round-up and a unique perspective. You have to scroll down to Caritas in Veritate, by B-16 and Pixar. Okay, so the short isn’t scholarly; read her commentary as to why she likes it. The rest of her round-up will satisfy the more scholarly.
UPDATE: I’ve had mixed feelings about including the short and until today, my brain was too fried with the learning curve to sort it out.
Given the heterodoxy in this diocese, I want to respect the desire for straight-forward orthodox information from solidly orthodox sources. At the same time, I enjoy and/or learn from information that doesn’t fit that criteria. That in itself is fodder for a later post. For now, though, I’ll limit myself to two thoughts: why I enjoyed the short and how to label my comments that don’t fit the above criteria.
My first reaction to the short was Huh? because it’s not what I usually find on the Anchoress’ blog and at first, I thought it was a pop-up ad. As I read the entry, I realized the Anchoress had indeed included it in her post about the encyclical. I have to admit that I skipped over most of the written entry (sorry Anchoress), but agreed with the stork-as-servant analogy.
I thought not of the pope, but of St. Theresa of Avila. While traveling, her cart overturned in a stream and she said to God, “If this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few of them.” Those who identify with that story would understand the stork in shoulder pads and helmet. Catholicism is indeed not all warm fuzzies.
As for caution labels, I’ll have to keep thinking. I’m still finding my way with this new activity of blogging. (end of update)
Happy reading and may it prompt spiritual growth and discussion!