Sources at the Holy See have confirmed to CNA that Pope Benedict XVI is set to finish an encyclical on the virtue of hope that, according to the Italian daily La Repubblica, will be called “Spe Salvi” (Saved by Hope). In addition, they said the Pontiff is also working simultaneously on two other important texts, including one on social issues.
After the announcement of the theme of the next encyclical, which according to the Italian daily, could be published before Christmas, Vatican sources consulted by CNA said the Pope is also working on a social document, confirming what was informally said during the Pope’s vacation last summer.
This new document, “which may or may not be an encyclical, would be an updating of the themes contained in Populorum Progressio from the perspective of the social and ethical challenges posed by globalization,” the sources said.
This year marked the 40th anniversary of Populorum Progressio, the encyclical by Paul VI that addressed the issue of human development as an integral phenomenon that should have political, social, ethical and spiritual effects.
“There has not been, therefore, ‘a change’ in what the Holy Father is interested in, but rather he is working on different texts at the same time, as he did as a theologian and as a Cardinal,” sources explained.
They also said Benedict XVI is working on a third text: the second and last part of his book on Jesus Christ. In this second part, he will write about the Gospel passages on the Passion, Resurrection and the infancy of Jesus. “This theological and personal work of the Pope, which will be the second part of ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ is also being written, without impacting the other official documents which he is considering publishing as part of his Magisterium,” sources said.