A Vatican analyst in Italy says the social encyclical that Pope Benedict XVI was working on during his vacation time in northern Italy this summer will address the challenge of the just development of nations in the context of globalization.
Ignazio Ingrao, Vatican analyst for the magazine “Panorama,” quoted Vatican sources this week as saying the expected social encyclical by the Pope, the second of his pontificate, will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the historic encyclical by Pope Paul VI, “Populorum Progressio,” published on Easter Sunday, 1967.
According to Ingrao, the Pope will address the issue of social justice and ethics within the context of a globalized economy, “denouncing even as socially unjust the economic paradises where taxes are avoided.” The avoidance of taxes has been an issue in Italy since some politicians have said that Church authorities don’t speak out against the frequent Italian practice enough.
The encyclical will also advocate “a world in which world commerce and the economy are regulated in such a way as to prevent greater injustice and discrimination,” as a consequence of globalization.
Vatican watchers expect the new encyclical to contain important ethical criteria rather than “recipes” for running the world economy, basing their analysis on the symbolism of the Pope’s desire to commemorate “Populorum Progressio,” an encyclical in which Paul VI argued in favor of the development of the poorer countries through the direct action of richer ones.
At the same time, he described the highest level of structures of human development in this way: “What are truly human conditions? The rise from poverty to the acquisition of life's necessities; the elimination of social ills; broadening the horizons of knowledge; acquiring refinement and culture. From there one can go on to acquire a growing awareness of other people's dignity, a taste for the spirit of poverty, an active interest in the common good, and a desire for peace. Then man can acknowledge the highest values and God Himself, their author and end. Finally and above all, there is faith—God's gift to men of good will—and our loving unity in Christ, who calls all men to share God's life as sons of the living God, the Father of all men.”