Giuliano Ferrara's Il Foglio has satisfied my curiosity as to the language that Benedict XVI would employ for an encyclical that deals with economics, among other things. In its issue yesterday, the newspaper gave full play on Page 1 to the Italian text of two paragraphs from the encyclical, which it published without commentary, and is translated here.
A small preview of
'Caritas in veritate'
July 4, 2009
Naturally, the Holy Father does not disappoint! His language is as clear and forthright as ever - and the presentation in these two paragraphs is familiar to anyone who follows his writings - a linear, easy-to-follow, philosophical and pedagogical exposition of his thoughts. I cannot wait for Tuesday.....
Initial print order
34. Love in truth confronts man with the stupendous experience of giving.
Gratuitousness is present in life in many forms, often not recognized because of a vision of existence that is merely production-oriented or utilitarian.
The human being is made for giving, which expresses and realizes his dimension of transcendence.
Sometimes, modern man is erroneously convinced of being the only author of himself, of his life and of society. This is a presumption that results from the selfish closing-up in oneself, which derives - to use an expression of faith - from original sin.
The wisdom of the Church has always proposed keeping sight of original sin even in the interpretation of social facts and in the building of society: "To ignore that man has a wounded nature, inclined to evil, is a cause of serious errors in the fields of education, politics, social action and customs". (85)
Added for some time now to the list of the fields in which the pernicious effects of sin are manifested is that of the economy. We have evident proof of this even in these times.
The conviction of being self-sufficient and to have succeeded in eliminating the evil that is present in history just by his own actions has led man to identify happiness and salvation with immanent forms of material wellbeing and social action.
Likewise, the conviction of the need for autonomy in the economy, which should not accept 'influences' of a moral character, has pushed man to abuse the economic instrument in a way that has been ultimately destructive.
In the long run, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems which have suppressed the freedom of the individual and of social bodies, and precisely because of this, are not capable of assuring the justice that they promise.
As I stated in the encyclical Spe salvi, this is how Christian hope is taken out of history (86), whereas it is a powerful social resource in the service of integral human development that is sought in freedom and justice.
Hope encourages reason and gives it the power to orient the will. (87)
It is already present in faith, or rather, it is aroused in faith.
Love in truth feeds on hope, and at the same time, manifests it. As an absolutely gratuitous gift from God, it comes into our life as something that is not owed to us - it transcends every law of justice.
A gift by its nature surpasses merit - its rule is excess. It precedes us in our very spirit as a sign of the presence of God in us and of his expectations from us.
Truth, which like love is a gift, is greater than us, as St. Augustine teaches.(84)
Even the truth about ourselves, of our personal consciousness, if first of all something 'given'.
In every cognitive process, indeed, truth is not produced by us but is is always found, or better yet, received.
Like love, it "is not born from thinking and wishing, but in some way, it is imposed on the human being". (88)
Because it is a gift received by all, love in truth is a force that constitutes the community, and unifies men according to modalities in which there are neither barriers nor limits.
The community of men can be constituted by us ourselves, but it can never be, with only our own powers, a community that is fully fraternal nor one that goes beyond every limit, namely, to become a truly universal community: the unity of the human species, a fraternal communion beyond every division, is born from the con-vocation of the word God-Love.
In facing this decisive question, we must specify, on the one hand, that the logic of giving does not exclude justice and is not juxtaposed to it afterwards and from the outside; and on the other hand, that economic, social and political development requires, if it is to be authentically human, that we make room for the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity.
35. The market, if there is reciprocal and generalized trust, is the economic institution that allows an encounter among persons as economic operators who use contract as a rule for their relationships and who exchange fungible [freely interchangeable] goods and services among them to satisfy their needs and desires.
The market is subject to the principles of so-called commutative justice which regulates precisely the relationship of giving and receiving among equal subjects.
But the social doctrine of the Church has never stopped calling attention to distributive justice and social justice in this very market economy, not only because it is part of a vaster social and political network but also because of the fabric of relationships within which it is realized.
Indeed, the market, if left only to the principle of equivalency of values exchanged, does not produce that social cohesion which it needs in order to function well.
Without internal forms of solidarity and reciprocal trust, the market cannot fully carry out its own economic function. Today, it is this trust which is lacking, and the loss of trust is a serious loss.
Opportunely, Paul VI in Populorum progressio underscored the fact that the economic system itself would take advantage of generalized practices of justice since the first to benefit from the development of poor nations would be the rich ones. (90)
It is not just a question of correcting dysfunctions through aid. The poor are not to be considered as a 'burden'(91), but rather as a resource, even from a point of view that is strictly economic.
Nonetheless, the viewpoint of those who think that the market economy structurally needs a quota of poverty and underdevelopment in order to function best must be considered erroneous.
It is in the interest of the market to promote emancipation, but to truly do this, it cannot count on itself alone, because it is not capable of producing by itself something that goes beyond its own possibilities.
It should draw from the moral energies of other subjects who are capable of generating such energies.
85 Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 407; cfr JOHN PAUL II, GIOVANNI PAOLO II, Lett. enc. Centesimus annus, 25: Lc., 822-824.
86 Cfr n. 17: AAS 99 (2007), 1000.
87 Cfr Ibid., 23: L c.,1004-1005.
88 St. Augustine explains in detailed manner this teaching in the dialog on free will (De libero arbitrio II 3,8,27 sgg.). He indicates the existence within the human soul of an 'internal sense'. This sense consists of an act which takes place outside of the normal functioning of reason, an act that is not reflected upon and is almost instinctive, for which reason, considering its transient and fallible nature, admits the existence of something above it that is eternal, absolutely true and certain. The name that St. Augustine gives to this truth is sometimes God (Confessions 10,24,35; 12,25,35; De libero arbitrio li 3,8,27), and more often Christ (De magistra 11,38; Confessions 7,18,24; 11,2,4).
89 BENEDICT XVI, Lett. enc. Deus caritas est, 3: l.c., 219.
90 Cfr n. 49: Le., 281.
91 JOHN PAUL II, Lett. enc. Centesimus annus, 28: Le., 827-828.
for 'Caritas in veritate':
150,000 in Italian
VATICAN CITY, (translated from Apcom) - There will be 150,000 copies of the first edition of Benedict XVI's Caritas in veritate
which will officially be released on Tuesday, July 7.
Papa Ratzinger's third encyclical will be 141 pages long, divided into 6 chapters.
It will be distributed initially in eight languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Latin.
What will be the Vatican's
official English translation
of 'Caritas in veritate'?
The Pope's American publisher isn't sure, so it says it is prepared for both possibilities:
'Love in Truth' or 'Charity in Truth':
Ignatius Press plans to publish the Holy Father's new encyclical in three formats: print, e-book, and audio. Above is one of the banners we are using to promote these formats; it links to a simple web page from which you can pre-order the print book now. The e-book and audio book formats will be available shortly after the encyclical's release.
You can follow the link of this banner to find out more and to sign up to be notified about the availability of the encyclical and other Ignatius e-books and audio books available for download.
(You'll notice that the English title of the encyclical given in the banner is "Love in Truth". When you follow the link, the title on the descriptive page is "Charity in Truth". No, that's no mistake. We've created two different covers. There is still some discussion about which way the title will be translated in the official version of the document. We'll find out soon. Meanwhile, we're prepared for either scenario!)
I read somewhere recently that there had been a debate over whether the encyclical should be called Veritas in caritate or Caritas in veritate as it was always reported. It seems some theologians prefer the former formulation but Benedict XVI held out for his original choice....
And as for what the official English translation will be, I would hope it is 'Love in truth'. 'Love' is a more embracing (comprehensive) term, and it does not have the 'social work' connotation that the word 'charity' has in English.
Also, contrary to the wishful thinking of some Catholic 'leftists', the Pope does not seem to be advocate getting rid of the market economy or capitalism! This, even as their hero Obama is not-so-stealthily expanding government control of enterprise in the United States.
It's surprising that Obama's rah-rah boys at L'Osservatore Romano do not see what he is doing for what it is - perilously like Mussolini's fascist one-party take-over of Italian society! They, of all people, should recognize the signs.