Pope Signs 3rd Encyclical

Release of "Caritas in Veritate" Expected Before G-8 Conference

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009 (<A href="http://www.zenit.org">Zenit.org</A>).- Benedict XVI says his third encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate," aims to help humanity in the effort to achieve sustainable progress and that its publication is forthcoming.



The Pope spoke about his next encyclical when he prayed the midday Angelus on Monday, feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. He confirmed that the document bears the date of June 29, and also confirmed its title.

The Holy Father said the encyclical is a reflection on the conditions necessary for "integral development." He added that it returns to social themes found in "Populorum Progressio," written by Pope Paul VI in 1967.

He explained that it "aims to go deeper in certain aspects of the integral development of our age, in the light of charity in truth."

"I entrust to your prayer this new contribution that the Church offers to humanity in its commitment to sustainable progress, in full respect of human dignity and the real needs everyone has," Benedict XVI said.

"Caritas in Veritate" is the first social encyclical to be written in almost two decades. Pope John Paul II penned "Centesimus Annus" in 1991, a century after Pope Leo XIII's "Rerum Novarum."

It is thought that Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, could present "Caritas in Veritate" on July 6 or 7, immediately before the Group of Eight conference set for July 8-10 in Italy.