New Encyclical Completes Trilogy on Theological Virtues

Posted: July 19, 2013
Pope Francis has completed an encyclical begun by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. “It’s an encyclical written with four hands, so to speak, because Pope Benedict began writing it and he gave it to me,” Pope Francis said. “It’s a strong document. I will say in it that I received it and most of the work was done by him and I completed it.” The new encyclical – The Light of Faith -represents the third in a series that examines the theological virtues. The earlier encyclicals are Deus Caritas Est (2005) on charity, and Spe Salvi (2007) on hope.

The new encyclical traces the faith of Abraham and Israel to the fullness of Christian faith: “At the heart of biblical faith is God’s love, his concrete concern for every person, and his plan of salvation which embraces all of humanity and all creation, culminating in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (par. 54). Such faith, according to Pope Francis, enables us to respect God’s creation, build just governments and open for us the possibility of forgiveness. (par. 55).

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