Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Rare joint encyclical by two living popes published

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, July 5 - An historic papal
encyclical, produced by not one but two pontiffs, was released
Friday urging stronger faith and less arrogance among Catholics.
While this is Pope Francis's first encyclical, he has made
it clear that much of the work in "Lumen Fidei" or "The Light of
Faith" was produced by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
"It's an encyclical written by four hands, so to speak,
because Pope Benedict began writing it and he gave it to me (to
complete)," Francis recently told bishops in Rome.
Francis, the first pope from Latin America, was elected
less than four months ago on March 13, making the publication of
this encyclical something of a modern record.
It urges believers to avoid arrogance, advising that "faith
is not a truth that is imposed by violence, it is not a truth
that crushes the individual," but rather it "reawakens critical
senses" and "broadens the horizons of reason".
The text - released just days before Francis travels to the
Italian island of Lampedusa to honour the thousands of desperate
migrants who have died fleeing northern Africa - also reminded
followers of the importance of Christian faith in maintaining
society and its institutions.
"When faith is weakened, the foundations of humanity also
risk being weakened," according to the text, built on a draft
prepared by Benedict, who was unable to complete the work during
his pontificate.
This encyclical was to have been Benedict's fourth on the
theological virtues, and follows the best-selling trilogy: Deus
Caritas Est (God Is Love), published in 2006, Spe Salvi (Saved
in Hope), in 2007, and Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth),
in 2009.
Citing his failing physical strength, Benedict abdicated in
February, triggering the elections that brought in Francis.
One of the major events of the Year of Faith, which ends on
November 24, Friday's encyclical was presented at a press
conference including Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of
the Congregation of Bishops.
The Vatican intends to print 500,000 copies of the 90-page
Italian edition of the initial print run, priced at 3.50 euros
each.
The encyclical was designed as a kind of summary of the
ideas from a synod that ended last October 24 on the subject of
the new evangelization, but also discussed "evangelization in
general".
Benedict was originally expected to complete the encyclical
in the first half of 2013 but his resignation, announced to a
stunned world on February 11 and carried out on February 28,
made this impossible.
He is now retired and lives in the Holy See, marking the
first time in history that two popes - one serving, the other
not - have lived simultaneously behind the Vatican walls.

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