Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Opus Dei encyclical

Pope Benedict could be preparing his first social encyclical

Vatican City, Mar. 15, 2006 (CNA) - Sources close the Holy See have indicated that Pope Benedict XVI is preparing his first social encyclical, which may be entitled “Labor Domini,” or, “The Work of the Lord.”

According to the report, which has not yet been officially confirmed by the Holy See, the encyclical would present a Christian vision of human work and address the importance of work for society. Likewise, it would explore the necessity and duty of the human person to work in some capacity.

A central theme of the document looks to be work as a participation in the creative action of God and, as a consequence, a means of sanctification.
It may also address the challenges of “neo-liberalism” and of a lack of solidarity in the world. Sources add that the document would probably not be issued until at least Christmas.

Since Pope Leo XII, every pontiff has issued social encyclicals coinciding with the date of the first social encyclical, “Rerum Novarum.”

The last social encyclical, entitled “Centesimus Annus,” was released by Pope John Paul II to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo’s historic document.

The Church will celebrate the 115th anniversary of the encyclical this year.

Saint Josemaria has been growing on me of late. Must be all the subtle references to him in my copy of the Daily Roman Missal. The sanctification of work is not a new issue of course. But to a larger Catholic audience that will be reached by a papal encyclical, that particular phrase is pretty much synonymous with the mission of Opus Dei.

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