Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Pope's Social Encyclical ...

... hasn't even come out yet, and already some are once again jumping the gun in prematurely condemning those who they assume will be out of step with what the Holy Father will have to say.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Prior to the release of Spe Salvi, many assumed the Pope's second encyclical would be a social encyclical and, just as they do now, got an early start on indentifying those who would balk at and/or try to spin the Holy Father's writings on the Church's social teachings.

However, when the second encyclical didn't pan out as anticipated, focus shifted to the upcoming third encyclical - once again with assumptions made about those who would be vindicated and those who would be roundly repudiated by the Pope.

All the speculation on whose hats will be handed to them by the Holy Father sorta reminds me of how Pope Benedict was going to come to America and deliver a scathing denunciation of Bush's Iraq War policies. Suffice it to say, that particular instance of counting eggs before they were hatched led to some major disappointment in various quarters.

Given that so many have so often guessed so wrong on how Joseph Ratzinger would perform as Pope, I think the most prudent and charitable posture to take until Caritas in Veritate is released is the one Blackadder urges:
Perhaps we should wait and see what the encyclical actually says [ED.: not to mention wait and see how the people being criticized actually respond to the encyclical] before we start condemning people for not abiding by it.

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At 5/29/2008 5:46 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

If the pope issues a social encyclical, I would expect it would be less specifically proscriptive that partisans on either side of the American political spectrum would like. (And however much he may protest to the contrary, the author you link to is a partisan of the most extreme sort.)

I would expect partisans on both sides to skim it quickly and declare victory for their own sides. That generally seems to be the way of it.

At 5/30/2008 12:10 AM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...


You certainly are doing penance by continuing your proclitivity of reading uncharitable web sites.

At 5/30/2008 7:09 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Actually, I've recently cut way back on my reading of all blogs. I'm very busy at work this time of year.

I was alerted to the blog post in question.

At 5/30/2008 8:46 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Will definitely read this, but I confess that I'm really looking forward to his encyclical on faith, which will complete the trilogy.

At 5/31/2008 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all this speculation and counterspeculation is pretty much the definition of giving scandal.


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