Social Encyclical Won’t Be Ready for Summer

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 11, 2008 ( Benedict XVI’s third encyclical on issues related to Catholic social teaching and globalization probably won’t be ready before summer, according to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The Pope’s secretary of state told the ANSA news service Sunday during his visit to Azerbaijan that he doesn’t think it will be published before the summer holidays as the Holy Father continues to work on it. He is “reflecting and revising,” added the cardinal

The Pontiff dedicated his first two encyclicals to the virtues of love and hope. The Holy Father’s first encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” (God is Love) was released in 2005, and “Spe Salvi” (Save in Hope) was released last November.

“It needs to be written well. The Pope is making his reflections and annotations and is checking things rigorously,” said Cardinal Bertone. “I’m not saying the pope is a true perfectionist, but in a certain sense he is.”

The cardinal added that the encyclical will also have to be translated into various languages before its release, and that the Vatican is hoping to publish a Chinese version along with the other main languages. “Spe Salvi” was originally published in eight languages.

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