Newspapers worldwide have reported alleged passages of the encyclical, leaked on Monday by the Italian agency ANSA.
ANSA said the encyclical might be published this Friday, but the Holy See has yet to confirm this.
Press sources say that the document is entitled “Deus Caritas Est” (“God Is Love”) and has some 50 pages, but the Vatican has not confirmed this data either.
According to ANSA, the encyclical, the Pope’s first, opens with the words: “God is love; whoever is in love lives in God and God lives in him.”
Initially, various news media reported that the encyclical would be published last Dec. 8. Then they said it would come out on Christmas Day, and later that it would be published Jan. 15.
The Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana has promised its readers that it will publish the encyclical Jan. 25.