So, Caritas in Veritate. It’s big. Really, really big. Yes, I read it all, but honestly, there’s way too much for detailed comments, unless they give me a TV series on EWTN. 🙂 We’ll see how far I get, but here’s some general comments.
The major thing I noticed was not just that the Pope pokes at pretty much all the dominant ideologies of our day (which he does). It’s that the encyclical’s really very non-prescriptive. Again and again, there are criticisms of existing stuff along with praises of what’s good about them, and then there are suggestions about what kind of spiritual framework and practical principles need to be applied to situations. But there is no concrete program. (No matter what you read in the papers or on other blogs. You heeeeeear ooooonly my voice…..)
Just as in this pope’s first encyclical, Caritas Deus Est, political and other concrete implementations are firmly decreed to be the business of the lay faithful.
In other words, “I’ve taught you some important ideas and pointed out trouble spots. You’re an adult Christian. Take some initiative and do something.” If you ask B16, telling people this stuff is exactly the business of a theologian or bishop. My mom apparently thinks it’s her business too 🙂
The second thing I noticed was that pretty much everyone either read this document in shards, paying attention only to what they most agreed or disagreed with (the “blah blah blah GINGER” principle); or even worse, they only read what other people said about it, and got so disgusted that they announced they didn’t have to read anything more. Well, you’ll never find anything out that way. 😦