The Pope spoke of his third encyclical on Saturday when he received in audience members of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation.
The encyclical is expected to be called "Veritas in Caritate," and it is thought that it will be published June 29, feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
"As you know, my encyclical on the vast theme of economics and labor will soon be published," the Holy Father told the Centesimus Annus group.
ZENIT has a couple of other pieces relating to the encyclical and its contents:
There is a great deal of curiosity about what kind of mark this will be. Because little is known about Joseph Ratzinger's thought in matters of economics. Out of his vast body of writings, there is only one dedicated expressly to this topic. It is a conference given in English in 1985, entitled "Market economy and ethics."
And here is the piece, "Market Economy and Ethics."
The Fall 2008 issue of Communio, which was dedicated to the topic of natural law, has an excellent article, "Fundamental Politics: What We Must Learn From the Social Thought of Benedict XVI," by Thomas Rourke, who is professor of political science at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. Rourke contends that while Ratzinger/Benedict has not produced a "political philosophy per se" he is "a most profound political thinker." His thesis is that "a central feature of the pope's fundamental politics is to show how the state's openness to God, far from leading to theocracy, is actually the only thing that enables the state to distinguish itself properly from the Church, and thus to resist the twin temptations of utopianism and totalitarianism."
This is very much in keeping with Benedict's statement in Deus Caritas Est: "The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person--every person--needs: namely, loving personal concern" (par. 28), (a paragraph that prompted this essay by Fr. James Schall back in 2006). Rourke begins his study of Benedict's political views with his theological anthropology, which is rooted in this basic belief, articulated in Introduction to Christianity: "Person is the pure relation of being related, nothing more." This contrasts sharply, Rourke notes, with the "ontologically dubious, individualistic view of the person as a self-contained monad that underlies much of what is distinctive in modern and contemporary poltical thought, particularly liberalism."
Rourke goes on to look how how Ratzinger/Benedict approaches the essential issues of reason and revelation, the primacy of ethics, freedom and conscience, and culture and society. In doing so, Rourke draws mostly upon On The Way To Jesus Christ, Introduction to Christianity, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, and especially Church, Ecumenism and Politics: New Endeavors in Ecclesiology, a collection of essays published in 2008 by Ignatius Press. For those interested in some of the foundational ideas and principles that will, it seems fair to guess, inform "Veritas in Caritate", the latter is highly recommended. Read an excerpt on Ignatius Insight: "Biblical Aspects of the Theme of Faith and Politics".
And, yes, Ignatius Press will be publishing "Veritas in Caritate" in a hardcover edition. More details, of course, as they become available.