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Ontario Catholic Bishops publish A Guide for Discussion and Action on the Papal Encyclical Caritas in Veritate

The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario has published Caritas in Veritate: A Guide for Discussion and Action, produced by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice. This new resource will bring to life the recent social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (On Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth). It is intended for use by parishes, secondary schools, colleges and universities, unions, NGOs, professional and business associations, and others.

The Guide is designed for small group discussion and outlines seven sessions on key themes of the document. Each session offers a reflection on the theme, a story to illustrate the idea, a list of resources to get deeper into the topic and some questions to animate the group discussion. An opening piece offers notes to group leaders, suggesting a process for each session.

It is hoped that this guide will prove helpful in accessing, understanding, and acting upon the wisdom and insights of Caritas in Veritate.

Download Caritas in Veritate: A Guide for Discussion and Action hereā€¦

Pope Benedict XVI's new social Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" promotes integral human development based on love and truth

Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth) was published on July 7th just prior to the G8 Summit in Italy. The Pope regards the principle of "charity in truth" to be at the centre of the Church's social doctrine. The encyclical begins with the explanation that "Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love – caritas – is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth."

The encyclical builds on the work of Pope Paul VI's "Populorum Progressio" (On the Development of Peoples) published in 1967. Pope Benedict elaborates in depth on several themes related to human development including poverty, culture, the global market, reform of economic and financial systems, food security, respect for life, the environment, rights and duties, development aid, migration, labour, technology as well as the cooperation of the human family based on communion, solidarity and subsidiarity.

In his concluding remarks Pope Benedict states "Awareness of God's undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs... God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope. Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us."

To read the encyclical and related resources go to the following links:

"Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth) by Pope Benedict XVI

"A Better Future for Everyone Is Possible" – Pope's reflection on new encyclical

Vatican Summary of "Caritas in Veritate"

Encyclical study guides from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Article by Brendan MacPartlin, S.J. published in "Thinking Faith"

Pope Benedict XVI's Message for 2009 World Day of Peace

In his 2009 World Day of Peace Message, Pope Benedict encourages reflection on Fighting Poverty to Build Peace. The Pope discusses poverty's relationship with globalization and various moral implications including demographic change, pandemic diseases, child poverty, disarmament and the current food crisis. He calls particular attention to the "immense military expenditure" in the world and resources "diverted from development projects for peoples". The Pope invites States to "reflect seriously on the underlying reasons for conflicts, often provoked by injustice, and to practice courageous self-criticism. If relations can be improved, it should be possible to reduce expenditure on arms. The resources saved could then be earmarked for development projects to assist the poorest..."

To build peace and fight poverty Pope Benedict emphasizes the need for greater global solidarity in trade, finance, development and other aspects of international cooperation. The Pope concluded that in following Christ's command "'Give them something to eat yourselves' (Lk 9:13),... the Christian community will never fail, then, to assure the entire human family of her support through gestures of creative solidarity, not only by 'giving from one's surplus,' but above all by 'a change of life-styles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power which today govern societies.'"

To read the 2009 World Day of Peace message go here.