By Vatican News
10 years after the publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Caritas in veritate, the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development (PIHD) will hold an International Conference on the theme “Theory and Praxis of Development”. The Conference will be held in the Casina Pio IV of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican, on Tuesday, 3 December 2019.
Caritas in veritate
Caritas in veritate is an Encyclical promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI on 29 June 2009. He wrote it about forty years after Pope St Paul VI issued the Encyclical Populorum progressio. As such, Caritas in veritate updated Paul VI’s thought not only by placing attention on the theme of “human ecology”, but also stressing that, “authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension” (CV, 11).
Providing the background for the Encyclical were various international realities present at the time: persistent poverty, hunger, exploitation, the emergence of environmental issues, globalization and planetary interdependence, the new means of communication, the growing difficulty of national governments to confront global powers and multinational companies, the financial crisis and financial institutions, etc.
Vocation of the human person
From Pope Benedict’s perspective, these social questions have their basis in essentially anthropological questions (see CV, 75). They regard the truth of the human person which must be sought in the truth of who we are in Christ who is the carità nella verità (charity in truth), and who is “the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity” (CV, 1). If, therefore, development is understood as every person’s “vocation”, his or her development must be inspired by Christ’s charity and by the consequent virtue of gratuitousness.
Details of the International Conference
The integral development of the human person is the central mission of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. For this reason, it has organized a one-day study session on the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of Caritas in veritate. It hopes that with the contributions of representatives from the Church, international and non-governmental organizations and experts from the world of economics and academics, the influence that Caritas in veritate can still play in contemporary society might be brought to light. Internationally renowned persons such as Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Tony Castleman, Dr. Anna Rowlands, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Ms. Maria Luisa Silva and others will contribute to this end throughout the day.