Pope Benedict XVI wrote three encyclicals. Caritas in veritate is the third.
Published on 29 June 2009, and coming forty years after Pope St. Paul VI’s Encyclical, Populorum progressio, Caritas in veritate confirms how “charity in truth” is the principal force behind the true development of every person and of all humanity.
Benedict XVI once said, "Only with charity, illumined by reason and by faith, is it possible to achieve goals of development endowed with human and humanizing values".
These same values were at the heart of an International Conference on the theme, “Theory and Praxis of Development”, held in the Vatican on Tuesday December 3rd, and organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Prefect of Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was present at the Conference. He explained: "From the point of view of the Church’s social teaching, what’s the contribution we can make to the sense of development? So that’s why we are gathered here".
Theologians, academics, and experts from around the world gathered at the Casina Pio IV, the home of the Vatican Academy of Social Sciences, to discuss why Caritas in veritate still has so much to teach us, 10 years after its publication.
Prof. Stefano Zamagni is the President of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and was also present at the Conference. He said "It’s the first time in Catholic social teaching an Encyclical Letter devoted so much attention to the world of the economy, of the market."
Pope Benedict XVI wrote Caritas in veritate in the midst of the global financial crisis of 2009. Which is why the Encyclical covers such a wide variety of issues: from globalization to the environment – even anticipating Pope Francis’, Encyclical Laudato sì.
Prof. Adriana Gomez Chico Spamer is from the Mexican Institute of Christian Social Doctrine. She describes Caritas in veritate as "a basis to understand the next Encyclicals that come. And Caritas and Veritate are both at the centre of this understanding".
The Conference explored Pope Benedict’s Encyclical under a variety of headings, economic, political, and theological, always coming to the same conclusion:
Benedict XVI: "Charity in truth is therefore the principal force behind the true development of every person and of all humanity".