Just curious, and please forgive my lack of knowledge: how much magisterial weight does an encyclical bear?
@Whats Up!: Encyclicals can resolve theological disputes. Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis says:20. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me";[Luke, X, 16] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.
Did his motu proprio on Latin already come out?
I look forward to seeing this new encyclical, but it may be just another eye-closer.
I believe it.
Dear Matt,Deus caritas est sought to provide an updated teaching on love.In spe salvi sought to provide an updated teaching on hope.Unless the Holy Father turns his back on virtually everything he's thought and written in his adult life, the new encylical will seek to provide an updated teaching on faith. It no doubt will have a title that will echo words of scripture.Whether in one's judgment its content echoes scripture will depend on how one evaluates the hermeneutic of reform and continuity.For a critique of that hermeneutic, see Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize's "On the Living Magisterium and Living Tradition," in the November 2009 and January 2010 numbers of the SSPX's Angelus magazine.Perhaps someone can also recommend a defense of comparable quality.The new encyclical will not be an eye-closer for those with eyes to see, because it will deal with faith, without which it is impossible to please God.So we will find out from the Holy Father what in his judgment constitutes the root and foundation of our pleasing God.
Matt, I would venture to guess that you have not read Spe Salvi in its entirety. If I am right, then you are in for a treat!
I'm looking forward to reading any encyclical which the Pope puts out. The encyclical carries the full weight of papal infallibility according to the words the Pope chooses to use. If he defines, it is done. Period.
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