There has been much discussion, commentary, and debate on Pope Benedict’s much anticipated encyclical on the economy Caritas in Veritate (remarkable for a statement that has not yet been released).  At the PowerBlog, we will keep you informed on what is being said about the encyclical and, when it is released, we look forward to providing great coverage.

Two of the most recent commentaries came from John Allen Jr. in the National Catholic Reporter and Michael Novak in First Things.  In Allen’s preview of the new encyclical he states:

In effect, what Benedict laid out last night likely amounts to the theological and spiritual substructure of the encyclical, minus the specific economic prescriptions.

The core of what Benedict said, during an ecumenical vespers service at the grand basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, is that building a better world requires forming better people.  Structural reform thus presuppose personal moral and spiritual renewal, including a life devoted to prayer and the sacraments.

Allen further hints at the theme of the encyclical with his statement:

The idea that a better world must be built on better people is likely to be a core theme in Caritas in Veritale, and the pope dealt with it at length yesterday.

“Paul tells us [that] the world cannot be renewed without new human beings,” Benedict said. “Only if there are new human beings will there be a new world, a renewed and better world.”

There is much speculation that the new encyclical will be in favor of free markets and Novak responds to the criticism from those on the left:

For moralists, it is essential to see how often (not always) government itself sins grievously against the common good, out of a lust for power and domination over others.  Furthermore, government often (not always) generates foolish and destructive regulations, and often dispenses justice that winks rather than justice that is blind.  Government is more frequently the agent of injuring the common good than the ordinary lawful actions of free citizens.  During the twentieth century, governments too often destroyed the common good of their citizens for years to come.

  • R.S.Newark

    So true , so true…As His Holiness has also said it’s the family than matters most and is the mostimportant basic building block of worthwhile life.

  • Kevin Aldrich

    We Americans should keep in mind that even though every encyclical is written at a specific time and for a specific reason, they are addressed to the whole world, not just to America.

  • Roger McKinney

    “Paul tells us [that] the world cannot be renewed without new human beings,”

    Then there is no hope. People have never been better or worse than they are today. Only God can change character, and He has decided to change only those who embrace Him, which has always been a small minority of people. The only hope for the rest lies in an organization of society in such as way that the power of evil people is diminished and that of good people is amplified. Capitalism is the only system that accomplishes both.