I’ve read a lot of commentary on the Pope’s latest encyclical Cartitas in Vertitate. Much of the commentary admits that this is a “hard” Encyclical. It is hard for two reasons. First, its style is dense, very theological, very nuanced, quite technical in places. It requires something of an expansive background and history of the social teachings of the Church. It is also hard for many because it runs against the grains of the political views of many. To be sure, there are things hard to swallow for both the politically conservative as well as the politically liberal. When we confront the often intractable social problems and issues of our day politics is very much in the mix. How best to solve them, big government solutions, marketplace and private sector initiatives? There is strident social and political disagreement among reasonable people.
All this makes Veritate in Caritate a “hard” encyclical. Fr. Robert Barron has a video commentary on the letter below. As always he is a master and taking complicated teaching and distilling from it lots of good “take away” stuff. This video is longer than his average, it is close to 9 minutes. If you don’t have time to see it all I direct you especially to the last three minutes wherein he deals with the “hard” aspects of this encyclical. What about the “World Government” notions in the letter and why does this letter seem so oddly “non-Ratzinger” in its style?