Pope Benedict will not complete his encyclical on faith

CWN is reporting that the Pope’s spokesman has announced that he will not be able to publish his final encyclical before his abdication at the end of the month.

I hoped the Pope had planned it so he would be able to finish his trilogy on the theological virtues. It makes me think the timing of his decision was made more suddenly.

Maybe his successor will take the draft and finish it, much like Pope Benedict did with some of Bl. John Paul II’s writings for the encyclical on love (Deus Caritas Est).


This is a crying shame. I was hoping we would have it before the year of Faith was over.

Is he not able to work on it after he’s stepped down?

Perhaps, but it wouldn’t be an encyclical then, now would it? And, this is likely part of the whole “we’re still figuring this thing out” dynamic – if he publishes after the end of this month, would there be confusion among the faithful regarding how to accept the words of Ratzinger? (That is, would some take it as an expression of the magisterium? Would others disregard it altogether? Would it provide a situation in which it would be very confusing, trying to remember which works are pre-papacy, which are during his reign, and which are post-papacy?)

I didn’t realize there was anything special about its status as an encyclical. Enlightenment please?

An encyclical is a papal document meant to instuct all of the faithful. He can’t very well issue it if he isn’t pope now can he?

Good to know, and no, he probably couldn’t. Interesting… I wonder if he could ghost-write the rest of it and give it to the next Pope for approval >_>

Disappointing to say the least.

Truly a shame. All kinds of stuff is being left undone.

I still wish he would keep working on it - he could do some editing and just publish it as a book like his other academic and popular works, couldn’t he?

Or maybe he will turn it over to his successor, maybe even collaborate?

Let’s hope somehow we will get the benefit of the wisdom and thought he’s already put into it…

That is just too sad.

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