Summary of the encyclical “lumen fidei” (The Light of Faith)

From VIS:
Published below is a broad summary of Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei”, published today, 5 July 2013 and signed on 29 June of the same year.

Lumen fidei – The light of faith (LF) is the first Encyclical signed by Pope Francis. Divided into four chapters, plus an introduction and a conclusion, the Pontiff explains that the Letter supplements Benedict XVI’s Encyclicals on charity and hope, and takes up the “fine work” carried out by the Pope Emeritus, who had already “almost completed” the Encyclical on faith. The Holy Father has now added “further contributions” to this existing “first draft”.
A link to the actual encyclical is here.

It is 88 pages long, so it’s not something that one can expect to read and digest in a moment, but I highly encourage all who consider themselves faithful Catholics to familiarize themselves with it.

I would like to bring to your memory some of the controversy that erupted with BXVI’s encyclical, Caritas in Veritate…“ideological” Christians attempted to twist it to fit their particular philosophies, rather than using it to help shape that philosophy. Considering how the left is trying to make Francesco out to be some sort of a liberation theology Marxist, I would anticipate the same happening with this…

So the point is, get familiar with what it actually says, rather than depending upon what somebody else says about it. (Just as a friendly suggestion)

Thank you for the link. I’ve downloaded the pdf so I can begin reading today.

Most of it was written by Benedict. It is pretty easy to figure out which parts were written by whom. The last section seems to be Francis’. It has his distinct peppy style complete with exclamations!!

I think most of this will be seen as Benedict’s (by everyone) and be seen as such. I think that everyone will just wait for Francis’ first encyclical on poverty to see his style and contexts. His priorities are likely to be more liberal than the last two popes.

I think that’s great that Francis continued Benedict’s work.

Pontiffs got to work together! :thumbsup:

I think that the introduction was also written by Francis. He will likely have edited the draft with his own contributions throughout as well.

My favourite part of the encyclical so far (I am in the process of reading it) is this:

"…Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing…"

As Meister Eckhart once said in the early 14th century, “The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love”.

So far (I’m through Chapter 1), this one hits me as very timely:
Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads ** which take us in endless circles, going nowhere.*
*Sounds like modern day Western society.


Marriage one man and one woman for nurturing children: Pope Francis’ first encyclical

ROME, July 5, 2013 ( – In his first encyclical letter, released this morning, Pope Francis has reiterated that marriage is a union of one man and one woman for the procreation and nurturing of children.

This lifelong pledge is possible only in the light of a greater plan for marriage, he said: “Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love.”

Titled Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), the encyclical is known to have been authored mainly by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was still working on it at the time of his abdication and it strongly reflects the theological style of Francis’ predecessor. In his introduction, Pope Francis wrote that he merely “added a few contributions of my own.”

Section 52, on Faith and the Family, calls the family the “first setting in which faith enlightens the human city.”

“I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage," he said. "This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan.

“Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person.”

Anthony Ozimic, communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children told today, “The Pope is linking being pro-life with having a correct understanding of the true nature of marriage. His words will be of great assistance to pro-life organisations who are fighting homosexual ‘marriage’. We know that the homosexual attack on marriage is an attack on the family, which is the best protector of children, both born and unborn.”

Ozimic said that although the section of the encyclical on the subject was short, only a few paragraphs, it is a “significant” aid in the struggle against the global efforts by the homosexualist lobby to dismantle legal definitions of marriage.

“The message from Pope Francis in his first encyclical is that the life-bearing potential of heterosexuality is the prerequisite of marriage,” Ozimic said.

The letter has made clear that “the type of love required for marriage” is not that promoted by the modern media or the sexual revolution, “of sexual desire and personal satisfaction, but a complementarity between the sexes leading to total mutual self-giving and thus openness to the responsibility of parenthood”.

Paragraph 53 says, “In the family, faith accompanies every age of life, beginning with childhood: children learn to trust in the love of their parents.

“This is why it is so important that within their families parents encourage shared expressions of faith which can help children gradually to mature in their own faith.”

Lumen Fidei makes very clear Francis’s deep awareness that religious faith is often understood by many moderns as “darkness” (LF 3). That’s partly because of mischief-making by particular Enlightenment thinkers that’s been uncritically assimilated by most contemporary liberals. But it’s also because many people today associate faith with murderers who fly planes into buildings.

If Pope Francis were a liberal he would have taken this opportunity to show it by deleting the part about marriage being between one man and one woman. He is not a liberal.

Yes. I understand the Pope is Catholic. I just tend to think that Francis’ priorities deal more with social justice.

Which I think is fine. Soon to be St. John Paul II’s primary focus was Hope. Benedict’s was Faith, Francis’ is Charity. There is great continuity there.

You mean social justice in the Marxist sense or in the Catholic sense? Because marriage is certainly a critical issue of Catholic social justice.

You mean like abortion and marriage? These are issues of social justice.

Francis has alluded to abortion and gay marriage but hasn’t said anything outright. Instead, he spent a lot of time on poor people. Also, the trip on Monday is about showing compassion for immigrants. While the UCCB has been full in on the immigration debate, I’ve heard some whining about that from.conservative Catholic quarters.

Social justice, yes, but social justice as defined by the liberals or by the Church? Faith is fundamental to social justice too. :stuck_out_tongue:

Bergoglio: “abortion is never a solution”

Excerpt from following article:


Pope Francis is on record defending the right to life for the unborn. He also has resisted framing abortion as a “religious” issue that could be set aside in favor of religious neutrality:

The moral problem of abortion is pre-religious in nature because the genetic code of the person happens in the moment of conception.

A human being is already there. I separate the topic of abortion from any religious concept. It is a scientific problem.

To not let the development continue of a being who already has all the genetic code of a human being is not ethical.

The right to life is the first of human rights.

To abort is to kill someone who cannot defend himself [On Heaven and Earth].

Homosexual marriage

In 2010, Pope Francis’s native Argentina was in the process of legalizing homosexual “marriage.” The country’s bishops took a very strong line against the measure. A statement made by then-Cardinal Bergoglio was particularly pointed.

According to British journalist Edward Pentin:

He made the statement in a letter addressed to each of the four monasteries in Argentina, asking the contemplatives to pray “fervently” that legislators be strengthened to do the right thing.

He wrote: “In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family. . . .

“At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother, and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

The cardinal also noted that “today the country, in this particular situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Spirit to bring the light of truth on to the darkness of error, it need this advocate to defend us from being enchanted by many fallacies that are tried at all costs to justify this bill and to confuse and deceive the people of good will.”

Yeah… I’m well aware that the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires has referred to these things in Argentina. However, he hasn’t referred to these things as Pope. He has alluded to them but I thought it was telling that these words don’t seem to come up. It seems that Francis is again more interested in poverty, migrants, etc. Again, I don’t see how Francis’ Monday day trip is going to square with some of the objections I’ve heard over immigration reform. And it seems that that is more important to him than certain cultural fights.

What do you have in mind when you’re speaking of cultural fights? :confused:

Personally, I don’t feel qualified to tell him “You should be talking about X instead.” He’s the one chosen by the Holy Spirit to guide the Church.

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