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Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate

(Encyclicals & Exhortations of Benedict XVI)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  629 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Benedict XVI has something for everyone in Charity in Truth—from praising profit to defending the environment, from calling for a role for government in the economy to insisting on the necessity of moral transformation and "gratuitousness" in economic life, from the issue of immigration to the importance of technology. However, he also insists on discernment and the purifi ...more
Hardcover, 157 pages
Published August 15th 2009 by Ignatius Press
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Bojan Tunguz
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the first papal encyclical eighteen years that addresses social teaching of the Catholic Church, and the first such encyclical by the Pope Benedict XVI. The title is modeled on Ephesians 4:15, and in some way implies a continuation with the previous encyclical "God is Love" ("Deus caritas est"). The basic thesis of this encyclical is that love is not just an individual and personal attitude limited to one's circle of friends and relatives, but a universal guiding principle that ought to ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite, hands down, of Benedict’s encyclicals. Brilliantly and forcefully argues for the necessity of Catholic social teaching today.

I am troubled by the fact that it almost escaped my notice; it seems that many faithful Catholics in the USA are so enamored with capitalism as to be put off by any criticisms of it (as are always found in Catholic social teaching). But the Church never condemns the legitimacy of private property. The Church *does* condemn socialism outright. What the Church r
Restarted this in honor of his resignation. It is an updating of Catholic social teaching especially 'Pope Paul VI's 1967 Encyclical on the development of people's Populorum Progressio.

'Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love.
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was complimentary in the most theorical reading I've been doing lately. Explaining the basics of Church's social doctrine it acted like a backbone of what I previously knew, learned in classes, and was learning at the moment through other readings. It also proved to be very clear and encompassing, showing how the tradition of the Church is alive and growing.

I've already read all the encyclicals by Benedict. And this is the one I liked the most, along with Deus Caritas Est.
Neil R. Coulter
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was ok

I've been looking forward to reading Benedict's third encyclical, Charity in Truth. I've enjoyed his writing in the previous encyclicals--clear, simple, and encouraging. As I began this one, I enjoyed it just as much. I so agree with Benedict's statements that development must be grounded in the foundation of truth and love that originates from God. I've seen in my experience that simply putting money into development projects is nearly useless in bringing about long-lasting change. I wondered w

Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
It has always seemed to me that the gospel is chiefly concerned with love and justice. Simply read Matthew 5-7, and then Matthew 25 and you learn quite quickly that what the faith is about is treating our fellow human beings with dignity, repect, and - most importanly - justice.

The justice spoken of here is not retributive justice, but distributive justice - giving each their due and treaing no one unfairly. Fair distribution is the heart of the Pope's new encyclical. In essence, Popel Benedict'
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
First off: This was so much longer than I had expected it to be! I also had not anticipated that it would be about economics and social development. That was a surprise.

Now, for the good stuff: This papal encyclical contained some very valuable and insightful truths into the development of global economy in our time and the role of religion, truth, and charity amidst it all.


Some gems:

"investment always has moral, as well as economic significance."

"While the poor of the world continue kno
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitu ...more
One of the more interesting artefacts of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate, this outlines his (and the Roman church's) social vision. The surprise (to some) will be that the church's position is more radical in terms of social justice than many of the secular political parties that pretend to be on "the left" - for example, the British Labour Party; if some of the statements here were in Labour Manifesto, the right wing press would have a field day of outrage. Of course, sections of the work (most ...more
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any thoughtful reader
Shelves: philosophy, essays
Worth reading for Catholics, non-Catholic believers and non-believers. A good reminder that: A man's worth is not what he contributes to the economy. Justice is a necessary condition of charity. You cannot be charitable until you are just. The "Market" is a human arrangement not divine. Profit is a means not an end.

The style is very much like Augustine, Aquinas, second generation Marxists and some American conservatives who build their legitimacy on reference to canonical texts, Scripture, Marx,
Marina Schulz
Sep 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1star, reviewed, school
While I can appreciate his aim, the Pope is obviously living in a different world from my own.

At times hipocritcal, (all cultures are good, but only the Christian Church will bring you light?) and ill-fitted for modern era (comparing family planing and contraceptives to sins etcaetra.)

Like I said, I get his point. Some of it. More moral education, a subsdiary world government, I'm sorry but none of this is pragmatic enough to come into realization by anything else than a miracle. But I don't ag
Avel Deleon
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I well thought out book on economics and the social teaching of the Catholic Church.

Some great quotes:

"...Rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere license." (48)

"Man is not a lost atom in a random universe; he is Gods creature, whom God chose to endow with a mortal soul and whom he has always loved.

Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile."

"It must be remembered that the market doesn't exist on a pure state. It is shaped but the cultural configu
Eric Nelson
Jul 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-but-unowned
Perhaps the most important and well written thing I have read in years. This document has an elegance that helped convince me not only of the critical nature of the issue at hand, but also of the wisdom of the Pope and his Vatican editors. (A side effect of reading this document was realizing how pedestrian the editors at Penguin, Harper, and Simon & Schussler are.) Transcending the right/left boxes that everything else is framed with, Benedict presses forth based on biblical values that if take ...more
Sam Fink
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I hardly expected this book to take my mind to the heights I experienced. Pope Benedict explains to -- or should I say warns -- us to the causes of the economic depths in which we find ourselves. He shows us the bankruptcy of technological advancements that are not intertwined with God's purpose. But far from a depressing book, Benedict shows us the heights we can yet achieve with an allegiance to God's plan for us.

This book awakens in my mind an understanding of freedom and of brotherhood like
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a breath of fresh air compared to all the polarized American political thought. Pope Benedict is not afraid to say bold things that may seem contradictory to those who like to stereotype people as "liberal" or "conservative". We need international organizations that follow the principle of subsidiarity. We need social welfare that takes care of all people, including the unborn. Workers have a right to ownership and independence. Freedom is not granted by governments, in fact any fre ...more
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Quite good. Treats different subject matter -- human development -- from Benedict's prior two encyclicals but still well worth a read.

Benedict continues in the tradition of the Church, underscoring that technocratic solutions will ultimately fail without proper human stewardship, and that capitalism -- as a system -- only has merit insofar as it is conducted by morally good actors.

The Acton Institute has a pretty good review:
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This document provides valuable food for thought--for example, globalization provides opportunities, but without the guidance of charity, it can also cause harm. I agree that we need more concern for the common good, and I was pleasantly suprised to read papal comments on the environment. Everyday consumers can benefit from reading this document because our purchases have wide ranging ramifications. Some of the prose can be dense, but reading this document may make you see the economy and busine ...more
Dec 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
As with all social encyclicals, this work from Pope Benedict is complex. The complexity of the work mirrors the complexity of the subject: the human person. In this encyclical the Pope speaks on the importance of developing human persons (and humanity as a whole) through Charity in Truth. Authentic human development can not take place if either Charity or Truth are absent. A work that will need to be re-read to gain a fully understanding of the subject, but worth reading by all the faithful.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This encyclical is incredibly formative for how we treat the poor or oppressed. However, there are a few passages that would seem to be inflammatory without reading populorum progressio such as the statement that we should have a worldwide agency tasked with ensuring people perform their duties to the poor. Not having read rerum novarum, populorum progressio or blessed John Paul II's encyclical regarding populorum progressio I cannot make a judgement call on that. But it does make one think and ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
I feel weird giving a book like this a subjective Goodreads rating, but I was intellectually amazed by it, so...there you go. 5 stars.

CARITAS IN VERITATE is a clear-sighted example of faith and reason working together. In fact, I'd say it is in itself an example of truth spoken in in scope, touching on everything from technology to the economy to politics and society, yet deeply human and rooted in genuine faith. The writings of Pope Benedict XVI never fail to teach and inspire
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
For the most part, an excellent assessment of the 21st century and some very sound and theologically minded advice from the Holy Father. However, there were a few moments where I got the strong scent of modernist influence, especially his endorsement of the UN. This does not read like Humani Generis or even Rerum Novarum, but it is still helpful to understand how the Church can influence the modern world.
W. Littlejohn
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very good, balanced stuff all throughout. However, I was surprised by how much of a statist the Pope was. He seems to be directing his economic advice largely to governments and the UN, which seems to belie his repeated insistence that economic injustice will only come from Christian charity in Christian truth. Anyway, a fuller review will come by tomorrow.
Justin Aldrich
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Another good encyclical from Benedict XVI. A comprehensive look at economics, social justice, trade, human development, culture, progress, and identity. The foundation for success in all of these areas, he argues, is the Love of God which man receives and must then give to his fellow man. An inspiring vision of the kingdom of Christ!
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: _ita, _reviewed, spiritual
Vote: 4,00

Crystal clear.
The Pope help us focus on the real problems of our world and give us some very interesting answers.
It will be wonderful if more men were willing to hear him and act.
I recommend it to anyone who wish to understand better how the world could be a better place ti live.
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fighting the villian of our day, "the dictatorship of relativism", has become B16's signature. This is his best encyclical yet, as the world is definitely in need of a heavy dose of TRUTH. Benedict makes clear why JPII said TRUTH is the most important word in the Bible.
Todd Zywicki
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Some interesting points but hopelessly confused economics undermines this effort. Since Galileo the church has been careful not to opine on scientific matters that it doesn't understand. Why doesn't it show the same restraint on economics?
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is... God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope.
Michelle Hoyt
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I believe the things Joseph Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT VI) says about the state of our world and the disrespect people for all of God's creation. He is correct in saying that there is Love in Truth and that God is unconditionally loving.
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I need to reread this, but this was very, very good.
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Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) was the 265th Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Catholic Church. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and too ...more

Other books in the series

Encyclicals & Exhortations of Benedict XVI (6 books)
  • God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est
  • Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi
  • Sacramentum Caritatis: On the Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Church's Life and Mission
  • Verbum Domini: The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church
  • Africae Munus: On the Church in Africa

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“Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us.” 25 likes
“Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love.” 11 likes
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