02 December 2007

New Encyclical

Pope Benedict has issued a new encyclical, formally known as "Spe Salvi."

Papal encyclicals are issued in Latin, of course, and their first two words serve also as their title. "Spe salvi" comes from a biblical verse in a letter of St. Paul, "In hope we were saved," or Spe salvi facti sumus.

The gist of the encyclical seems to be that we should work toward improving this world, the secular reality into which we were born, and not let our hopes for the next one distract us from that.

On the other hand, the assurance of a next world, His Holiness tells us, will provide us with some useful perspective in our work bettering this one.

Secular hopes are often quite distant -- a utopia it may take several generations to build. But, the encyclical tells us, "a kind of hope that has nothing to do with me in person is not a real hope."

Further, we need criteria for the evaluation of whatever work we're doing to create a better world here, and that criteria must ultimately be otherworldly in nature.

More here (in English) if you're curious: http://www.zenit.org/article-21161?l=english

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.