Caritas in Veritate: much to offer, but needs perspective

In “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”), the third encyclical of Benedict XVI’s papacy, the pope deals with the present challenges to humanity and the church and updates Catholic social teaching with references to them. He studies issues such as the ethics of business, globalization, the role of technology, the right to life, sexuality and family life, abortion, euthanasia, migration, labour unions, outsourcing of production, consumerism, mass media and communications, climate change and dangers to the environment and the future of humanity on planet earth .

Reflecting on the present economic crisis, the encyclical offers some guidelines for the ethical conduct of business and prevention of abuses such as speculative use of financial resources for short term profits. Stressing that economic life has been detached from ethical considerations, he calls for a new way of understanding business enterprise.