Pope Francisâ First Encyclical

This first encyclical of Pope Francis was presented at a press conference on Friday, July 5. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was the first presenter. He highlighted several key points of the encyclical, including the origin of faith and the unity of the faith. The encyclical, concluded Archbishop Muller, “wishes to restate in a new way the truth that faith in Jesus Christ is a good for humanity 'truly a good for everyone; a common good': 'Its light does not simply brighten ... the Church, nor does it serve solely to build an eternal city in the hereafter; it helps us build our societies in such a way that they can journey towards a future of hope”.

Archbishop Muller was followed by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who emphasised that the encyclical “speaks of faith like an experience of communion, of the enlargement of the 'I' and solidarity in the path the Church takes with Christ for the salvation of humanity…. The tendency to confine faith to the private sphere is calmly but decisively rejected here” and “many aspects developed previously in the encyclicals on charity and hope are complemented here by this depiction of faith as communion and service for the common good”.

The final presentation was given by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization.  He pointed out that the encyclical  teaches a path the Pope proposes to the Church in order that she might recover her mission in today's world. … Presenting faith, the encyclical invites us to return our attention to the basis of the Church and of every believer. This is the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God who, through his death and resurrection, revealed to us the fullness and depth of His love.

You may read a summary of the encyclical or the document in its entirety.