Father Thomas J. Reese, S.J. erstwhile editor of America Magazine speculates about the Pope's forthcoming encyclical on Caritas in Veritate Charity in Truth in today's Washington Post.
Conservatives will be shocked and disappointed by the encyclical, which will reflect Benedict's skepticism toward unbridled capitalism based on greed. I suspect that will bre true, in the US at least, Catholics on the otherhand will most probably be delighted by a challenging restatement of Catholic Social teaching.
Reese quotes the Pope from a statement in February:
"It is the Church's duty to denounce the fundamental errors that have now been revealed in the collapse of the major American banks. Human greed is a form of idolatry that is against the true God, and is a falsification of the image of God with another god, Mammon."
He says the Pope has given hints about the content of the encyclical.
It will be heavy on concern for the poor, especially those in the Third World who are not responsible for the crisis but are unduly suffering from it. Undoubtedly it will also develop the pope's concern about the environment. As he has already said, "Starvation and ecological emergencies stand to denounce, with increasing evidence, that the logic of profit, if it prevails, increases the disproportion between rich and poor and leads to a ruinous exploitation of the planet."
I agree with Reese as far as he goes but I suspect that the Holy Father may also shock liberals by speaking about the purpose of mankind, the family and contraception and abortion, and our own need for personal conversion to the Truth. I am not sure Fr Reese has paid much attention to the documents title!