Did you ever think you'd read an encyclical that advocated:
- energy efficiency, and the moral duty to reduce energy consumption
- consumer co-ops
large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale
- intergenerational justice—in the context of environmental resources
- opening international markets, especially in agriculture
As Benedict shows, these ideas are merely consistent developments (or repetitions) of Catholic social teaching. But he is fearless in applying CST in today's arena.
Nor does he hesitate to dig into our dirty details:
- NGOs peddling contraceptives and involuntary sterilization to poor countries
- the decline in birth rates
hoarding of resources, especially water
human embryos are sacrificed to research
- the poverty of isolation
- abusive tourism
havoccaused by the misuse of finance
There's far more to this encyclical then I can put in any bulleted list. As usual, you'll spot distributive justice (para. 35), obviously a favorite phrase around here, as well as classic principles like subsidiarity and a defense of labor unions.
But you can expect to hear many different spins on this document (including here). So you owe it to yourself to take the time to read the real thing.
Go read Caritas in Veritate.
If you want to print it out, consider this personal reading copy I prepared for myself. It's three columns and only 28 pages (as opposed to the 50 or so my browser quoted me).
Don't miss this!