In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul offers an oft-cited message about the relation between what are commonly referred to as the theological virtues: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Of the three encyclicals Pope Benedict XVI has written since the beginning of his papacy, two have dealt with theological virtues. As is evident from their titles, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) in 2006 and Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope) in 2007 explored the virtues of love and hope, respectively, while the Pope’s 2009 “social” encyclical, Caritas in Veritae (Charity in Truth), is deeply informed by his previous reflections on these two theological virtues.
The notable absence of an encyclical on the third theological virtue, faith, as well as the recent announcement and commencement of the Year of Faith, which began on October 11, 2012 and will continue until November 24, 2013, has left many speculating that the Pope will address this third theological virtue in another encyclical. Such speculators will be pleased to hear that sometime during the first half of the Year of Faith, the Pope will in fact publish just such an encyclical. As reported by the National Catholic Register, the encyclical on faith will coincides with several notable anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II, as well as a topic we’ve followed at The Catholic Conversation, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
If you want to read more, the National Catholic Register’s article is here.