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Pope Francis' First Encyclical To Be Released on Friday

"Lumen Fidei" (The Light of Faith) Will Reflect On Several Themes in the Year of Faith

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, July 01, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" (The Light of Faith), is set to be published this Friday and will be presented during a press conference at the Holy See Press Office.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, will present the encyclical along with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis revealed the completion of the encyclical for the Year of Faith during a meeting with members of the XIII Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. Stating that it was the work of "four hands", the Holy Father told the bishops that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had handed over his draft of the encyclical which deals with several themes on faith.

Among the themes are the nature of ecclesial collegiality and the synodal structure in the service of the Church's universal mission and in cooperation with the Petrine ministry, the crisis of the family, care for the created order, and the recovery of a whole and wholesome understanding of human being.

"It is an extremely powerful document," Pope Francis said on June 13th. "The majority of the work was done by him [Benedict XVI]."

Pope Francis also revealed that he would be working on an exhortation on the evangelization that references last year's Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith.

"I felt that the Year of Faith would end without a good document that can help us," the Pope said. "And so I thought this: an exhortation on the evangelization that references the Synod. It can be taken from the Synod but with a much broader framework. I liked the idea and I will go down this path. I have written something and in August, where I will be more relaxed at home, I can [continue writing] and go forward."

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