Reflections on the Holy Father's Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est
1. Cardinal Renato Martino - Love experienced makes one capable of 'self-gifting'
Cardinal Martino, President of the Councils for Justice and Peace and for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, locates the heart of Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, in the proposition that, because Christianity proclaims truth and love, it is "the religion of the communion and unity of the human race."
2. Bruno Forte - Jesus Christ makes 'impossible love possible'
The Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, describes Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, as both simple and dramatic, going "straight to the heart of the revelation of God." God is love agape, and in Jesus Christ He makes this love, which is naturally impossible for us, possible.
3. Fr Réal Tremblay, C.SS.R. - Open Heart of the Son: Place of Trinity, Source of Church
Fr Réal Tremblay, C.SS.R., Professor of Fundamental Moral Theology at the Alphonsianum, and Member of the Pontifical Theological Academy, finds the doctrine of the Trinity implicit in Benedict XVI's Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, with the open Heart of the Crucified Christ as its starting point.
4. Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes - Charity, evangelization and the 'signs' of the Saviour
Archbishop Cordes, President of the Pontifical council Cor Unum,observes that the Holy Father's Encyclical, rather than pointing out new lines of action, recalls us to the heart of what we believe, that God is love. The Encyclical seeks to communicate a fascination for God which moves us to become evangelizers.
5. Archbishop Angelo Amato - The heart of the matter: An encounter with God who is love
Archbishop Amato, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, noting that this Encyclical will likely set the tone for the Holy Father's whole pontificate, examines the six "agapic" theses of the Encyclical, in which God's love (agape) is manifested.
6. Enrico dal Covolo - The poor themselves as the real treasure of the Church
Father dal Covolo surveys Greek and Latin Fathers on the relationship between love of God and love of neighbor. Love of neighbor is seen as both a condition for loving God and a consequence of it.
7. Giovanni Reale - Seeking and passing on the gift of Love, which is God
Giovanni Reale, professor of philosophy, examines the distinction between eros (desire) and agape (sacrifice), before showing their synthesis in the Holy Father's Encyclical.
8. Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi - Charity is not an added extra but pervades Christian living
Bishop Crepaldi, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, shows the connection between the Church's social doctrine and the overall message of the Holy Father's Encyclical. "The Encyclical proclaims charity as the essence of God himself, and for this very reason does not fail to consider the human and social aspects of love..."
9. Bishop Rino Fisichella - The heart of the truth: love alone is credible
Bishop Fisichella, Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University and Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, focuses on the statement in Deus Caritas Est, "God's love for us is fundamental for our lives, and it raises important questions about who God is and who we are." The Bishop explains that only love can reveal the true self, as well as the identity of God.
10. Fr. Antonio Maria Sicari, O.C.D. - Drawing near to God — and others
Father Sicari draws attention to the Holy Father's emphasis on the unity of the commandments to love God and our neighbor, exemplified in the Saints, but above all in the Incarnation, when the natures of God and man were wed.