A Papal Encyclical is a circular letter which is written by a Pope to an audience of bishops and is intended to guide them in their ministry. Every encyclical is made publicly available for the spiritual benefit of all the people of God.
Since his election in 2005, Pope Benedict has written three Encyclicals: Deus Caritas Est, Spe Salvi and Caritas in Veritate. They have been well-received by a wide range of audiences including Catholics, other Christian denominations and faith leaders, as well as people who do not belong to a faith community. Here you will find each Encyclical with a PDF download available.
Caritas in Veritate - or Charity in Truth - is the Holy Father's third Encyclical Letter and brings forth the Church’s social teaching focusing on human development in charity and truth.
Deus Caritas Est - or God is Love - is the Holy Father's first Encyclical Letter. Pope Benedict looks at the place of love in the Church and focuses on eros (sexual love), agape (God's love for humankind) and logos (the Word) - all in the context of Christ and His sacrifice for us.