Hope encyclical rejects atheism
In his encyclical released on Friday, Pope Benedict states atheism is responsible for some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" in history.
The 75 page encyclical - the second written by Benedict - urges Christians to put their faith for the future in God, and not in materialism, political ideologies or technology.
Reuters reports that in the encyclical, the Pope writes that ideologies, such as Marxism, left behind a "trail of appalling destruction" because of its failure to recognise that man could not exist without God.
The Pope begins the text by explaining "the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey."
"The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life," he writes.
"To come to know God—the true God—means to receive hope."
Affirming that faith is hope, the Holy Father states that prayer is without question a "school for hope".
"When no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me."
Papal encyclical attacks atheism, lauds hope (Reuters, 02/12/07)
Spe Salvi" challenges modern society and today's Christianity to self-examination of hope (Catholic News Agency, 02/12/07)
Hope at the heart of Pope Benedict's second encyclical (Independent Catholic News, 02/12/07)
Spe Salvi, The Pope's Encyclical on Christian Hope (Vatican Information Service, 30/11/07)
For True Progress, We Need Faith (Time, 02/12/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi
First Encyclical letter by Pope Benedict - The Vatican
Pope's second encyclical for Friday release (CathNews, 28/11/07)
Pope's second encyclical due by Christmas (CathNews, 16/11/07)
Pope encourages hope in second encyclical (CathNews, 17/10/07)
Pope's first encyclical to appear early December (CathNews, 26/10/05)
Pope's first encyclical expected in two weeks(CathNews, 12/01/06)
3 Dec 2007