Rome

Vatican rules out encyclical before pope steps down

Document on faith remains 'awaited', Father Lombardi says

Vatican rules out encyclical before pope steps down

Rome, February 12 - The Vatican spokesman on Tuesday ruled out the publication of a fourth encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI before he steps down from office at the end of the month. The pope had been due to publish an encyclical on faith during the first half of 2013 to coincide with the Year of Faith currently underway. However the shock announcement of his resignation on Monday has made this impossible. ''(The encyclical on faith) will not be published before the end of the month, it was not in a state to be made public,'' said Vatican press director Father Federico Lombardi. ''It remains an awaited document but one that we will not have in the way we expected, perhaps we will have it in a different way,'' he continued. The encyclical was to be Pope Benedict's fourth, after Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love), published in 2006, Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope), in 2007, and Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), in 2009. The pope said Monday he would leave office on 28 February at 8pm local time.

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