What Say We Read It First?

Benedict XVI's new social encyclical will be released tomorrow. A few excerpts have leaked or been released. Leftish churchmen are giddy; Rightish ones are braced for "the worst."

I can absolutely guarantee they are both wrong --and equally responsible for the predictable stupid headlines, wrong-headed summary & ignorant assessment of it that will hit the MSM tomorrow. (If the Pope appears to endorse universal health care, you will know he has not been read.)

Michael Novak has a good piece at the First Things blog pointing out that The Usual Catholic Suspects keep using the word "capitalism," but it no mean what they think it mean. Ditto Fr. Sirico.

I take the radical view one ought to read it first before having an opinion (and those of us who profess Catholicism ought to read it as pupils and disciples first, and only then as critics), but given that Cardinal Ratzinger was John Paul II's closest collaborator for 25 years, it's a pretty safe bet Centesimus Annus will not be repudiated as lefties hope and righties fear.

I'm expecting more a call to moral and ethical renewal: economic forms can't function without moral people. As he has often said.

Here's what the Pope is saying in advance of tomorrow's release date.

Can't wait.