New Encyclical on the Way?

Pope Benedict XVI has finished the third volume of his opus, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and perhaps also will publish an encyclical letter during the upcoming Year of Faith, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state.

“It is a great gift for the Year of Faith,” the cardinal told reporters in Les Combes di Introd, a village in Italy’s northwestern Alps where Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict have vacationed in the past.

The press office did not comment on a possible new encyclical.

However, many observers expect there to be a document focusing on the virtue of faith to complete a series of Pope Benedict’s reflections on the theological virtues.

The pope has called for a special Year of Faith, which will open Oct. 11 – the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council – and run through Nov. 24, 2013.