Pope Benedict XVI has issued his first encyclical, entitled Deus Caritas Est, in which he discusses the nature of love and charity. In the letter to the Catholic Church the pope tackles the connection between eros, or physical love, and agape, or spiritual love, and warns that the modern understanding of eros detached from agape can reduce men to a commodity to be bought and sold. The second half of the document deals with the Christian duty of charity and was begun by John Paul II before his death. The first draft of the encyclical was written last autumn and the Vatican has attributed the delay in its publication to disagreements about its translation from the popes native German into seven other languages. The full text of the encyclical is available at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi.
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