June 10, 2013

Continuing a papal tradition of finishing a predecessor's work in progress, Pope Francis intends to complete an encyclical – on the virtue of faith – begun during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

"I can confirm that the plan for an encyclical on faith, begun by Benedict XVI, has been taken up by the new pope," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said in a May 24 email response to questions.

He said it would "be premature" to guess when the encyclical would be completed.

Lombardi denied Italian press reports that the former pope is helping to finish the encyclical.