Pope Signs New Globalization Encyclical
The document, entitled "Charity in Truth," is expected to be published soon.
The pope has said his third encyclical will outline the goals and values that the faithful must defend to ensure solidarity among all peoples.
Benedict has frequently spoken out on the financial crisis, urging leaders to ensure the world's poor don't end up bearing the brunt of the downturn even though they are not responsible for it. He has said the downturn shows the need to rethink the whole global financial system.
The pontiff announced he had signed the document Monday, a major Catholic feast day, after celebrating a Mass during which he told new archbishops they must be models for the faithful, guiding them and protecting them as shepherds care for their flock.
Thirty-four new archbishops, including the new archbishop of New York, Monsignor Timothy Dolan, received the pallium, a band of white wool decorated with black crosses that is a sign of pastoral authority and a symbol of the archbishops' bond with the pope.
Benedict said the archbishops should be like Christ "who as a good shepherd carried on his back humanity _ the lost sheep _ to bring them home."
Benedict has been working on "Caritas in veritate," as the encyclical is known in Latin, since 2007 but held back on issuing it so that he could update it to reflect the global economic crisis.
An encyclical is the most authoritative document a pope can issue. Benedict has written two in his four years as pope: "God is Love" in 2006 and "Saved by Hope" in 2007.