As I reminded in my encyclical Caritas in Veritate - following in the footsteps of the Servant of God Paul VI - the proclamation of Jesus Christ is "the first and principal factor of development" (No. 8). Thanks to it, in fact, one can walk on the path of integral human growth with the ardor of charity and the wisdom of truth in a world in which, often, lies threaten man, society and participation. It is by living "charity in truth" that we will be able to offer a more profound look to understand the great social questions and indicate some essential perspectives for their solution in a fully human sense. Only with charity sustained by hope and illumined by the light of faith and reason, is it possible to achieve objectives of man's integral liberation and universal justice.
The life of communities and of each of the believers - nourished by assiduous meditation on the Word of God, by regular participation in the sacraments and by communion with wisdom that comes from above - grows in its capacity of prophecy and renewal of cultures and public institutions. The ethos of peoples can thus enjoy a truly solid foundation, which reinforces social consensus and sustains procedural rules. The commitment to build the city leans on consciences led by the love of God and, because of this, naturally oriented to the objective of a good life, structured on the primacy of transcendence.
"Caritas in veritate in re sociali": it seemed opportune to me to describe thus the social doctrine of the Church (cf. ibid., No. 5), in keeping with a more genuine rootedness - Jesus Christ, the Trinitarian life that he gives us - and according to all its force capable of transfiguring reality. We are in need of this social teaching, to help our civilizations and our own human reason to understand all the complexity of reality and the grandeur of the dignity of every person. [...]
In the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, I pointed out fundamental problems that affect the destiny of peoples and global institutions, in addition to the human family. The upcoming anniversary of the encyclical Mater et Magistra of Blessed John XXIII invites us to consider with constant attention the social, sectorial, and national inequalities between resources and poor populations, between technology and ethics. In the present context of globalization, these imbalances have not disappeared. The individuals have changed and the dimensions of the problems, but the coordination among the states - often inadequate, because it is oriented to the quest for a balance of power, more than to solidarity - leaves room for renewed inequalities, to the danger of the predominance of economic and financial groups that dictate - and attempt to do so continually - the agenda of politics, to the detriment of the universal common good. [...]
The social doctrine of the Church thus represents the essential reference for the plan and social action of the lay faithful, in addition to one's own lived spirituality, which is nourished and framed in ecclesial communion: communion of love and truth, communion in the mission. [...]
The "Christifideles laici", however, precisely because they take energies and inspiration from communion with Jesus Christ, living integrated with the other ecclesial components, must find by their side priests and bishops capable of offering a tireless work of purification of consciences, together with indispensable support and spiritual help for the coherent testimony of the laity in the social realm. Hence, of fundamental importance is a profound understanding of the social doctrine of the Church, in harmony with all her theological patrimony and strongly rooted in the affirmation of the transcendent dignity of man, in the defense of human life from its conception to its natural death and of religious liberty. [...]
Living in communion with Jesus Christ and among ourselves, we are "found" both by the truth of salvation and by the truth of a world that has not been created by us, but which has been given to us as home to share in fraternity.
vrijdag 5 november 2010
"The first and principal factor of development"
Uit (Zenits vertaling van) de Boodschap van Benedictus XVI aan de President van de Pauselijke raad voor gerechtigheid en vrede, bij gelegenheid van zijn voltallige vergadering: