FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Encyclical discussion for everyone else
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3
So, I wanted to start a new thread that wasn't as long and the other has just become a pissing contest between the same 4 people trying to one-up one another and be snarky.

Here's my concern, I've been reading and reading and the encyclical was leaving me uneasy. I couldn't put my finger on why

I finally got how it made me feel.

It seems that at its very root, the subject of development itself (apparently equated to Caritas) seems so, so humanist. Basically the whole thing is about improving man's material lot in life. Then a thin veneer of citations and references to biblical verses, past Encyclicals (Paul VI is quite popular in this one!) is smeared over the surface. Admonishing the addition of *Christian* charity and ethics/morality when exercising Charity etc..but I feel like that's a new Catholic teaching as I understand it.

Let me explain, firstly, I'm under the impression (at the risk of sounding a tad Albigensian) that this life is 'mere' preparation for the next, much more important, eternal life.

Secondly, people in times past attained sainthood without the material developments of today or the future, and if we're really supposed to spend this life in "fear and trembling," really focused on trying to work out our salvation, what's with all this emphasis on improving man's material lot, with some Catholic window dressing on it?? What does improving the 3rd world through development do as far as saving the souls of those in the 3rd world?

Is that not the question a Catholic should be asking from that??

Lastly, I guess the whole things just feels like it rambles and rambles about human material development, the earthly city, etc etc, and then periodically goes something like "Oh yeah, and ultimately this is all about Christ"

I just don't think I've ever seen an encyclical like this as far as subject matter and focus, but perhaps I'm unaware, as I haven't read more than a dozen.

Your thoughts?   Huh?
The Church prays Psalm 50 today in Matins

Psalm 50:17 For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: * with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted.
18 A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: * a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
19 Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion; * that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
20 Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings: * then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.

It just hit me with the same problem as you mentioned. What was new for me, is the end, there will be time, for the oblations
and burnt offerings, but now (probably during the Captivity w/o temple historically) the afflicted spririt and contrited heart
is what God wants.

We can translate it so that first the social justice and charity between people and people, nation and nation should be
restored, and than we will be ready to turn to Christ with full of our harts. Otherwise:

James 2:14 What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? 15 And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: 16 And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? 17 So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. 18 But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. 19 Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?




(07-15-2009, 05:48 AM)Iuvenalis Wrote: [ -> ]So, I wanted to start a new thread that wasn't as long and the other has just become a pissing contest between the same 4 people trying to one-up one another and be snarky.

Here's my concern, I've been reading and reading and the encyclical was leaving me uneasy. I couldn't put my finger on why

I finally got how it made me feel.

It seems that at its very root, the subject of development itself (apparently equated to Caritas) seems so, so humanist. Basically the whole thing is about improving man's material lot in life. Then a thin veneer of citations and references to biblical verses, past Encyclicals (Paul VI is quite popular in this one!) is smeared over the surface. Admonishing the addition of *Christian* charity and ethics/morality when exercising Charity etc..but I feel like that's a new Catholic teaching as I understand it.

Let me explain, firstly, I'm under the impression (at the risk of sounding a tad Albigensian) that this life is 'mere' preparation for the next, much more important, eternal life.

Secondly, people in times past attained sainthood without the material developments of today or the future, and if we're really supposed to spend this life in "fear and trembling," really focused on trying to work out our salvation, what's with all this emphasis on improving man's material lot, with some Catholic window dressing on it?? What does improving the 3rd world through development do as far as saving the souls of those in the 3rd world?

Is that not the question a Catholic should be asking from that??

Lastly, I guess the whole things just feels like it rambles and rambles about human material development, the earthly city, etc etc, and then periodically goes something like "Oh yeah, and ultimately this is all about Christ"

I just don't think I've ever seen an encyclical like this as far as subject matter and focus, but perhaps I'm unaware, as I haven't read more than a dozen.

Your thoughts?   Huh?
Yeah, it just seemed that the whole thing conceded the points of humanism generally, masonic-humanism/charity practically, and only questioned the name in which we enact the same exact agenda, namely building up of the earthly city/the works of man.

The whole thing seems like a concession speech ("Okay, they win, let's just slap a 'made by God' label on humanistic technocracy and call it a day")


By the way, are you saying Psalm 50 is prophetic?
Just thinking again, look how different this is from another economically oriented encyclical Rerum Novarum (Leo XIII), the difference is fundamental.

Quote: 17. It must be first of all recognized that the condition of things inherent in human affairs must be borne with, for it is impossible to reduce civil society to one dead level. Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain. There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such unequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition. As regards bodily labor, even had man never fallen from the state of innocence, he would not have remained wholly idle; but that which would then have been his free choice and his delight became afterwards compulsory, and the painful expiation for his disobedience. "Cursed be the earth in thy work; in thy labor thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life."(5)

18. In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently - who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment - they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as We have said, for the solace to its troubles.


:o

I mean, just day and night!
Disclaimer: I have yet to read the new document, and won't until it's published in hard format (my poor eyes would shrivel reading 30,000 words on-line!).

The same Christ who tells not to store up the kind of treasure that rust and moth doth corrode also tells us to feed the hungry and give the other guy our coat. As such, the Christian is to be concerned with the development of this side of things while not taking his eyes off of Heaven.

One considers if we Catholics don't spiritualize things too much? To use this forum, or AngelQueen, or Catholic Answers as an example, how many threads are there on minor liturgical discussion - however seemingly important - compared with threads on getting food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, etc? Perhaps the pope is calling us to refocus our attention on more pressing matters.

Another point of consideration is that the latest encyclical is addressed not only to Christians (as were Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi), but to the whole world under the greeting, "all people of goodwill." In this moment, this poster is reading through "Mere Christianity." One of the insights taken from the book in summary is this: "The whole world isn't Christian. As such, we cannot expect the whole world to strive for Christian moral perfection." Lewis uses the example of marriage and divorce laws. He says it's absurd to hold non-Christians to use lofty standards that Christians hope to achieve and therefore let there be both civil and religious standards in marriage, the latter more sublime than the first by virtue of its being in Christ. Perhaps the pope is coming from the same angle. It's laudable, one could argue necessary, that the Catholic practice poverty to some extent. Yet it is unreasonable to call non-Christians to this same heights. Throw into the mix the reality than few, if any, of us have ever lived in real, crushing poverty that so many find themselves in. Maybe it's understandable the pope would focus our attention, so distracted as it is, on the material world.

Like Old Testament Israel, the Church - New Testament Israel - is to be a blessing to all mankind. This includes the material world. Obviously this has been the custom of the Church with schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. The material world matters too. With the global depression, it seems this work from the pope is timely.
(07-15-2009, 06:14 AM)Iuvenalis Wrote: [ -> ]The whole thing seems like a concession speech ("Okay, they win, let's just slap a 'made by God' label on humanistic technocracy and call it a day")

I'm new to this actual reading Church documents and stuff, so I wonder: we're supposed to read everything new that comes from the Church in the light of previous teaching, right?  In other words, "Okay, we've got this huge library over here of everything the Church has taught for 2000 years, so given that, what could the Pope be saying here that doesn't contradict any of that?"  In other other words, are we supposed to assume he's not endorsing humanism because the Church has already spoken against it, and therefore parse his words for a different meaning?  Or is that trying too hard?

I know this is probably uncharitable to say, but when I was reading about President Obama's new appointment to "science czar" (I didn't even know we had one of those) John Holdren and his desire for forced abortions and sterilizations, it occurred to me that Holdren is probably a great proponent of a world political authority.  I'm not equating Holdren with Benedict, of course.  But it reminded me how dangerous a concept that is.
(07-15-2009, 07:56 AM)Credo Wrote: [ -> ]Disclaimer: I have yet to read the new document, and won't until it's published in hard format (my poor eyes would shrivel reading 30,000 words on-line!).

The same Christ who tells not to store up the kind of treasure that rust and moth doth corrode also tells us to feed the hungry and give the other guy our coat. As such, the Christian is to be concerned with the development of this side of things while not taking his eyes off of Heaven.

One considers if we Catholics don't spiritualize things too much? To use this forum, or AngelQueen, or Catholic Answers as an example, how many threads are there on minor liturgical discussion - however seemingly important - compared with threads on getting food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, etc? Perhaps the pope is calling us to refocus our attention on more pressing matters.

Another point of consideration is that the latest encyclical is addressed not only to Christians (as were Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi), but to the whole world under the greeting, "all people of goodwill." In this moment, this poster is reading through "Mere Christianity." One of the insights taken from the book in summary is this: "The whole world isn't Christian. As such, we cannot expect the whole world to strive for Christian moral perfection." Lewis uses the example of marriage and divorce laws. He says it's absurd to hold non-Christians to use lofty standards that Christians hope to achieve and therefore let there be both civil and religious standards in marriage, the latter more sublime than the first by virtue of its being in Christ. Perhaps the pope is coming from the same angle. It's laudable, one could argue necessary, that the Catholic practice poverty to some extent. Yet it is unreasonable to call non-Christians to this same heights. Throw into the mix the reality than few, if any, of us have ever lived in real, crushing poverty that so many find themselves in. Maybe it's understandable the pope would focus our attention, so distracted as it is, on the material world.

Like Old Testament Israel, the Church - New Testament Israel - is to be a blessing to all mankind. This includes the material world. Obviously this has been the custom of the Church with schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. The material world matters too. With the global depression, it seems this work from the pope is timely.

Well, that's what I got out of it but I was reading it from a different perspective than most people here.  This particular encyclical has already demonstrated its usefulness to me and others who are working to relieve poverty because it serves as an ideological bridge between what drives us (our faith) and the structures and institutions we have to deal with today in order to accomplish anything at all.  This is huge on a number of levels. 
You just got the sense that the Holy Spirit, having largely settled with doctrines ( with the last promulgation of the 'Immaculate Conception'), and starting with Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum in the 19th century, is moving the Church towards facing social challenges of the present age. Central to these challenges is the question: 'if there is no quality life is it worth having one?' The apparent answer of the secular world lies in man's economic development, apart from his spiritual. Increasing wealth and eliminating poverty are measures of this quest. The Church acknowledges this as a common good only if man remains the center of this quest and this is understandable only in the context that man bears the image and likeness of God. Is it the role of the Church to promulgate the social Gospel in addition to the Good News? Can one love God without loving your neighbors. That was the question St John asked.
Yes people in history have had to live without all the modern conveniences that we enjoy.  However, when a great number of people live on a few dollars a day and can barely meet the needs of life how do you expect for them to grow spiritually?

There are two great commandments to follow: love God, and love thy neighbour.  Sometimes the Church writes on one, sometimes on the other.  The Church is merely pointing out that it is incumbent on the wealthy not to forget the poor.
The Lord said we should love our neighbor as our selves as He has loved us. This love is of the will to do Our Lord's commandment. It is also said am I my brother's keeper? The answer is without doubt everyone is included, first world, second world, and the third world. My take is this we can do this in the Light of Christ's commandment better without these corrupt NGO's and crappy National Governments. There are better ways to get this done. Every thing which is Catholic and is charity is better than anything these Governments and NGO's can do.

The little Rev. on TV that feeds the hungry in America does better. Another org. "feed the poor" sends 0.96 of each dollar to the hungry and administers it through the parish priest and or the local rev.$36.00 will feed a family for three month in the Yucatan and the Caribbean Basin. You all know better ones too.

What good is Billy Clinton or George Bush's idea about helping Africa? They send rubbers which increase the incidence of hiv/aids. We send mosquito nets for sleeping which protect for eight hours at night only. The judicious use of DDT would stop the problem and the death it causes. You all are aware that the international institutions will not allow it's use, Rachel Carson lied in her book silent spring, it only affects bird's eggs, and if used judiciously doesn't cause too much harm. South Africa is free from the international institutions and has resumed DDT and cut deaths from malaria to a few per year from millions. TB and malaria are the top to killers in Africa not aids. Christian NGO's have been screaming about this for twenty years and finally the UN was caught with their pants down lieing about the statistics. TB could be conquered except in a small percentage of cases which do not respond to anti-biotics, the majority of cases do respond for drugs which are cheap,cheap, cheap.

In short we can not trust these people any longer, it is time to get on our dirty clothes and dig in our selves just like the early Christians. And like Paul collect our pennies and send them to the people that are doing Christ's will. We don't need community organizers or habitat for jimmy carter, or bill clintons rubbers for more death, we need to use our heads and act while HH pope Benedict XVI wheddles theses commies, freemasons, and socialists to do the right thing for Christ's sake.

tim
Pages: 1 2 3