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Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Go Read Caritas in Veritae
Did you ever think you'd read an encyclical that advocated:

energy efficiency, and the moral duty to reduce energy consumption
consumer co-ops
large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale
intergenerational justice—in the context of environmental resources
opening international markets, especially in agriculture

As Benedict shows, these ideas are merely consistent developments (or repetitions) of Catholic social teaching. But he is fearless in applying CST in today's arena.

Nor does he hesitate to dig into our dirty details:
NGOs peddling contraceptives and involuntary sterilization to poor countries
the decline in birth rates
the hoarding of resources, especially water
human embryos are sacrificed to research
the poverty of isolation
abusive tourism
the havoc caused by the misuse of finance

There's far more to this encyclical then I can put in any bulleted list. As usual, you'll spot distributive justice (para. 35), obviously a favorite phrase around here, as well as classic principles like subsidiarity and a defense of labor unions.

But you can expect to hear many different spins on this document (including here). So you owe it to yourself to take the time to read the real thing.

Go read Caritas in Veritae.

If you want to print it out, consider this personal reading copy I prepared for myself. It's three columns and only 28 pages (as opposed to the 50 or so my browser quoted me).

Don't miss this!
Posted by Bill Powell at 7/08/2009 10:50:00 AM 12 comments  Links to this post
It did strike me as highly compatible with Distributism ...
Sounded like a bunch of NWO commie crap to me (and yes I read it.)
(07-16-2009, 12:30 AM)Baskerville Wrote: [ -> ]Sounded like a bunch of NWO commie crap to me (and yes I read it.)

Would you so kind to enlighten me why the tasteless NWO is better than New World Order?  This later brings up the memories that Adolph Hitler's speeches were collected under the tytle: My New Order, and that the Gulf war started under the slogan: New World Order. The NWO has no emotional attachment at all, and as a matter of fact the communists (being Hitler so fresh) never used neither the words nor the abbreviation for their own ideologies.

As for the encyclical it is the true continuation of the teaching of our mather the Church, as it was defined in the Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno.
Rerum Novarum Wrote:But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms."[14] It is duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity—a duty not enforced by human law.
Her (the Church) desire is that the poor, for example, should rise above poverty and wretchedness, and better their condition in life; and for this she makes a strong endeavor. By the fact that she calls men to virtue and forms them to its practice she promotes this in no slight degree. Christian morality, when adequately and completely practiced, leads of itself to temporal prosperity, for it merits the blessing of that God who is the source of all blessings; it powerfully restrains the greed of possession and the thirst for pleasure—twin plagues, which too often make a man who is void of self-restraint miserable in the midst of abundance;[23] it makes men supply for the lack of means through economy, teaching them to be content with frugal living, and further, keeping them out of the reach of those vices which devour not small incomes merely, but large fortunes, and dissipate many a goodly inheritance.

29. The Church, moreover, intervenes directly in behalf of the poor, by setting on foot and maintaining many associations which she knows to be efficient for the relief of poverty. Herein, again, she has always succeeded so well as to have even extorted the praise of her enemies. Such was the ardor of brotherly love among the earliest Christians that numbers of those who were in better circumstances despoiled themselves of their possessions in order to relieve their brethren; whence "neither was there any one needy among them."[24] To the order of deacons, instituted in that very intent, was committed by the Apostles the charge of the daily doles; and the Apostle Paul, though burdened with the solicitude of all the churches, hesitated not to undertake laborious journeys in order to carry the alms of the faithful to the poorer Christians. Tertullian calls these contributions, given voluntarily by Christians in their assemblies, deposits of piety, because, to cite his own words, they were employed "in feeding the needy, in burying them, in support of youths and maidens destitute of means and deprived of their parents, in the care of the aged, and the relief of the shipwrecked."[25]

30 Thus, by degrees, came into existence the patrimony which the Church has guarded with religious care as the inheritance of the poor. Nay, in order to spare them the shame of begging, the Church has provided aid for the needy. The common Mother of rich and poor has aroused everywhere the heroism of charity, and has established congregations of religious and many other useful institutions for help and mercy, so that hardly any kind of suffering could exist which was not afforded relief. At the present day many there are who, like the heathen of old, seek to blame and condemn the Church for such eminent charity. They would substitute in its stead a system of relief organized by the State. But no human expedients will ever make up for the devotedness and self-sacrifice of Christian charity. Charity, as a virtue, pertains to the Church; for virtue it is not, unless it be drawn from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ; and whosoever turns his back on the Church cannot be near to Christ.

The new encyclical contradicts Rerum Novarum.  Talk about "redistribution" is particularly troubling and is a further contradiction of R.N.
Even if it does contradict R.N...What's your point? The world's affairs have changed a little bit since there. Leo and Benedict are describing different responses to different world orders.
(07-19-2009, 07:17 AM)anthony Wrote: [ -> ]Even if it does contradict R.N...What's your point? The world's affairs have changed a little bit since there. Leo and Benedict are describing different responses to different world orders.

Rerum Novarum provides a blueprint of Catholic Social Teaching. In other words, it was shaped by certain historical circumstances but its general principles remain valid.
Quote: Even if it does contradict R.N...What's your point? The world's affairs have changed a little bit since there. Leo and Benedict are describing different responses to different world orders

My point is this:

Oath against modernism Wrote:Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. .....
I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.