What is meant by "a poor church for the poor"?
(03-22-2013, 03:05 PM)rbjmartin Wrote:
(03-22-2013, 03:00 PM)US_Soldier Wrote: Is it not reasonable that if the Church only worked toward the eradication of poverty in the spiritual sense, that it would also, by necessity, fight poverty in the material sense? Does not a man who is holy, spiritual, and wise, practice the virtue of Charity? Would not the Church do the same?

I will be so bold as to say that the only thing that matters is the salvation of souls. And you might say, "What about the poor who have no house or food?" And I'd repeat to you the same thing: the only thing that matters is the salvation of souls. If our only mission is to save the souls of others, we will not become private, independent, greedy recluses who remain content with allowing the poor to starve, because all of those things surely detract from salvation.

This is an excellent point, and it is often overlooked. The best hedge against the afflictions of poverty is to spread the Gospel. A spiritually strong, virtuous society that is living the Gospel and seeking after perfection will do MORE for the poor than a society that is only concentrating on the material needs of the poor. The spiritual informs the material, and if we give primacy to spiritual needs, we ensure that we will be providing for BOTH the spiritual and material needs of our neighbor.

Great points.  This is why the Popes always condemned socialism when they were condemning capitalism.

I think Pope Pius XI's QUADRAGESIMO ANNO says it best:

For, according to Christian teaching, man, endowed with a social nature, is placed on this earth so that by leading a life in society and under an authority ordained of God[54] he may fully cultivate and develop all his faculties unto the praise and glory of his Creator; and that by faithfully fulfilling the duties of his craft or other calling he may obtain for himself temporal and at the same time eternal happiness. Socialism, on the other hand, wholly ignoring and indifferent to this sublime end of both man and society, affirms that human association has been instituted for the sake of material advantage alone.

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