Saturday, August 15, 2009

Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate), Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI

"Charity in Truth" is a very readable document especially for those interested in economics, justice, and human development.

You can download and print the document from the Vatican website:
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The letter has a great many subtleties and nuances than cannot be appreciated with a few selected quotes. With that caution, here are a few highlights to consider:

*"If we love others with charity, then first of all we are just toward them." (6)

*"A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized." (15)

*"Profit is useful if it serves as a means towards an end...Once profit becomes the exclusive goal...without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty." (21)

*"Openness to life is at the center of true development." (28)

*"Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone, and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State." (38)

*"Many people today would claim that they owe nothing to anyone, except to themselves. They are concerned only with their rights, and they often have great difficulty in taking responsibility for their own and other people's integral development. Hence it is important to call for a renewed reflection on how rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere license." (43)

*"The exclusion of religion from the public square - and, at the other extreme, religious fundamentalism - hinders an encounter between persons and their collaboration for the progress of humanity. Public life is sapped of its motivation and politics takes on a domineering and aggressive character." (56)

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