Saturday, March 1, 2014

Matthew 21, 18-22 + CSDC and CV

Matthew 21, 18-22 + CSDC and CV     

(CV 33a) More than forty years after Populorum Progressio, its basic theme, namely progress, remains an open question, made all the more acute and urgent by the current economic and financial crisis. If some areas of the globe, with a history of poverty, have experienced remarkable changes in terms of their economic growth and their share in world production, other zones are still living in a situation of deprivation comparable to that which existed at the time of Paul VI, and in some cases one can even speak of a deterioration. It is significant that some of the causes of this situation were identified in Populorum Progressio, such as the high tariffs imposed by economically developed countries, which still make it difficult for the products of poor countries to gain a foothold in the markets of rich countries.

Populorum Progressio: development is the new name for peace

CSDC 98a. “Development is the new name for peace”[180], Pope Paul VI solemnly proclaims in his Encyclical Populorum Progressio [181], which may be considered a development of the chapter on economic and social life in Gaudium et Spes, even while it introduces some significant new elements. In particular, it presents the outlines of an integral development of man and of a development in solidarity with all humanity: “These two topics are to be considered the axes around which the Encyclical is structured.

Notes: [180] Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 76-80: AAS 59 (1967), 294-296. [181] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio: AAS 59 (1967), 257-299.

(Mt 21, 18-22) Under the sign of continuity and renewal

[18] When he was going back to the city in the morning, he was hungry. [19] Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went over to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again." And immediately the fig tree withered. [20] When the disciples saw this, they were amazed and said, "How was it that the fig tree withered immediately?" [21] Jesus said to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. [22] Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive."

CSDC 85. Guided by the perennial light of the Gospel and ever attentive to evolution of society, the Church's social doctrine is characterized by continuity and renewal [133]. It shows above all the continuity of a teaching that refers to the universal values drawn from Revelation and human nature. For this reason the Church's social doctrine does not depend on the different cultures, ideologies or opinions; it is a constant teaching that “remains identical in its fundamental inspiration, in its ‘principles of reflection', in its ‘criteria of judgment', in its basic ‘directives for action', and above all in its vital link with the Gospel of the Lord”[134]. This is the foundational and permanent nucleus of the Church's social doctrine, by which it moves through history without being conditioned by history or running the risk of fading away. On the other hand, in its constant turning to history and in engaging the events taking place, the Church's social doctrine shows a capacity for continuous renewal. Standing firm in its principles does not make it a rigid teaching system, but a Magisterium capable of opening itself to new things, without having its nature altered by them[135]. It is a teaching that is “subject to the necessary and opportune adaptations suggested by the changes in historical conditions and by the unceasing flow of the events which are the setting of the life of people and society”[136].

Notes: [133] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 3: AAS 80 (1988), 515; Pius XII, Address to Participants in a Convention of the Catholic Action movement (29 April 1945), in Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Pio XII, vol. VII, 37-38; John Paul II, Address at the international symposium “From Rerum Novarum to Laborem Exercens: towards the year 2000” (3 April 1982): Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, V, 1 (1982), 1095-1096. [134] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 3: AAS 80 (1988), 515. [135] Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Libertatis Conscientia, 72: AAS 79 (1987), 585-586. [136] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 3: AAS 80 (1988), 515.

[Initials and Abbreviations.- CSDC: Pontifical Council for Justice And Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church; -  SDC: Social Doctrine of the Church; - CV: Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in truth)]

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