Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Matthew 23, 13-15 + CSDC and CV
(CV 35a) In a climate of mutual trust, the market is the economic institution that permits encounter between persons, inasmuch as they are economic subjects who make use of contracts to regulate their relations as they exchange goods and services of equivalent value between them, in order to satisfy their needs and desires. The market is subject to the principles of so-called commutative justice, which regulates the relations of giving and receiving between parties to a transaction. But the social doctrine of the Church has unceasingly highlighted the importance of distributive justice and social justice for the market economy, not only because it belongs within a broader social and political context, but also because of the wider network of relations within which it operates. In fact, if the market is governed solely by the principle of the equivalence in value of exchanged goods, it cannot produce the social cohesion that it requires in order to function well. Without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannot completely fulfil its proper economic function. And today it is this trust which has ceased to exist, and the loss of trust is a grave loss.
CSDC 103a. On the hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum, Pope John Paul II promulgates his third social encyclical, Centesimus Annus , whence emerges the doctrinal continuity of a hundred years of the Church's social Magisterium. Taking up anew one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization, which had been the central theme of the previous Encyclical, the Pope writes: “What we nowadays call the principle of solidarity ... is frequently stated by Pope Leo XIII, who uses the term ‘friendship' ... Pope Pius XI refersto it with the equally meaningful term ‘social charity'. Pope Paul VI, expanding the concept to cover the many modern aspects of the social question, speaks of a ‘civilization of love”'.
Notes:  Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus: AAS 83 (1991), 793-867.  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 10: AAS 83 (1991), 805.
 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. .  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
CSDC 73. The Church's social doctrine is therefore of a theological nature, specifically theological-moral, “since it is a doctrine aimed at guiding people's behaviour”. “This teaching ... is to be found at the crossroads where Christian life and conscience come into contact with the real world. [It] is seen in the efforts of individuals, families, people involved in cultural and social life, as well as politicians and statesmen to give it a concrete form and application in history”. In fact, this social doctrine reflects three levels of theological-moral teaching: the foundational level of motivations; the directive level of norms for life in society; the deliberative level of consciences, called to mediate objective and general norms in concrete and particular social situations. These three levels implicitly define also the proper method and specific epistemological structure of the social doctrine of the Church.
Notes:  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 41: AAS 80 (1988), 572.  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 59: AAS 83 (1991), 864-865.
[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)]