Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Matthew 23, 16-24 + CSDC and CV
(CV 35a) It was timely when Paul VI in Populorum Progressio insisted that the economic system itself would benefit from the wide-ranging practice of justice, inasmuch as the first to gain from the development of poor countries would be rich ones . According to the Pope, it was not just a matter of correcting dysfunctions through assistance. The poor are not to be considered a “burden”, but a resource, even from the purely economic point of view. It is nevertheless erroneous to hold that the market economy has an inbuilt need for a quota of poverty and underdevelopment in order to function at its best. It is in the interests of the market to promote emancipation, but in order to do so effectively, it cannot rely only on itself, because it is not able to produce by itself something that lies outside its competence. It must draw its moral energies from other subjects that are capable of generating them.
Notes:  Cf. no. 49: loc. cit., 281.  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 28: loc. cit., 827-828.
CSDC 103b. Pope John Paul II demonstrates how the Church's social teaching moves along the axis of reciprocity between God and man: recognizing God in every person and every person in God is the condition of authentic human development. The articulate and in-depth analysis of the “new things”, and particularly of the great breakthrough of 1989 with the collapse of the Soviet system, shows appreciation for democracy and the free economy, in the context of an indispensable solidarity.
 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.'  Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?  And you say, 'If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.'  You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?  One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;  one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it;  one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.  Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
CSDC 84. Besides being destined primarily and specifically to the sons and daughters of the Church, her social doctrine also has a universal destination. The light of the Gospel that the Church's social doctrine shines on society illuminates all men and women, and every conscience and mind is in a position to grasp the human depths of meaning and values expressed in it and the potential of humanity and humanization contained in its norms of action. It is to all people — in the name of mankind, of human dignity which is one and unique, and of humanity's care and promotion of society — to everyone in the name of the one God, Creator and ultimate end of man, that the Church's social doctrine is addressed. This social doctrine is a teaching explicitly addressed to all people of good will, and in fact is heard by members of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, by followers of other religious traditions and by people who belong to no religious group.
Notes:  Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), 453.  Beginning with the Encyclical Pacem in Terris of John XXIII, the recipient is expressly identified in this manner in the initial address of such documents.
[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)]