Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Matthew 25, 24-30 + CSDC and CV
(CV 39c) In order to defeat underdevelopment, action is required not only on improving exchange-based transactions and implanting public welfare structures, but above all on gradually increasing openness, in a world context, to forms of economic activity marked by quotas of gratuitousness and communion. The exclusively binary model of market-plus-State is corrosive of society, while economic forms based on solidarity, which find their natural home in civil society without being restricted to it, build up society. The market of gratuitousness does not exist, and attitudes of gratuitousness cannot be established by law. Yet both the market and politics need individuals who are open to reciprocal gift.
CSDC 163a. The principles of the social doctrine, in their entirety, constitute that primary articulation of the truth of society by which every conscience is challenged and invited to interact with every other conscience in truth, in responsibility shared fully with all people and also regarding all people. In fact, man cannot avoid the question of freedom and of the meaning of life in society, since society is a reality that is neither external nor foreign to his being. These principles have a profoundly moral significance because they refer to the ultimate and organizational foundations of life in society. To understand them completely it is necessary to act in accordance with them, following the path of development that they indicate for a life worthy of man.
 Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter;  so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.'  His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?  Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?  Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.  For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
CSDC 267. The course of history is marked by the profound transformation and the exhilarating conquests of work, but also by the exploitation of so many workers and an offence to their dignity. The Industrial Revolution presented for the Church a critical challenge to which her social Magisterium responded forcefully and prophetically, affirming universally valid and perennially relevant principles in support of workers and their rights. For centuries the Church's message was addressed to agricultural societies, characterized by regular cyclical rhythms. Now the Gospel had to be preached and lived in a new “areopagus”, in the tumult of social events in a more dynamic society, taking into account the complexities of new phenomena of the unimaginable transformations brought about by mechanization. At the centre of the Church's pastoral concern was the ever urgent worker question, that is, the problem of the exploitation of workers brought about by the new industrial organization of labour, capitalistically oriented, and the problem, no less serious, of ideological manipulation — socialist and communist — of the just claims advanced by the world of labour. The reflections and warnings contained in the Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII are placed in this historical context.
[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)]