Thursday, March 27, 2014
Matthew 25, 31-36 + CSDC and CV
(CV 40a) Today's international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise. Old models are disappearing, but promising new ones are taking shape on the horizon. Without doubt, one of the greatest risks for businesses is that they are almost exclusively answerable to their investors, thereby limiting their social value. Owing to their growth in scale and the need for more and more capital, it is becoming increasingly rare for business enterprises to be in the hands of a stable director who feels responsible in the long term, not just the short term, for the life and the results of his company, and it is becoming increasingly rare for businesses to depend on a single territory.
CSDC 163b. The ethical requirement inherent in these pre-eminent social principles concerns both the personal behaviour of individuals — in that they are the first and indispensable responsible subjects of social life at every level — and at the same time institutions represented by laws, customary norms and civil constructs, because of their capacity to influence and condition the choices of many people over a long period of time. In fact, these principles remind us that the origins of a society existing in history are found in the interconnectedness of the freedoms of all the persons who interact within it, contributing by means of their choices either to build it up or to impoverish it.
 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,  and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,  naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
CSDC 179. The present historical period has placed at the disposal of society new goods that were completely unknown until recent times. This calls for a fresh reading of the principle of the universal destination of the goods of the earth and makes it necessary to extend this principle so that it includes the latest developments brought about by economic and technological progress. The ownership of these new goods — the results of knowledge, technology and know-how — becomes ever more decisive, because “the wealth of the industrialized nations is based much more on this kind of ownership than on natural resources”. New technological and scientific knowledge must be placed at the service of mankind's primary needs, gradually increasing humanity's common patrimony. Putting the principle of the universal destination of goods into full effect therefore requires action at the international level and planned programmes on the part of all countries. “It is necessary to break down the barriers and monopolies which leave so many countries on the margins of development, and to provide all individuals and nations with the basic conditions which will enable them to share in development”.
Notes:  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 32: AAS 83 (1991), 832.  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 35: AAS 83 (1991), 837.
[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)]