The Happy Priest: Discovering the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church
Catholic social teaching is not republican, democrat, conservative, liberal, libertarian or European socialism.
Catholic social teaching is not republican, democrat, conservative, liberal, libertarian or European socialism - Catholic social teaching is Catholic. The answer to the upheavals around us is for a new generation of thinking men and women to imbue themselves with the social teaching of the Catholic Church and to put it into practice.
The 'Occupy Wall Street' movement as well as the 'Tea Party Movement' invite Catholics to discover and live the Social Doctrine of the Church
Like the tired machines that collapse in the final part of Spielberg's The War of the Worlds, the lies and corruption of our modern times are coming to an end. However, they must not be replaced with new political and economic systems that enslave man in different ways.
Last December, Pope Benedict, in an address to the Roman Curia, told us what to do: "Let us ask him, then, to wake us from the sleep of a faith grown tired, and to restore to that faith the power to move mountains - that is, to order justly the affairs of the world."
To order justly the affairs of the world!
Yes, and we need to look to the Church because in the Catholic Church we find an undiscovered treasure called the social teaching of the Catholic Church. It is here, in the social teachings of the Catholic Church that we will find the way to order justly the affairs of the world.
"The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with communism or socialism. She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of capitalism, individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor".
"Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market. Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2425).
Catholic social teaching is not republican, democrat, conservative, liberal, libertarian or European socialism. Catholic social teaching is Catholic.
Often, conservatives firmly adhere to the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Catholic Church, but they refuse to examine the social teaching of the same Church. Liberals tend to pick and choose certain aspects of the social teaching of the Church, leaving behind other dimensions of the same teaching such as the unwavering stand of the Church that abortion is an intrinsic evil.
The answer to the upheavals around us is for a new generation of thinking men and women to imbue themselves with the social teaching of the Catholic Church and to put it into practice. A new generation of thinking men and women who have freed themselves from radical individualism and ideologies will be capable of drinking in the teachings of the Catholic Church with objectivity and intellectual honesty.
Each week, the writers of Catholic Online come together for a phone conference, directed by Deacon Keith Fournier, to pray, reflect and to come up with new ideas of how we can help our readers become fully engaged in the new missionary age of our times. Deacon Keith continually points us to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and he does so with great passion and conviction. It is in that volume, Deacon Keith continues to affirm, that we will find the solutions for the political, economic and social challenges of our day.
"The Church, the sign of God's love for mankind and of the vocation of the whole human race to unity as children of the one Father, intends with this document on her social doctrine to propose to all men and women a humanism that is up to the standards of God's plan of love in history, an integral and solidary humanism capable of creating a new social, economic and political order, founded on the dignity and freedom of every human person, to be brought about in peace, justice and solidarity."
"This humanism can become a reality of individual men and women and their communities are able to cultivate moral and social virtues in themselves and spread them in society. Then, under the necessary help of divine grace, there will arise a new generation of new men, the moulders of a new humanity" (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, page 7).
Taking up Deacon Keith's passionate challenge, I plan to offer a series of articles in the next few weeks. These articles will be a humble attempt to at least get us reading the social teachings of the Church and to really begin to see how we can begin to be "the moulders of a new humanity."
Father James Farfaglia is the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Visit Father James on the web at http://www.fatherjames.org. You can contact Father James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: social teaching, social doctrine, justice, peace, social order, war, peace, social justice, economic freedom, soclidarity, subsidiarity, common good, Fr James Farfaglia
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