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Dr. Matthew Bunson Comments on Papal Encyclical Caritas in Veritate

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July 15, 2009 - 6:24 PDT

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Catholic Professor, Theologian and Author Cheers Pope's Declaration:
"Human Life Must Be at Center of Development"

Ft. Wayne, Ind. (July 15, 2009) -- Many priests, bishops, theologians and other well-known Catholics have offered reflections and comments about Pope Benedict XVI's social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth). Dr. Matthew Bunson, theologian and professor of Church History at Catholic Distance University was thrilled to see that the pope linked the respect of all human life to legitimate economic development.

The pope's social encyclical, the third of his papacy, states "True development must encompass the rights of all human persons, including the unborn." Bunson noted that the encyclical was faithful to all of the Church's social teachings on the human person's sacred dignity as well as the transcendent value of natural moral norms. "Caritas in Veritate offers considerable innovation in its prescription for the present global financial crises by highlighting the right to life in relation to genuine progress."

"Openness to life is at the centre of true development," writes the pope. "When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man's true good."

Dr. Bunson notes that the encyclical makes the link "between life ethics and social ethics," especially in its tribute to Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclicals. "Paul VI anticipated the problems that have attended globalization, and in the encyclical Humanae Vitae he predicted with searing accuracy the long-term social effects of a contraceptive culture," said Bunson. "Benedict argues that not only does the 'culture of death' inherently trample upon the dignity of the human person and responsible human freedom, it is bad economics because of the strains it places on social welfare systems and labor resources, not to mention the wider impoverishment of culture."

Bunson believes that some of the policies attached to aid from the United States are creating a demographic catastrophe in the world. "This Holy Father notes that economic development and humanitarian aid from the West too often are accompanied by the imposition of dehumanizing programs and exploitation of labor and natural resources," reflected Bunson.

"In his elegant synthesis of Catholic social thought and Catholic moral teachings, Benedict has given the world a profound assessment of authentic human development. Part of that is fostering the culture of life," said Bunson. "This is a significant moment in Catholic social teaching and the encyclical will be the source of fruitful reflection for many years to come."

To schedule an interview with Dr. Matthew Bunson, please contact Christine Schicker of The Maximus Group at 404-610-8871. To schedule Dr. Bunson for speaking engagements, please contact Tina Remmert of The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032.

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Christine Schicker - Communications Specialist, 404 610-8871

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Matthew Bunson, Caritas in Veritate

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Catholic Church

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