For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pope's Latest Encyclical Rooted In Moral Conservatism

For whatever reason a person decides to join the Catholic Church, one should not join because the political views of the Church aligns with ones own. It rarely happens completely. For the Catholic Church has been known to out-conservative the conservatives while simultaneously out-liberaling the liberals for many years. The latest encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), does just that, but not without referencing Catholic doctrine from hundreds of years of carefully thought out philosophy, ie., The Catechism.

Democrats, of course, have taken it upon themselves to crow what they consider to be an endorsement of their irresponsible plans to socialize our economy and create a total welfare state. But with every seeming endorsement comes the exception. For instance, in Chapter 5, section(?) 57, of the encylical, The Pope warns of the dangers of socialization by invoking the principle of subsidiarity, (from Catechism, paragraph #1883) "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions..." This, of course, gives one hope that the Pope sees liberty and freedom as means of achieving economic prosperity and social justice for all, rather than a formation of a total welfare state (something the Church fought against for most of the last century, ie., Communism).

For a letter, it is a rather lengthy read. But if you find the time you should read it in full. Mainly it would seem that Pope Benedict is trying to get us to look beyond our usual party affiliations and issue alliances in dealing with today's problems.

In an article in the New York Times, Ross Douthat points out the links the Pope makes between seemingly unlikely topics. Here's a snippet:

But Benedict’s encyclical is nothing if not political. “Caritas in Veritate” promotes a vision of economic solidarity rooted in moral conservatism. It links the dignity of labor to the sanctity of marriage. It praises the redistribution of wealth while emphasizing the importance of decentralized governance. It connects the despoiling of the environment to the mass destruction of human embryos.

In other words, why should someone who is green on the environment necessarily be pro-death on abortion? etc...

Read the rest of his column by clicking HERE. And a big HAT TIP to Matt Kaufman who is now blogging for Focus On The Family in addition to his usual duties, for directing our attention to Douthat's column.

For a very in-depth look at the encyclical try clicking HERE for Roma Locuta Est.

See also THIS for clarification!


tapsearcher said...

As an advocate for workers human dignity and fair trade since 1992 with many sites and blogs being online since 1998, ( ) we review Pope Benedicts encyclical. The Pope may be too late with too little to affect the flow of Globalism - the new ism that came years ago without any real notification or definition except for using globalization and free trade as its tools in the globalization of money and production. Manuel Castells predicted the economic crisis years ago along with Sir James Goldsmith and others. It is new Bewildered New World that does not know what to do or how to do it. I am afraid the Pope is too late especially since the real definition of free trade is not provided. It is not trade as historically practiced and defined. See Ray Tapajna Chronicles review of the encyclical at