## Tuesday, July 14, 2009

### Highlights from Chapter 1 of Caritas in Veritate

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From The Encyclical

Of course, these point to my own biases and prejudice as well; but since the pundits are playing the same game, I thought it'd make an interesting contrast to see how those who strive for orthodoxy might make out. Unlike some pundits, I've preserved note numbers and paragraphs, so you'll have an easier time finding the context.

• 10. ... The correct viewpoint, then, is that of the Tradition of the apostolic faith[13], a patrimony both ancient and new, [LOVE that pairing!] outside of which Populorum Progressio would be a document without roots — and issues concerning development would be reduced to merely sociological data.

• 11. ... In not a few cases, that freedom is impeded by prohibitions and persecutions, or it is limited when the Church's public presence is reduced to her charitable activities alone.

• Without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space. [I'm put in mind of a moment in Star Trek VI, where Christopher Plummer declares "We need breathing-room!" and William Shatner replies ... it's knifty knack our Holy Father has for subverting the language of heretics and evil-doers to highlight the real values they have corrupted.] Enclosed within history, it runs the risk of being reduced to the mere accumulation of wealth ...

• In reality, institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation ...

• Only through an encounter with God are we able to see in the other something more than just another creature[17], to recognize the divine image in the other, thus truly coming to discover him or her and to mature in a love that “becomes concern and care for the other.”[18]

• 12. The link between Populorum Progressio and the Second Vatican Council does not mean that Paul VI's social magisterium marked a break with that of previous Popes, because the Council constitutes a deeper exploration of this magisterium within the continuity of the Church's life[19].

• ... on the contrary, there is a single teaching, consistent and at the same time ever new [Yay!][20]

• Coherence does not mean a closed system: on the contrary, it means dynamic faithfulness to a light received. The Church's social doctrine illuminates with an unchanging light the new problems that are constantly emerging[22].

• 13. ... Paul VI clearly understood that the social question had become worldwide [25] and he grasped the interconnection between the impetus towards the unification of humanity and the Christian ideal of a single family of peoples in solidarity and fraternity.

• 14. ... It is therefore a serious mistake to undervalue human capacity to exercise control over the deviations of development or to overlook the fact that man is constitutionally oriented towards “being more”. [This is the sort of "orientation" worth talking about.]

• 18. ... In promoting development, the Christian faith does not rely on privilege or positions of power, nor even on the merits of Christians (even though these existed and continue to exist alongside their natural limitations)[44], but only on Christ, to whom every authentic vocation to integral human development must be directed.

Wasn't that fun!?

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