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 World Day of Peace 2009
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stevhep
Mary's Servant


United Kingdom
280 Posts

Posted - Dec 12 2008 :  2:59:31 PM  Show Profile Send stevhep a Private Message
The text of the Holy Fathers message for the World Day of Peace 2009 has been released. The title for the message is "Fighting Poverty to Build Peace" it can be seen at You must be logged in to see this link.
And it includes
quote:
14. In the Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, John Paul II warned of the need to "abandon a mentality in which the poor – as individuals and as peoples – are considered a burden, as irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced." The poor, he wrote, "ask for the right to share in enjoying material goods and to make good use of their capacity for work, thus creating a world that is more just and prosperous for all". In today's globalized world, it is increasingly evident that peace can be built only if everyone is assured the possibility of reasonable growth: sooner or later, the distortions produced by unjust systems have to be paid for by everyone. It is utterly foolish to build a luxury home in the midst of desert or decay. Globalization on its own is incapable of building peace, and in many cases, it actually creates divisions and conflicts. If anything it points to a need: to be oriented towards a goal of profound solidarity that seeks the good of each and all. In this sense, globalization should be seen as a good opportunity to achieve something important in the fight against poverty, and to place at the disposal of justice and peace resources which were scarcely conceivable previously.

15. The Church's social teaching has always been concerned with the poor....Faithful to this summons from the Lord, the Christian community will never fail, then, to assure the entire human family of her support through gestures of creative solidarity, not only by "giving from one's surplus", but above all by "a change of life- styles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power which today govern societies" . At the start of the New Year, then, I extend to every disciple of Christ and to every person of good will a warm invitation to expand their hearts to meet the needs of the poor and to take whatever practical steps are possible in order to help them. The truth of the axiom cannot be refuted: "to fight poverty is to build peace."


Before all things and above all things,
care must be taken of the sick,
so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"

St Benedict

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DeniseLawson
Moderator



USA
810 Posts

Posted - Dec 13 2008 :  01:32:15 AM  Show Profile Send DeniseLawson a Private Message
It is key to note, however, that this does not mean that we should have forced redistribution of wealth as some socialists have called for on more than one occasion. In fact, a quick search on Church teachings with regard to subsidiarity will quickly reveal that the Church has never advocated such forced redistribution.

In Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII noted

quote:
It is not right for either the citizen or the family to be absorbed by the state; it is proper that the individual and the family should be permitted to retain their freedom of action, so far as this is possible without jeopardizing the common good.


and

quote:
. . . These advantages can be attained only if private wealth is not drained away by crushing taxes of every kind.


and

quote:
. . . [Justice] does forbid anyone to take from another what is his and, in the name of a certain absurd equality, to seize forcibly the property of others" (emphasis added).


Then there is also Pope Pius XI:

quote:
It is a fundamental principle of social philosophy, fixed and unchangeable, that one should not withdraw from individuals and commit to the community what they [individuals] can accomplish by their own enterprise and industry.


And John XXIII:

quote:
Included among [basic rights of individuals] is the right and duty of each individual normally to provide the necessities of life for himself and his dependents. . .Experience, in fact, shows that where private initiative of individuals is lacking, political tyranny prevails.


The Second Vatican Council noted in Guadium et Spes:

quote:
Private ownership or some other kind of dominion over material goods provides everyone with a wholly necessary area of independence, and should be recognized as an extension of human freedom.


Also, the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes in paragraphs 1883-1885:

quote:
Socialization also prevents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which '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, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.'

God . . . entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of government ought to be followed in social life.

. . . Subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention"


Seems pretty clear to me that this does not mean forced redistribution of wealth.

------------------------
Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.

Edited by - DeniseLawson on Dec 13 2008 01:44:19 AM
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stevhep
Mary's Servant



United Kingdom
280 Posts

Posted - Dec 13 2008 :  01:56:09 AM  Show Profile Send stevhep a Private Message
Rather than focussing on what the Holy Father does not say it might be worthwhile considering what he does say. And anyway the encyclical Populorum Progressio does foresee the possibility of expropriation of latifundia



Before all things and above all things,
care must be taken of the sick,
so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"

St Benedict
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DeniseLawson
Moderator



USA
810 Posts

Posted - Dec 13 2008 :  1:07:27 PM  Show Profile Send DeniseLawson a Private Message
And I don't think you'll find anyone here arguing against what he is actually saying. Some people, however, consistently like to use the Pope's words to imply that the Church argues for a clear redistribution of wealth - forced if necessary. I'm only putting out there from the start that the Church has never advocated such a stand, in spite of what these people erroneously believe.

------------------------
Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
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stevhep
Mary's Servant



United Kingdom
280 Posts

Posted - Dec 13 2008 :  2:19:12 PM  Show Profile Send stevhep a Private Message
I have never met such people, whoever they may be, I have read the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which includes

You must be logged in to see this link.

177. Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute and untouchable: “On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation: the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone”. The principle of the universal destination of goods is an affirmation both of God's full and perennial Lordship over every reality and of the requirement that the goods of creation remain ever destined to the development of the whole person and of all humanity. This principle is not opposed to the right to private property but indicates the need to regulate it. Private property, in fact, regardless of the concrete forms of the regulations and juridical norms relative to it, is in its essence only an instrument for respecting the principle of the universal destination of goods; in the final analysis, therefore, it is not an end but a means

181. To the subjects, whether individuals or communities, that exercise ownership of various types of property accrue a series of objective advantages: better living conditions, security for the future, and a greater number of options from which to choose. On the other hand, property may also bring a series of deceptive promises that are a source of temptation. Those people and societies that go so far as to absolutize the role of property end up experiencing the bitterest type of slavery. In fact, there is no category of possession that can be considered indifferent with regard to the influence that it may have both on individuals and on institutions. Owners who heedlessly idolize their goods (cf. Mt 6:24, 19:21-26; Lk 16:13) become owned and enslaved by them. Only by recognizing that these goods are dependent on God the Creator and then directing their use to the common good, is it possible to give material goods their proper function as useful tools for the growth of individuals and peoples.

282. The Church's social Magisterium sees an expression of the relationship between labour and capital also in the institution of private property, in the right to and the use of private property. The right to private property is subordinated to the principle of the universal destination of goods and must not constitute a reason for impeding the work or development of others. Property, which is acquired in the first place through work, must be placed at the service of work. This is particularly true regarding the possession of the means of production, but the same principle also concerns the goods proper to the world of finance, technology, knowledge, and personnel.

The means of production “cannot be possessed against labour, they cannot even be possessed for possession's sake”. It becomes illegitimate to possess them when property “is not utilized or when it serves to impede the work of others, in an effort to gain a profit which is not the result of the overall expansion of work and the wealth of society, but rather is the result of curbing them or of illicit exploitation, speculation or the breaking of solidarity among working people”.


Before all things and above all things,
care must be taken of the sick,
so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"

St Benedict
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