Thursday, 11 March 2010

Choosing the Common Good

My previous post attracted some interesting comments and challenges which will be addressed shortly. In the meantime, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have released a summary of Catholic social teaching as it applies to Britain in the approach to the General Election. It is an important document and available for download here. Here is a key passage:
In place of virtue we have seen an expansion of regulation. A society that is held together just by compliance to rules is inherently fragile, open to further abuses which will be met by a further expansion of regulation. This cannot be enough. The virtues are not about what one is allowed to do but who one is formed to be. They strengthen us to become moral agents, the source of our own actions. The classical virtues form us as people who are prudent, just, temperate and courageous. The Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity root our human growth in the gifts of God and form us for our ultimate happiness: friendship with God.
The Bishops then go on to say: "Our society will rediscover its capacity to trust by the recovery of the practice of virtue, and through an ethically founded reform of many of our social and economic institutions. This will itself begin to restore the economy to a path that is both sustainable and just. In this way trust will be
re-established. We believe that this is what the vast majority of ordinary British people instinctively want."
This prediction seems rather optimistic to me. But of course what it implies is the urgency of evangelization.

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