Sunday, 13 November 2011

Is this the moment?

With a mood of fear pervading the markets, the likelihood of another round of economic collapse, the traumas afflicting the eurozone, the resignation of governments, and a spreading protest movement seemingly directed against capitalism itself – not to mention the "Arab Awakening" in the Middle East, the weakness of American leadership, and a possible increase in climate instability – it seems we are living in another interesting time for Catholic social teaching. It may be that even secular economic institutions are prepared to listen. But what are we to say, without falling into the obvious traps? The principles of Catholic teaching are clear enough; the applications less so. This blog will continue to highlight interesting developments, but my main interest is to delve into something more fundamental, namely the fact that economic and political instability have a spiritual dimension. Our mistake is to think of these structures as mechanistic, neutral, implacable, entirely "secular". This way of thinking is part of the divorce between nature and the supernatural in our civilization. Our economic and political woes are all part of the spiritual struggle of our times.

Picture by Neil Cummins licensed through Wikimedia Commons.

1 comment:

  1. Our priest made fun of the "Occupy..." protesters today during the homily, comparing them to the servant who receives one talent and buries it in the ground.

    It may just be because religion in the U.S. has become increasingly politicized, but I can't believe the reaction to the protests coming out of many Catholic circles. It seems to me that we have the perfect opportunity to address Catholic social justice principles like solidarity and subsidiarity while the world is listening.

    How do we get politically conservative Catholics to pay attention to the chance we've been given to evangelize our culture?