Friday, 4 January 2013

World Day of Peace

The Pope pulled no punches when he summarized the essence of his social teaching in his Message for the 46th World Day of Peace. Careful study of the document is recommended. In part he wrote:
5. In many quarters it is now recognized that a new model of development is needed, as well as a new approach to the economy. Both integral, sustainable development in solidarity and the common good require a correct scale of goods and values which can be structured with God as the ultimate point of reference. It is not enough to have many different means and choices at one’s disposal, however good these may be. Both the wide variety of goods fostering development and the presence of a wide range of choices must be employed against the horizon of a good life, an upright conduct that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual and the call to work for the common good. Otherwise they lose their real value, and end up becoming new idols.
   "In order to emerge from the present financial and economic crisis – which has engendered ever greater inequalities – we need people, groups and institutions which will promote life by fostering human creativity, in order to draw from the crisis itself an opportunity for discernment and for a new economic model. The predominant model of recent decades called for seeking maximum profit and consumption, on the basis of an individualistic and selfish mindset, aimed at considering individuals solely in terms of their ability to meet the demands of competitiveness. Yet, from another standpoint, true and lasting success is attained through the gift of ourselves, our intellectual abilities and our entrepreneurial skills, since a 'liveable' or truly human economic development requires the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity and the logic of gift. Concretely, in economic activity, peacemakers are those who establish bonds of fairness and reciprocity with their colleagues, workers, clients and consumers. They engage in economic activity for the sake of the common good and they experience this commitment as something transcending their self-interest, for the benefit of present and future generations. Thus they work not only for themselves, but also to ensure for others a future and a dignified employment.
   "In the economic sector, states in particular need to articulate policies of industrial and agricultural development concerned with social progress and the growth everywhere of constitutional and democratic states. The creation of ethical structures for currency, financial and commercial markets is also fundamental and indispensable; these must be stabilised and better coordinated and controlled so as not to prove harmful to the very poor. With greater resolve than has hitherto been the case, the concern of peacemakers must also focus upon the food crisis, which is graver than the financial crisis. The issue of food security is once more central to the international political agenda, as a result of inter- related crises, including sudden shifts in the price of basic foodstuffs, irresponsible behaviour by some economic actors and insufficient control on the part of governments and the international community. To face this crisis, peacemakers are called to work together in a spirit of solidarity, from the local to the international level, with the aim of enabling farmers, especially in small rural holdings, to carry out their activity in a dignified and sustainable way from the social, environmental and economic points of view."


  1. If that's an example of not pulling punches, then God help us because we won't be seeing any from the visible Church.

    "these must be stabilised and better coordinated and controlled so as not to prove harmful to the very poor."

    The poor? Obviously this is irrelevant to the US where the poor are in a stabilised environment because all they're necessities are taken care of by the system. It's the middle class that is being winnowed out.

    Further, nothing was said that can be used in any manner to form an actual concrete and practical plan of action.

    Why not, for instance, at the least discuss what usury actually is in practical terms that can be understood?

  2. The Church doesn't propose concrete and practical plans of action - or rather she leaves that to the laity. The magisterium has to deal in generalities, principles and ideals. Go ahead - propose and discuss.

  3. Nor did I ask for the concrete, what I wrote is that what was given is less than sufficient from which to develop the concrete.