Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catholic Social Doctrine Could Save the Day

Houston Catholic Worker - Catholic Social Doctrine Could Save the Day
When the Catholic Worker began, one of Peter Maurin’s goals was to make the encyclicals “click.” He wanted people to know and understand the wisdom of Catholic Social Teaching in the time of the Great Depression and economic crisis. With the economic crisis of 2008-2011, we could do worse than to turn to the encyclicals. Lively discussions have been taking place among Catholics in the press and on the Internet about individualism in economics. A concept called “prudential judgment” has been bandied about by some who indicate that there is no need to listen to concepts from Church teaching or from the Scriptures where economics is concerned. It is true that prudential judgment that should be exercised by lay people in implementing the Catholic Social Teaching expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in papal encyclicals, but there has never been a suggestion that the guidance of this teaching should be ignored in favor of secular ideologies. As Pope Benedict XVI said in Caritas in Veritate, “The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim to interfere in any way in the politics of States. She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation.” The Catholic tradition emphasizes a commitment to the common good, the importance of respect for every person, made in the image and likeness of God It affirms a preferential option for the poor and the right of workers to form associations...
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