Encyclical: Keeping pro-life sensibility can help during tough times
By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Keeping a pro-life sensibility during hard economic times can actually help a society through those trying years, Pope Benedict XVI said in his third encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth").
In a social encyclical on development and the world's financial crisis, the pope said it is important to keep in mind the teaching of "Humanae Vitae," Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical on human life, and said being pro-life is being pro-development.
If society sees a new baby as a problem, how will its citizens view the poor? the pope asked in the encyclical, released July 7.
"When a society moves toward the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man's true good," Pope Benedict said. "The acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber and makes people capable of mutual help."
In promoting a culture of life, the pope suggested people look not only at the issue of abortion, but also at the planet as a living being. If people destroy their environment, they will also destroy their own life source, he said.
The pope also addressed life as part of the cultural struggle between the supremacy of technology and human moral responsibility in the field of bioethics.
"It is no coincidence that closing the door to transcendence brings one up short against a difficulty: How could being emerge from nothing, how could intelligence be born from chance?" he asked. "Faced with these dramatic questions, reason and faith can come to each other's assistance. Only together will they save man." - - -
Editor's Note: "Caritas in Veritate" can be found in Origins, the CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 39, No. 9. Print and electronic versions of this issue of Origins can be ordered by calling 202-541-3290. END 07/07/2009 6:04 AM ET Copyright (c) 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops CHARITY-INVESTING Jul-7-2009 (290 words) With CHARITY-ENCYCLICAL. With logo, graphics and photos posted July 6 and 7. xxxi Encyclical seeks economic model that meets long-term sustainability By Chaz Muth Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Today's international economic model requires a new way of understanding business enterprise, Pope Benedict XVI said in his third encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth").
When business leaders make themselves exclusively answerable to their investors, they limit their enterprise's social value and often sacrifice long-term sustainability for short-term profits, the pope said in the encyclical, released July 7.
He also wrote that outsourcing labor to other parts of the globe should be limited in nature and only done when it is advantageous to the economic welfare of all involved.
"Labor and technical knowledge are a universal good," the pope said in the encyclical. "Yet it is not right to export these things merely for the sake of obtaining advantageous conditions, or worse, for purposes of exploitation, without making a real contribution to local society by helping to bring about a robust productive and social system, an essential factor for stable development."
Pope Benedict called for renewed structures and operating methods to be designed -- after failed techniques wreaked havoc on the international economy -- with financial models geared toward improved wealth creation and development.
"Right intention, transparency, and the search for positive results are mutually compatible and must never be detached from one another," he said. "If love is wise, it can find ways of working in accordance with provident and just expediency, as is illustrated in a significant way by much of the experience of credit unions."
Above all, the intention to do good must not be considered incompatible with the capacity to produce goods, Pope Benedict said.
"Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity," he said, "so as not to abuse the sophisticated instruments which can serve to betray the interests of savers."