Caritas In Veritate Bishop Lafont

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Power point presentation by Bishop Emmanuel Lafont, Diocese of Cayenne, French Guiana and AEC Chairman of the Justice and Peace(J&P) Commission at the Seminar at the St John Vianney Seminary, …

Power point presentation by Bishop Emmanuel Lafont, Diocese of Cayenne, French Guiana and AEC Chairman of the Justice and Peace(J&P) Commission at the Seminar at the St John Vianney Seminary, Tunapuna Trinidad on 12 and 13 September.

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  • 1. Benedict XVI’s Encyclical « Caritas in Veritate » Presentation To the AEC Regional Justice and Peace convention 12-13 September, 2009
  • 2. History
    • Caritas in Veritate is one of the longest ever papal documents
    • It has a long history; it was due to be published in 2007
    • Its publication, however, is very timely in the middle of a world financial, economic and social crisis
  • 3. Content:
    • Introduction
    • Chapter 1: The Message of Populorum Progressio
    • Chapter 2: Human Development in our Time
    • Chapter 3: Fraternity, Economic Development and Civil Society
    • Chapter 4: The Development of People, Rights and Duties, the Environment
    • Chapter 5: The Cooperation of the Human Family
    • Chapter 6: The Development of Peoples and Technology
    • Conclusion
  • 4. Introduction
    • It is an impressive reflexion on the absolute complementarity between love and truth. If love is the essence of human life, according to God’s plan, it cannot be lived without truth
    • Because without truth, charity could be mere subjectivity, sentimentality
    • And truth without charity would end up as a cold, inhuman reality
    • Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity
  • 5.
    • Therefore charity in truth is the driving force behind authentic human development.
    • Caritas in Veritate is therefore the principle on which the Church’s social teaching is based
    • A principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that govern moral action.
  • 6. First criterion: Justice
    • Justice: in any society there is a system of justice.
    • Charity goes beyond justice, because in loving I offer what is mine
    • But charity supposes justice
    • Because I must first give to people what is theirs!
    • Justice is inseparable from charity
  • 7. 2th criterion: the common good
    • “ The common good” is the good of “all of us”
    • I cannot live without others
    • Others need me too.
    • To love my neighbour is to take a stand for the “common good”
  • 8. 40 years after PP. Benedict reaffirms that:
    • “ The sharing of goods and resources,
    • From which authentic development proceeds
    • Is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility
    • But by the power of love that overcomes evil with good” (cf. Rom 12:21).
    • B XVI reads PP within its context (1967)
    • Closely related to Vatican II Gaudium et Spes (1965)
    • And with Paul VI’s magisterial teaching,
    • In Octogesima Adveniens (1971)
    • In Humanae Vitae (1968)
    • In Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975)
  • 10. Populorum Progressio
    • In PP, Paul VI says that progress is a vocation!
    • Such a vocation requires a free and responsible answer, it requires freedom
    • Together with freedom, Progress requires respect for the truth about human beings – promoting “ integral development of the whole man and of all men ”
    • Progress as a vocation puts charity at a central place within development
    • PP, finally, points out the urgency of reforms if we are to redress the injustices of this world
    • Paul VI, in 1967, wanted to fight hunger
    • Today, the situation is very different :
      • The picture has many overlapping layers
      • The world’s wealth is growing in absolute terms, but not equality
      • Demarcation between rich and poor is less clear
      • Scandal of glaring inequalities continues
      • Corruption – no respect for human rights
  • 12. Present situation
    • Development has come, but not integral
    • The world is more integrated – not more just
    • Socially : deregulation, loss of rights and jobs
    • Culturally: ecclectism and confusion
    • Hunger still scandalously wide spread
    • Life not respected (new policies) but in jeopardy, though openness to life is at the centre of integral development (n° 28)
  • 13. Summary chapter II
    • The present situation demands new solutions:
      • Research on access to steady employment for all
      • Proper reflexion on the meaning of the economy and its goals – man at the centre
      • Far-sighted revision of the current model of development so as to correct its dysfunctions
  • 14. Populorum progressio’s legacy
    • Forty years after PP, the theme of progress remains an open question within a new framework of the explosion of worldwide interdependence, known as globalisation, which in itself, represents a major opportunity.
    • The pope does not lament, he wants to look at the situation in a positive way
    • In this chapter, B XVI makes two major points:
    • 1. There will be no true development without a dimension of gift and gratuity
    • 2. Every aspect of Economy, Finance, Business enterprise, has a moral value and moral standard to uphold
  • 16. Chapter III – its content
    • 1. Its starts by affirming the necessity of gratuity in human social life: man is made for gift
    • 2. It continues by analysing the role of the market
    • 3. It analyses the moral dimension required in the life of any business enterprise
  • 17. Chapter III – the experience of gift
    • Human beings are made for gift, which expresses and makes present their transcendent dimension.
    • But this nature is wounded – and if we believe ourselves to be self sufficient, we end up confusing happiness and salvation
    • This leads to major abuses, for states are unable to deliver justice as promised.
  • 18. 2. The ambivalence of market
    • In a climate of mutual trust, the Market is a good institution, permitting encounter between people.
    • Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through commercial logic. It needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good:
    • The market is just an instrument which needs to be directed
    • Principle of gratuitousness and the logic of gift must find their place within economic activity
    • The market must draw its moral energies from other subjects
  • 19. The ambivalence of Market
    • Justice must be applied to every phase of economic activity – every economic decision has a moral dimension (37).
    • In the global era, economic activity cannot prescind from gratuitousness. Without gratuity there can be no justice in the first place (38)
    • The international market, according to PP, must be capable of including all people and not just the better-off. The State has to work for this (39).
  • 20. 3. New way of understanding Business Enterprise
    • Need for a new way of understanding business enterprise (40).
      • They are too much answerable to investors
      • Without any stable director
      • Lacking sense of responsibility towards the stakeholders (workers, suppliers, consumers)
      • Quick to globalize merely for profit purposes
    • There is a need for a greater social responsibility on their part
    • Investment always has moral, as well as economic significance
    • There is a need to take more care of the workers. They are part of the enterprise.
    • Business activity has to be seen as a human significance, prior to its professional one.
    • Every one who works is a creator (Paul VI)
    • This chapter brings a profound reflexion on human beings and their participation in the integral development of humankind.
  • 22. Chapter four - content
    • 1. Man, subject of rights… and duties! (43)
    • 2. Population growth, not a threat to progress (44)
    • 3. The economy needs ethics at all levels – under which criteria ? (45-47)
    • 4. Development and natural environment – energy – etc… need for more solidarity (48)
    • 5.We ought to look for a new lifestyle! (51)
  • 23. Chapter 4 – 1: Rights and Duties
    • “ the reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty ”
      • One cannot claim only his or her rights.
      • Need for a new reflexion on how rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere licence.
      • Grave contradiction : claiming alleged “rights” while many people’s rights are violated
      • In fact, duties reinforce rights and call for their defence and promotion as a task to be undertaken in the service of the common good.
  • 24. Chapter 4 – 2 population growth
    • Population growth is not the primary cause of underdevelopment.
    • Cf. what happens in developed societies (reduction of infant mortality – rise in average life expectancy) and crisis where there is alarming decline in birth rate.
    • Morally acceptable openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource
      • Where there is decline in birth rate, there is
        • Strain on social welfare services
        • Increase their cost
        • Reduction in the availability of qualified workers
        • Narrowing “brain pool” upon which nations draw for their needs
        • Very small families with impoverished social relations
  • 25. Chapter 4 – 3 Ethics
    • Ethics, a word which has to be clarified
      • Everybody speaks of ethics. But on which basis?
      • For the Church, two pillars to true ethics
        • Ethics is based on man’s creation “in the image of God” (Gn 1:27)
        • Transcendent value of natural moral norms
      • Without these pillars, ethics risks becoming subservient to existing economic and financial systems rather than correcting their dysfunctional aspects.
  • 26. Chapter 4 – 3 Ethics in Business
    • In the present context, the distinction between profit-based companies and non-profit organisations can no longer do full justice to reality.
    • Profit-based companies have to achieve the goal of a more human and social end
    • In any company and in development programs, the principle of the centrality of the human person must be preserved.
  • 27. Chapter 4 – 4 Environment
    • Development today is closely related to the duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment.
      • Man should consider nature as a gift at our disposal, a sign of God’s love
      • Without being tempted to consider it as un untouchable taboo
      • Or, on the contrary, abusing it;
      • Neither attitude is consonant with the Christian vision of nature as true fruit of God’s creation.
      • It is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person.
  • 28. Chapter 4 – 5 energy
    • need to look afresh to the question of energy:
      • Energy should not be hoarded by powerful states against others.
      • International community has the duty to regulate the exploitation of non renewable resources involving poor countries
      • The pressing moral need for renewed solidarity.(49)
    • Need to care for future generations: what kind of world are they going to inherit?
      • Need to protect the environment
      • The notion of “efficiency” is not value-free.
  • 29. Chapter 4 – 6 New lifestyle
    • Contemporary society has to review its lifestyle, away from hedonism and consumerism, so as to stop impoverishing the earth
      • There is a need for what might be called a human ecology, correctly understood
      • The deterioration of nature is connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence
      • In order to protect nature, we ought to consider the moral tenor of society n° 51
      • It there is a lack or respect for the right of life,... the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and that of environmental ecology
    • In this chapter, the Holy Father calls us to a renewed understanding of the human being as a being of relations (in the image of the Trinity).
    • He then invites us to apply this concept of relationship to all peoples: international cooperation is of the essence if we want real progress in this world
  • 31. Chapter five: fostering relations
    • in n°53 – 55, the pope analyses the relational dimension of humanity.
    • Christian faith holds that mankind is a family. the one family of God
    • All religions ought to teach this.
    • A Religion which separates, isolates, does not take part in the social life, fails to its role.
    • Need for fruitful dialogue between believers and with non believers.(57)
  • 32. Chapter 5 – Human Cooperation
    • The cooperation between nations goes together with the principle of subsidiarity
    • It is required for better education facilities
    • It promotes true human tourism
    • Accepts migrations as a challenging reality
    • Tries to bring about dignified work for all
    • Acknowledges that finances too must abide by ethical values
  • 33. Chapter 5 – Reform the United Nations
    • The Pope calls for a deep reform of the United Nations Organisation
    • So that a true World Political Authority may emerge
    • According to John XXIII’s wish and
    • In this chapter, the Pope reminds us that technology is a formidable instrument but only an instrument.
    • Technology will not solve our problems mechanically. It needs a human vision, according to the truth about mankind and its destiny as created by God and for God
  • 35. Conclusion
    • Without God, man neither knows which way to go nor even understands who he is.: “ apart from me you can do nothing ” (Jn 15, 5) Humanism which excludes God is inhuman humanism
    • 79. Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, but deeply involved with others to bring about change in our lives.