Rorate Caeli

Introduction

1. Charity in truth to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:22). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).

2. Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine...
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[Excerpts:]

Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space. In the truth, charity reflects the personal yet public dimension of faith in the God of the Bible, who is both Agápe and Lógos: Charity and Truth, Love and Word.
...
The link between Populorum Progressio and the Second Vatican Council does not mean that Paul VI's social magisterium marked a break with that of previous Popes, because the Council constitutes a deeper exploration of this magisterium within the continuity of the Church's life. In this sense, clarity is not served by certain abstract subdivisions of the Church's social doctrine, which apply categories to Papal social teaching that are extraneous to it. It is not a case of two typologies of social doctrine, one pre-conciliar and one post-conciliar, differing from one another: on the contrary, there is a single teaching, consistent and at the same time ever new. It is one thing to draw attention to the particular characteristics of one Encyclical or another, of the teaching of one Pope or another, but quite another to lose sight of the coherence of the overall doctrinal corpus. Coherence does not mean a closed system: on the contrary, it means dynamic faithfulness to a light received. The Church's social doctrine illuminates with an unchanging light the new problems that are constantly emerging. This safeguards the permanent and historical character of the doctrinal “patrimony” which, with its specific characteristics, is part and parcel of the Church's ever-living Tradition.
...
One of the most striking aspects of development in the present day is the important question of respect for life, which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples. It is an aspect which has acquired increasing prominence in recent times, obliging us to broaden our concept of poverty and underdevelopment to include questions connected with the acceptance of life, especially in cases where it is impeded in a variety of ways.

Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress.

Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures. Further grounds for concern are laws permitting euthanasia as well as pressure from lobby groups, nationally and internationally, in favour of its juridical recognition.

Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man's true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away. T
he acceptance of life strengthens moral fibre and makes people capable of mutual help. By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual.
...
Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource. Populous nations have been able to emerge from poverty thanks not least to the size of their population and the talents of their people. On the other hand, formerly prosperous nations are presently passing through a phase of uncertainty and in some cases decline, precisely because of their falling birth rates; this has become a crucial problem for highly affluent societies. The decline in births, falling at times beneath the so-called “replacement level”, also puts a strain on social welfare systems, increases their cost, eats into savings and hence the financial resources needed for investment, reduces the availability of qualified labourers, and narrows the “brain pool” upon which nations can draw for their needs. Furthermore, smaller and at times miniscule families run the risk of impoverishing social relations, and failing to ensure effective forms of solidarity. These situations are symptomatic of scant confidence in the future and moral weariness. It is thus becoming a social and even economic necessity once more to hold up to future generations the beauty of marriage and the family, and the fact that these institutions correspond to the deepest needs and dignity of the person. In view of this, States are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, the primary vital cell of society, and to assume responsibility for its economic and fiscal needs, while respecting its essentially relational character.
...
The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing,
she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction. There is need for what might be called a human ecology, correctly understood. The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when “human ecology” is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits. Just as human virtues are interrelated, such that the weakening of one places others at risk, so the ecological system is based on respect for a plan that affects both the health of society and its good relationship with nature.
...
Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.


76 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Paragraph 12 is an important text for the hermeneutic of continuity.

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  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I probably won't be able to read it in the forthcoming days. Just tell me, is this letter far from traditional doctrine?

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  3. This encyclical is a disaster. Look at point 67, Chapter V. An incredible defense of world government and NWO.

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  4. Point 67 calls for a reform of the UN and the establishment of a kind of "world government," but it obviously is not a defense of the New World Order, unless by "NWO" one means an international authority that adheres to the moral law as taught by the Catholic Church.

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  5. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I haven't read it yet, but looked at the references at the end of the page. Too few references to pre-conciliar documents.

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  6. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Does this mean that the FSSPX now have faculties to hear confessions?

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  7. "Just tell me, is this letter far from traditional doctrine?"

    Of course not; it's a papal encyclical.

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  8. Anonymous12:22 PM

    If by global government he means, say, THE PAPACY, then sure, I'll sign onto that. ;)

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  9. Anonymous1:07 PM

    The official editio typica of the Encyclical in Latin is still not published in the Vatican website.

    The link you provide so far has only the title of the encyclical at the top of the page and a copyright notice at the bottom, but the text of the document itself is missing.

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  10. Nicholas1:43 PM

    The world government notion seems repugnant, but one might argue it is no more than the most recent expression of an old idea: a universal Christian empire. For centuries the following prayer was uttered during the Great Intercessions on Good Friday:

    Oremus et pro Christianissimo Imperatore nostro N., ut Deus et Dominus noster subditas illi faciat omnes barbaras nationes, ad nostram perpetuam pacem.

    Let us pray also for our most Christian emperor N., that God and our Lord may render all barbarian nations subject to him, for our perpetual peace.

    The development (degeneration?) in the idea would seem to be that a universal Christian empire would be, in name and overt spirit, Christian, while this new "world political authority" would simply pursue its limited mandate in accordance with "charity in truth." A sort of Christian empire lite. All the justice and peace, with none of the bitter confessional aftertaste.

    But the success of any such organization seems impossible given our postlapsarian condition. The éminence grise would invariably be the prince of this world. (And I mean that with no disrespect to Fr. Joseph of Paris.)

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  11. Melchior Cano2:52 PM

    You can say what you want but, while the UN is repugnant in its current form, no less than Cardinal Ottaviani pushed for its creation, and good Catholics have sat at its head (granted, not for a long time). The notion of having an international group whereby nations can peacefully work out their differences in Christian charity (however far-fetched that may seem) is not modernist. Not unless you want to throw Cardinal Ottaviani under that same bus.

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  12. Paragraphs 12 and 67 give pause, to say the least, to any suggestion that this Pope will renounce Vatican II. His Holiness has, in effect, thrown down the gauntlet to those who would have him renounce the Council. Who could have expected him to? He, after all, was one of the prime movers at the Council and sees it with a continuity to the past rather than a rupture. As we will defend Tradition and the decrees of previous councils to our dying breath, he seems intent on doing the same for Vatican II.

    In my opinion this does not bode well for any provision of faculties or jurisdiction to the SSPX for I suspect the SSPX leadership will dig in their heels and refuse to be drawn into using this encyclical as a starting point for discussions. It paints His Holiness as a defender of the Council and that puts the SSPX squarely in the range of his cannons, rhetorical though they may be. I am thinking of the many people who were wishing for a temporary solution to the problem of faculties and jurisdiction for the SSPX now saying: "We asked for bread and, instead, we received stones" in that not a word has been said about that. What an incredible disaster for Holy Mother Church! The only thing I can say on a positive note is that at least it's not an ex cathedra proclamation requiring belief on the part of the faithful.

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  13. Kevin3:19 PM

    For anyone interested, Pope Benedict XVI, back when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote an interesting introduction to Msgr. Michel Schooyans' book, "The Gospel: Confronting World Disorder" which may serve as helpful supplementary reading material to his new encyclical. The introduction can be found at:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09010703.html

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  14. Anonymous3:27 PM

    people who has a problem with "World government" should call in mind the Roman Empire, which accepted the Christianity and was global.

    And the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages was a global one (only in a smaller dimension because of the restrictions of the logistical possibilities). But the Crusaders did expended the Christianity to other continents.

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  15. Anonymous4:52 PM

    There is no Latin text of the Encyclical on the Vatican website.

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  16. Anonymous4:59 PM

    Dear Fellow Rorate Caeli readers,

    I have spent the better part of the morning reading and studying this encyclical. It is vintage Benedict/Ratzinger: very good, and very deep.

    There are some excellent "sound bites," if you will - swipes taken at the pro-gay "marriage" crowd, the pro-abortion crowd, and the like. Rorate has been kind enough to post some of them.

    The general theme of the encyclical is that an economy without morality - an economy founded on something other than "truth" - cannot bear genuine fruit.

    As for world government and the like, Pope Benedict does indeed call for an international entity to help supervise / regulate international economic activity. But he's very quick to point out that this must be coupled with respect for "subsidiarity," under which national, local, and even familiy authority would reign supreme to the fullest extent possible.

    In theory, there's nothing wrong with this. In fact, in theory it's quite good. But a legitimate concern can be raised whether in practice, such an organization would indeed respect subsidiarity. Heck, the U.S. federal government used to be one of "limited" powers vis-a-vis the states . . . .

    For anyone involved and/or interested in business matters / the economy, this is a must read. And a good read. Just give yourself plenty of time!

    Best,
    +DR

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  17. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Allow me to add:

    I too was a tad displeased by the focus on Post Vatican II sources. But one must consider that the entire encyclical was an anniversary piece to Populorum Progressio - which Benedict refers to as the "Rerum Nostrum" of our age. In light of that, a focus on Post Vatican II sources seems inevitable.

    Best,
    +DR

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  18. But a legitimate concern can be raised whether in practice, such an organization would indeed respect subsidiarity. ***

    That's what immediately came to my mind when I read that part of the encyclical. The UN desperately needs to be reformed, and frankly if it's not then it ought to be abolished, or at least ignored entirely and allowed to wither and die. If an international authority ever arises, it must be founded on the moral law and Catholic social doctrine. If it isn't so founded, such a government would be a disaster for the entire human race. . . but even if it is so founded, it wouldn't take much in this fallen world for it to be corrupted before too long and to become an instrument of great evil.

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  19. Anonymous5:58 PM

    Who is Bishop DR...the guy who signs off +DR?

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  20. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Frankly, I have real trouble understanding what is meant by "integral human development", "human progress", and "man is constitutionally oriented towards 'being more'".

    It looks to me like Rahnerite nonsense. I was under the impression that human nature is fixed by the Creator and does not change. Therefore, the only development in the person is spiritual development, which means purification and transforation by co-opeation with God's holy will, the end being to reach Heaven. In what sense, I wonder, do humans qua humans progress or develop? It all looks to me like a Freemasonic vision in which man deifies himself by progressing towards a secular paradise. If so, that would be illogical, since perfection or even improvement of the species itself cannot proceed from the restrictions it has to begin with: the ant cannot turn himself into a butterfly, only nature or God can do so.

    I also have trouble understanding what is meant by "charity infused with truth". Truth regarding what, exactly? How can truth infuse charity? Charity is a will and an act; it does not pertain to what is true or false but to what is good or evil. I feel confident that the Pope does mean something by this expression but I can't imagine what. Why not simply say that charity, to be effective, needs to *respect* the true needs of the recipient, for example? But then that would be obvious. So that can't be what he's getting at.

    I'm a little confused by all of this. It's like reading Rahner. After doing so, you have trouble remembering your own name. The effect, ironically, is itself the result of progress. the mind can accommodate one or two ambiguous expressions here and there. But pile them up one after another and the reader ends up not being sure of anything. The process breaks down a very sense of comprehensibility.

    P.K.T.P.

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  21. Anonymous6:46 PM

    On Mr. Haley's remarks:

    I realise now that Mr. McFarland's assessment of the S.S.P.X situation comes from recent issues of "The Angelus" and some recent interviews of Society bishops.

    I have to say that, having perused such passages recently, I agree with McFarland and that the Society will not, in the near term, agree to any sort of regularisation before substantial doctrinal talks have been completely successfully, which could be aeons from now. They have ruled out a permanent structure completely and, although a temporary and provisional one is not out of the question in the near term, I'd say that it is unlikely by a factor of 95%.

    This leaves the possibility that the Pope will simply recognise the Society's claim of supplied jurisdiction or else take some similar action unilaterally. Rome may very well do so. We shall see.

    I agree that this encyclical will not help matters, although I am making this judgement on the basis of having read only certain parts of it.

    P.K.T.P.

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  22. "Charity infused with truth."

    As to what it means, this is my take:

    Faith and works are inseparable. There is a big difference between good will and love.

    It is a modern notion (and an un-Catholic one) to try to divorce truth from charity - think of Blessed Tereas of Calcutta, how the folks in Washington cringed whenever she talked about abortion or how she was critiqued when she said (paraphrasing) what she was most interested in was spreading the love of Christ, not works. The two are inseparable. The Eucharist leads us to works and works lead us back to the Eucharist for sustenance. Think of the connection between the First and Second Joyful mysteries. The Blessed Mother in her act of charity brought the Lord with her.

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  23. P.K.T.P. said in part:

    "This leaves the possibility that the Pope will simply recognise the Society's claim of supplied jurisdiction or else take some similar action unilaterally. Rome may very well do so. We shall see.

    I agree that this encyclical will not help matters, although I am making this judgement on the basis of having read only certain parts of it.

    Would that the Pope would do as mentioned in the first quoted paragraph above. As to the second, I too read the encyclical hurriedly and may have missed something but the heavy emphasis on post Vatican II in the document and the citations at the end leave no doubt that the Pope will demand adherence to his interpretation of Vatican II. How the SSPX leadership will react to this is anyone's guess.

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  24. Anonymous7:58 PM

    James the Lesser:

    Thank you for that input. It was helpful to me. However, if I had wanted to express the idea, I think that I might have written that charity must never be extolled apart from truth or at the expense of truth. That, to me, would be clear.

    It is an odd expression, for me, to say that charity itself must be infused with truth, as if truth can somehow alter the character of charity by entering into it.

    I pray that your interpretation is correct, for it makes good Catholic sense.

    P.K.T.P.

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  25. Anonymous8:00 PM

    I suggest that the moderators do a posting on the latest predictions of Golias, found over at Catholic Conservation. It might spark some interest here. Golias seems to think that elements in the curia want to find a way to grant the Society faculties and very soon.

    P.K.T.P.

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  26. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Apparently George Weigal thinks the encyclical is very ambiguous and incoherant in many parts.

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  27. There can be no question that James the Lesser’s explanation is the correct one. I had apprehended the same meaning: charity is not truly charity without reference to the whole truth about man and his relationship with God and the ultimate fate of his immortal soul. The encyclical doesn’t read anything at all like a Freemasonic vision of man deifying himself, as is blazingly clear from the introductory paragraphs.

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  28. PKTP

    Clearly, the Pope is distinguishing between the modern, sentimental view of "charity" and the Catholic view. "Charity" in the modern view is sentimental offerings of money to a sad orphan on TV or what have you. "Charity" in the Roman Catholic vision is always "Charity in Truth." Or, in other words, sense God is Love, and God is Truth, Charity in Truth is the only way to understand our commitment to the world.

    How is this hard to understand or Rahnerian? You are obviously a smart person...I cannot reasonably think this is as confusing as you make it out to be...

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  29. Anonymous8:19 PM

    The portuguese translation is also very, very ambiguous.

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  30. Weigel's analysis is interesting, though I could hardly say if it is right or not:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTdkYjU3MDE2YTdhZTE4NWIyN2FkY2U5YTFkM2ZiMmE=

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  31. humans are oriented toward "being more" simply means that, above all creatures, we are oriented toward supernatural grace. We DO NOT have it naturally (Benedict XVI is clearly disagreeing with de Lubac here), but we are oriented towards it, which is exactly what Thomas Aquinas says...we have the capacity for it by nature, although we do not have supernatural grace by nature.

    Furthermore, "integral human development" simply means two things. One is divinization, which is "development" (again, Benedict is counter posing a modern concept with its authentic ancient definition) into what God wills for the elect as their ultimate end. The other is a vision of the whole person being cared for because we are not Gnostics. It is not the case that, because we believe the soul is more important than the body, that human rulers can do whatever they want to our bodies. It is morally necessary for the order of justice that rulers care for their subjects as whole persons. Look, a sewer system is better than dumping human waste into open street gutters. That is development. How there is something "modern" about that is beyond me. The Catholic Emperors gladly "developed" the lands subject to them over against barbarian concepts of what was appropriate...thus the extension of Roman law to all of Europe. Europe has "developed" from Barbarism, and we should hope that that same thing can occur for the rest of the world, that it cease to be barbaric. Development is just a nicer way to put it so that our opponents will not dismay the encyclical out of hand, and maybe glean something from it. How any of this can be considered Rahnerian is beyond me. I do not know men's hearts, but I must confess that it seems one must willfully read the Holy Father hoping to find mistakes in order to get this from him. Its true, I think he could say things clearer in some places...I wish Thomas Aquinas could say some things clearer or not make mistakes (how I wish the Angelic Doctor would have been right about the Immaculate Conception). But to write it all off THE DAY the encyclical comes out seems like only ill will to me...

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  32. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Okie,

    I can't see how sentimental charity is necessarily divorced from truth. A sentimental giver might devote too little attention to the truth but another one might not. When I hear that charity must be infused with truth, knowing what these terms mean, I think of charity as an object and of truth as another object. Now this object truth enters into (is infused in) charity. But I don't see how truth can transform charity itself; rather, truth can transform the giver but not giving per se.

    And if we are to say that truth should transform the giver, in what way does this happen? He is leaving out much in explaining these relations, and that causes confusion.

    What is needed is wording which defines the relations among these qualities and person and does so with razor-sharp literal precision.

    P.K.T.P.

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  33. "As we will defend Tradition and the decrees of previous councils to our dying breath, he seems intent on doing the same for Vatican II."

    Keep in mind that Pope Benedict XVI believes that there is no difference between the two positions that you contrast.

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  34. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Here is another odd expression:

    "Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived."

    Now we do have the expression to live in charity *among* yourselves but can charity be lived? It is practised, not lived. We can live in charity but charity itself is not 'lived'. It seems to me that this is a misusage. Again, charity is not lived; rather, one lives *in* charity or one lives charitably.

    Of course, this is not likely from the unpublished Latin text but comes from translation, and His Holiness is obviously not the translator. But I don't like all these odd expressions. Good expression in any language must respect precedence and logic. When locutions depart from that standard, yet more confusion results. By default, our minds try to intergrate what the foreign expression might mean and then file this under 'uncertain' or 'indistinct'.

    I wonder when we shall be able to read over the Latin text?

    P.K.T.P.

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  35. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Okie writes:

    "Look, a sewer system is better than dumping human waste into open street gutters. That is development."

    No doubt. But I don't see it as "human development" but as technological development. To me, human development must mean the development of humanity itself in some way. For example, in what sense are we more developed as humans than were the ancient Greeks or the mediævals?

    As for rejecting the encyclical the day it was published, no, I don't intend to do this, and I apologise if I've given this imnpression. In fact, I think I'll shelve further responses, good or bad, until I've read the whole text. It will take some time to read it over carefully. I would also like to read the Latin text together with the English. So far, I don't like all the English expressions used but I'd like to see what the text looks like without all vernacular connotations.

    P.K.T.P.

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  36. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Dan,

    The sun does not rise and fall with SSPX faculties. The SSPX is going to have to subject itself to the Magisterium. There is no other way other than through Peter.

    The SSPX and co. should see carefully what Benedict is doing here. His whole point, in this as well as other writings, is to strengthen the continuity of the Church. If you privilege the Church before 1960 and contend that the recent Church is heretical, what is the hermeneutic here? Are self-anointed Defenders of Tradition now the meta-Magisterium that possess the final word?

    Benedict carefully casts Populorum Progressio in light of the moral teachings of the Church and the history of social teachings. In doing so, he is showing how the Church does not change. One should not win a battle (cast a thunderbolt at some conciliar and Pauline documents) only to lose the war (eviscerating the continuous, unbroken fabric of the papal teachings on matters of faith and morals).

    Benedict's project is much larger than what to do about Vatican II &c. It is the integrity of the See of Peter itself. This is at the heart of Catholic ecclesiology and theology.

    R&R

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  37. Anonymous9:22 PM

    On this business that Benedict XVI will not 'compromise' on his devotion to Vatican II:

    I'd be a little more cautious. Some of the issues with the S.S.P.X are very complex and we don't know what the Pope will decide. If you listen to Bishop Williamson's recent interview, you will see that, even before the publication of this encyclical, the hardliners in the Society are not prepared to budge on anything doctrinal, and the two sides seem to be far apart.

    I can't see how the two sides will reach a complete agreement in the next fifty years. However, a clarification of the status of the documents might enable a termporary structure to be granted quite soon, even this year. But that is also doubtful.

    Our best prospect (those of us who are not Society supporters but are sympathisers, is to hope for a unilateral papal recognition or grant of faculties.

    P.K.T.P.

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  38. P.K.T.P.

    Think about the way the word is used in common society. "Charity" in no way means "love" like it used to. So we talk about "charity" cases, or "donations to charities" etc. In some ways, "charity" has replaced "almsgiving" in modern lexicons, but without any sort of idea that it is connected to the Holy Life. "Charity" as a word almost stands for "mere philanthropy" anymore, so that people will give money to "charity" in order to avoid paying higher taxes, etc.

    So people can have a "sentimental, empty charity" in which they give out of guilt or out of emotivism due to images flashed on a screen, but with no regard to the reality of Charity in the Order of Being.

    Furthermore, in an Augustinian way, love of course can be disordered because it is not infused with truth. Hell is paved with good intentions, perhaps, is another way to put the Pope's point. A "charity" devoid of truth and meaning can be anything towards anyone. So, for instance, out of general concern for the well being of a particular people, a person will advocate a homosexualist agenda. This profound error could be done out of geniune love for the well being of the person. It, of course, is not a true good for the person at all, but it need not be because seceretly, deep down, the person harbors hate towards any particular person. It is because their love for the person is not infused with the truth of that person and his ultimate end.

    Thus, Charity is infused with Truth. So more than anything, the Pope is saying Charity and Truth are not able to be seperated. In fact, he says that rather plainly. This is the Motto of the Christ the King Institute...its not like it comes out of left field or the ideals of "freemasonry" as you so ridiculously accused the Holy Father.

    Finally, I must ask you what you mean by Charity and Truth as "objects." Charity is of course of virtue, and Truth is of course a state of being, and both foundationally are God Himself, who is Love and Truth itself. So, as a virtue and as a state of being, Charity and Truth are analogical participations in the very Being of God, and "charity without truth" and "truth without charity" as marked by the Pope, are privations of this primary relationship between God and this virtue and state. So we are simply back to what St. Thomas would say about being, "the Devil is good insofar as he exists." So "charity" in this privated sense is good insofar as it is related in some way to the Love which is God, but without being infused with truth, it is evil as well.

    I don't know why "infusion" is confusing you. "Infusion" is of course said of all three theological virtues, as they are sometimes called the "infused" virtues. What I think you accuse the Holy Father of as "Rahnerian" or others as ridiculously "Hegelian" is merely Neo-Platonism, and if you think the Holy Father is difficult to understand, what would you do with Denys the Areopegite?

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  39. I will say only this for now: for an encyclical, this text seems somewhat disjointed. The style is not very coherent, which does not need to be the case just because many hands were involved. Centesimus Annus, for example, was a much, much more readable encyclical. And Rerum Novarum (since this is a social encyclical) is wonderful in its inner strength as a text.

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  40. P.K.T.P.

    if your main issue is with the english translation, than I am with you. I will grant that English translations of Latin texts are horrid in this day and age. But I don't think they are so bad as to confuse the points, and to make them say something out of sink with obvious conventions of theological discourse. I will also admit that this text seems to come form the hands of different authors, with revisions by the Holy Father "over" more basic texts. Look, this text has been rejected and reworked many times, and the 'inner cohesion' as a text suffers. My only point is that it is not somehow "Rahnerian" or imbued with "Freemasonry" due to a bad translation, and even if someone like Wiegel is right, and the hippies from the 70's tried to pull one on us, I think the Pope significantly deflected their attempt, and reined even their stilted reflections in to where their concerns point to traditional ones as well. As much as this may cause some on this site to gauge their eyes out, this encyclical is about the Social Kingship of Christ. Again and again, the Pope makes the point that a godless society cannot function. He is calling for a "Leonine Humanism," even if he doesn't express it all that well.

    Read the text and think of it this way...of all the things text calls for, what social order would be able to accoplish all its requests in the best manner possible? I would put forth a Christian Emperor...being that we aren't getting ones of those anytime soon, the Pope tries to make a square peg fit in a round hole. Still, I think the impetus behind all this is an "integeral" Catholic vision of society.

    As far as "human development," I do not think you can divorce temporal development and spiritual development. In fact, I think it is very modern to act like the two can ever be seperated. That is exactly what the Pope decries, acting as if technological solutions do not have moral consequences. So even though I do in fact think we are currently experiencing a digression in culture (and there has been development and digressions ebbing and flowing through human history), it is because we do not link our "temporal" advances to the common good. If we institute sewage systems simply as a luxury of the rich, we do not experience human development. If we institute such systems in the hopes that infant mortality rate will drop, then we make a truly human development. I think this is the Pope's point in saying property and wealth are good and well only if moral people have them. The moral order is not divorced from the economic order.

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  41. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 29 June, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in the year 2009, the fifth of my Pontificate.

    "MY" Pontificate? Shouldn't it be "OUR"?

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  42. Anonymous10:38 PM

    I agree with you New Catholic that Centesimus Annus was much clearer. It was the late pope's best encyclical by far.
    Does this encyclical even matter? The world is not listening to anything but the Michael Jackson tribute today. Benedict XVI is speaking to a world that largely doesn't care to listen.

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  43. Anonymous11:24 PM

    Okie:

    "Hell is paved with good intentions"

    Actually, this is an excellent example of how popular expressions do not conform to the true meaning of words. What is meant is that Hell is paved with good *desires*. Good intentions cannot lead anyone anywhere but to Heaven. An intention is that which one resolves to do; properly, it can only be frustrated by an outside force or by a change to another intention. But a good intention in itself can only have a good end.

    Charity and truth are 'objects' in a conceptual sense, and they are different in kind: charity is a motive for human actions, whereas truth is a perception of or agreement with reality. To infuse is to pour one thing into another. Now I don't see how truth can be added to charity so as to change it in any way; in fact, I don't see how the two can be combined into one object. Charity per se is neither true nor false; it is a moral category, not a metaphysical one. Truth can be infused into the heart of a giver but not into giving itself. Giving is not true or false; it is good or bad (e.g. bad when you give a gun to a madman).

    You write this: "So, as a virtue and as a state of being, Charity and Truth ..." But herein lies the problem, truth is not a virtue (telling the truth is) and charity is not a state of being but an ethical motive: they are mixed categories. Items in mixed categories cannot be combined, only conjoined, so 'infused' is definitely the wrong verb here.

    I am sorry for being so picky about these matters but my profession is teaching English at a university, and I don't tolerate this sort of imprecision from my students. I expect that the Latin text will make more sense and that the problem here is one of translation. I am not accusing the Pope of writing a confused text.

    I can remember how perturbed I was, for more than twenty years, by a certain expression in Humanæ Vitæ. The expression was 'the meaning of conjugal love', as I recall. It was used where, what was meant, was 'the end/purpose of conjugal love'. Then, finally, I read an article by someone who had had precisely the same problem with it that I had had. It finally dawned on me that I was not alone in finding the expression to be turbid. When one cannot fathom why a certain expression was used, one wonders if the writer meant to convey something unknown to the reader. What I love about pre-conciliar texts in their beautiful clarity: every object and subject fit neatly together.

    In regard to Rahner, what I meant was that, at least in translation, his texts are incredible confusing. An honest man must wonder what each of his expressions really means. When you pile them up into paragraphs, you enter into a haze. Good writing must resort to unmixed metaphors, precedence in usage and logic.

    P.K.T.P.

    P.S. Yet again I remind everyone that there is no such living person as 'Pope Benedict', except in the affective usage of the liturgy. He is Benedict XVI or Pope Benedict XVI or the Pope or His Holiness or the Holy Father or the Supreme Pontiff (very formally); he is not 'Benedict' or 'Pope Benedict'. Let's not fall to the low level of newspaper reporters. If one wishes to be very informal, he should simply be called 'the Pope'.

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  44. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Dear Mr. Mattke:

    Yes, you are absolutely right. It should be 'our pontificate'. Something tells me that this is all about translation. I have only given this encyclical a cursory glance and, already, I don't much like the forms of expression. They don't seem to be clear to me. But I will withhold judgement until I've read more.

    P.K.T.P.

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  45. Anonymous11:30 PM

    The reality is that "nobody" reads Papal Encyclicals. Probably 99.9 percent of Catholics neither care about nor will read this (or any Encyclical).

    The "world" couldn't care less about this (or any) Encyclical.

    I don't have much interest in Pope Benedict XVI's latest Encyclical.

    Frankly, Papal Encyclicals are blah...blah...blah.

    Documents, documents, and more documents. Just give me concrete action.

    I harken to Pope Pius XI:

    "For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church.

    "Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year—in fact, forever."

    Michael

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  46. Anonymous11:35 PM

    Okie:

    I appreciate your help in explaining what you think human development means. Thank you. However, to me, it must refer in some way to a development of man qua man; otherwise, it would be technological development. To me, 'human development' means that humanity or the human person is becoming more complex or more perceptive or more discerning; it means that the human species is changing in terms of its capacities. Now I suppose that evolutionists would insist on this, and it might be true to a tiny extent (e.g. blue eyes are supposedly becoming more and more common) but I can't see how there is a significant change in human nature which is leading us anywhere in this world.

    Now, perhaps this is not what His Holiness means. But this is what the translated words seem to convey. It looks dangerously like a Freemasonic confidence in the bettering of mankind so as to achieve a secular paradise. I doubt that the Pope means that but that is what the words seem to say, at least when read in isolation from other passages.

    P.K.T.P.

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  47. Anonymous11:38 PM

    "Does this encyclical even matter? The world is not listening to anything but the Michael Jackson tribute today. Benedict XVI is speaking to a world that largely doesn't care to listen."

    Honestly, the Encyclical doesn't matter to 99.9 percent of Catholics.

    Encyclicals come and go. Nobody cares about Encyclicals.

    I have never met a Catholic (other than a Church "official") who has read an Encyclical.

    The world certainly doesn't care about the Pope's Encyclical.

    Sorry, but this Encyclical will come and go and won't be of interest to 99.9 percent of the population — within and without the Church.

    Michael

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  48. Anonymous12:07 AM

    On the importance of encyclicals and recent posts on this.

    Well, I beg to disagree with those who think this encyclical to be unimportant. "Rerum Novarum", 1982, started a tradition of social encyclicals which have had far-reaching implications in our world. For example, is it proper and right for government to redistribute wealth so as to ensure that every working man has a just wage? This was addressed in R.N. and thereafter. I'd say that such matters are important. They are as important as whether or not we can support fascism, communism, socialism, unbridled capitalism, distributism, corporatism, or liberation theology.

    Arguably, R.N. breaks from at least a general silence on social issues from the Late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. Before this time, some scholastics, for example, held that an item had a minimum monetary value based on a traditional value in exchange.

    These matters are of the utmost importance today, when, for example, Mr. Barry Soetero (B.S.), alias Barak Hussein Obama (B.O.), wants to turn the U.S.A. into a social welfare state. What does the Church have to say about such endeavours?

    P.K.T.P.

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  49. Anonymous12:25 AM

    Yes, George Weigel has attacked the encyclical. But that's probably because it doesn't fit squarely within his neoconservative agenda.

    The Church's social teaching has traditionally raised feathers among certain individuals on the right.

    For a much more laudatory review - hailing from the right-of-center / pro-capitalism Acton Institute, see http://blog.acton.org/archives/11017-caritas-in-veritate-why-truth-matters.html.

    -DR (NOT a bishop....)

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  50. I know that many are instinctively suspicious when it comes to any notion of an "International Organization” (especially given the experience of the UN) and are more or less scandalized that a Pope would promote such a concept. On the other hand, we should keep in mind that this notion has roots in Catholic social teaching even prior to Vatican II. Here is a sampling:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Things being thus restored, the order required by justice and charity re-established and the nations reconciled, it is much to be desired, Venerable Brethren, that all States, putting aside mutual suspicion, should unite in one league, or rather a type of family of peoples, calculated both to maintain their own independence and safeguard the order of human society. What especially, among other reasons, calls for such an association of nations, is the generally recognized need of making every effort to abolish or reduce the enormous burden of the military expenditure which the State can no longer afford, in order to forestall these disastrous wars or at least to remove the danger of them as far as possible. So would each nation be assured not only of its independence but also of the integrity of its territory within its just boundaries. (Benedict XV, Pacem Dei Munus, 1920)

    Never perhaps in the past have we seen, as we see in these our own times, the minds of men so occupied by the desire both of strengthening and of extending to the common welfare of human society that fraternal relationship which binds and unites us together, and which is a consequence of our common origin and nature. For since the nations do not yet fully enjoy the fruits of peace -- indeed rather do old and new disagreements in various places break forth into sedition and civic strife -- and since on the other hand many disputes which concern the tranquillity and prosperity of nations cannot be settled without the active concurrence and help of those who rule the States and promote their interests, it is easily understood, and the more so because none now dispute the unity of the human race, why many desire that the various nations, inspired by this universal kinship, should daily be more closely united one to another. (Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1928)

    FORMATION OF A COMMON MEANS TO MAINTAIN PEACE
    62. The decisions already published by international commissions permit one to conclude that an essential point in any future international arrangement would be the formation of an organ for the maintenance of peace, of an organ invested by common consent with supreme power to whose office it would also pertain to smother in its germinal state any threat of isolated or collective aggression.
    63. No one could hail this development with greater joy than he who has long upheld the principle that the idea of war as an apt and proportionate means of solving international conflicts is now out of date.
    64. No one could wish success to this common effort, to be undertaken with a seriousness of purpose never before known, with greater enthusiasm, than he who has conscientiously striven to make the Christian and religious mentality reject modern war with its monstrous means of conducting hostilities. (Pius XII, Christmas Message, 1944)
    Your movement, gentlemen, dedicates itself to realizing an effective political organization of the world. Nothing is more in conformity with the traditional doctrine of the Church, with her teaching concerning legitimate or illegitimate war, above all in the present emergency. It is necessary, therefore, to arrive at such an organization, if for no other reason than to put an end ot the armaments race in which for many tears peoples have been ruining and exhausting themselves through sheer waste. (Pius XII, Address to delegates of the fourth annual Congress of the World Movement for Federal Government, April 6, 1951)

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  51. I appreciate your help in explaining what you think human development means. ****

    It's not just what he thinks it means. It's what it actually refers to, particularly in this encyclical.

    However, to me, it must refer in some way to a development of man qua man; otherwise, it would be technological development. ***

    And who is it that is developing the technology if not humans? It's not like improvements in human cultures and societies are bovine or equine or canine development. It's obviously human development.

    To me, 'human development' means that humanity or the human person is becoming more complex or more perceptive or more discerning; it means that the human species is changing in terms of its capacities. ***

    But it appears to me that it doesn't mean that to anyone else.

    Now, perhaps this is not what His Holiness means. ***

    No "perhaps" about it. He makes blazingly clear what he's referring to.

    It looks dangerously like a Freemasonic confidence in the bettering of mankind so as to achieve a secular paradise. ***

    No, it doesn't look anything like that. I can't imagine how anyone could read even merely the introductory section and begin to fear that the Holy Father is even hinting at such an erroneous conception of human nature.

    I doubt that the Pope means that but that is what the words seem to say, at least when read in isolation from other passages.

    Well there's your trouble. It should not be necessary to say that it is never correct to read such "soundbites" in isolation from the rest of the document. Might I recommend reading the entire encyclical before voicing objections to it?

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  52. Anonymous2:25 AM

    P.K.T.P,
    Do you do anything besides post on forums? I'm curious because you post incredible amounts of material throughout the normal day. I've seen your initials show up on several forums and have a difficult time imagining that your do much else besides posting to forums.

    For a time, I was posting all of the time on various Catholic forums. Then I gave internet usage, for Lent a couple of years ago and I my life changed for the better during that time. Instead of compulsively checking forums and replying to post, I had more time for enjoying the world God gave us, friends, family, helping people, praying, etc. M life is better because I'm no longer dealing with a virtual world all of the time.

    I'm just concerned when I see someone post this much on regular basis.

    Nobody of importance.

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  53. Anonymous4:31 AM

    Jordanes writes:

    And who is it that is developing the technology if not humans?

    Well, obviously it is humans who develop technology. But 'human development' obviously means the development *of* humans.

    If the Pope means something other than this, I suggest that the translators could do a better job. It is not good if one has to rely on context to determine the meaning of terms. If possible, they should be immediately apparent. The worst thing is to think a term means one thing and then have to wait for several paragraphs to find out what it really means.

    P.K.T.P.

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  54. Yes, George Weigel has attacked the encyclical. But that's probably because it doesn't fit squarely within his neoconservative agenda. ***

    Prescinding from the question of Weigel's alleged "neoconservative" agenda, I'll only say there's no reason anyone has to remain in doubt about what Weigel's criticisms are and why he has voiced them. One may simply read his essay -- it's much, much shorter than the encyclical.

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  55. Anonymous4:35 AM

    On Anonymous's last comments (Nobody of Importance):

    I must imagine that either that you are a liar or that there is someone else out there posting messages under my initials. I post on one weblist (and not much there any more) plus this blog. Where else have you seen my initials? I haven't posted any messages anywhere else in months. So I guess that you're just throwing out an insult in the hope that it might stick. It doesn't.

    I did post a great deal on this blog yesterday but that was an exception.

    P.K.T.P.

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  56. But 'human development' obviously means the development *of* humans. ***

    Or it could instead, or simultaneously, mean "development by humans," or "development through humans."

    Anyway, the problem is that you think "human development" ought to refer only to evolutionary changes in human nature or to spiritual development, rather than to improvements in the ways humans live with each other, which is the most common meaning and the obviously intended meaning in the encyclical. Surely you've heard of nations being classified as "developed," "developing," and "underdeveloped," as replacement terms for First World, Second World, and Third World. The Holy Father is talking about what it really means for a nation to be developed or to be developing -- and at the bottom of it all, it really means a nation that isn't just improving the social and economic conditions of its people, but one that has converted or is on the way to conversion to Catholicism. I'd say that the pope could have improved his encyclical a great deal by just coming out and saying that.

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  57. Johnny Domer4:58 AM

    Marcos Mattke,

    The original Latin almost certainly will say "Our Pontificate." The English translations of various recent encyclicals and documents have stupidly been translating the "imperial we" that the Pope has traditionally used in reference to himself into the first person simgular. I really have no clue why...I guess to make the Pope seem more warm and fuzzy or something. I'm sure the Latin is still the same as it always has been.

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  58. Anonymous5:05 AM

    Jordanes writes:

    "Or [human development] could instead, or simultaneously, mean "development by humans," or "development through humans."

    Not when we see this in the same passage: "man is constitutionally oriented towards 'being more'".

    No, Jordanes, the Pope means development *in* humans in some way. However, it needn't be what I have suggested, and I am willing to assume for the sake of argument what others (e.g. Okie) have suggested. I am a bit sensitive about the idea of 'the Cult of Man' given the tone of many of the last pope's public statements.

    Jordanes continues:

    "Surely you've heard of nations being classified as "developed," "developing," and "underdeveloped,"

    Nations, yes, but I am seeing here references to human development, not to nations' development.

    I think that the other blogger who wrote that it might mean a spiritual change could be right. I am open to what the Pope is saying and would like to read the encyclical before commenting in any detail. Also, I don't think that the translation necessarily reflects what the Latin text says accurately (especially as regards connotation), so it would be nice to have a copy of the Latin text.

    I admit it, Jordanes, I confess: I am just very suspicious when I see references to 'the development of the human person' (a John-Pauline formulation) or 'human development'. It conjures up notinos of a Cult of Man replacing a Cult of God.

    P.K.T.P.

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  59. No, Jordanes, the Pope means development *in* humans in some way. **

    Yes, he clearly means that as well, and he says that "development" is the spiritual transformation possible only through conversion in and through Christ.

    Nations, yes, but I am seeing here references to human development, not to nations' development. ***

    Human nations are nations of humans. If nations are developing, it is human development going on.

    I think that the other blogger who wrote that it might mean a spiritual change could be right. ***

    The point that Pope Benedict keeps coming back to in his encyclical is that there really can't be any true and lasting human development without spiritual change.

    I admit it, Jordanes, I confess: I am just very suspicious when I see references to 'the development of the human person' (a John-Pauline formulation) or 'human development'. It conjures up notions of a Cult of Man replacing a Cult of God. ***

    That wasn't John Paul II's intent, for he was always stressing that need for man to acknowledge the truth about the human person, which can only be known through Christ. Benedict XVI has much the same emphasis, from what I can tell.

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  60. Anonymous5:30 AM

    On the words of 'Nobody of Importance'

    Again, no, I haven't been posting "on several for[a]", so I must assume that others have been posting under my initials. For the last several months, I have only posted on this blog and on one weblist, and not that often any more on the latter. I went overboard yesterday because one of those subjects dear to my heart came up; namely, the lie that Muslims and Jews worship the same God we do. I have written extensively on this subject in the past, but that was some years ago on a weblist I no longer belong to.

    I am only posting a great deal lately because I am obsessed with my dream of ending episcopal obstruction of the old Mass, a process which began in 1984. Really, I'm waiting for the Pope to recognise or regularise the S.S.P.X or else establish an international particular church for tradition. Once he's done one of those things (or it becomes unlikely that he will), I'll likely buzz off and you won't hear from me much again (and less so once the next term beings too). I only post on subjects like the present one because these topics pop up on this blog instead of the one I'm waiting for. There, that's the truth of the matter.

    What really galls me is that local bishops are obstructing a gift of the Holy Ghost which they have no bloody right to touch. It does not belong to them; it does not even belong to the Pope himself. Cardinal Stickler, before he died in 2007, said that the Commission of Cardinals of 1986 found that, probably, even a pope did not have a right to suppress the ancient Mass or to change it dramatically because this would violate a norm of Moral Law. Keep in mind the Thomist dictum that an ordinance of positive law which contradicts a norm of Moral Law is not bad law; rather, it fails to qualify as law in the first place.

    I want the Pope to DO SOMETHING to end this unjust episcopal obstruction. The rotters have now resorted to threatening priests who dare to celebrate the old Mass. I am in direct contact with at least six or seven priests who have been threatened, and I know of others who have suffered retaliation for offering the old Mass without their bishops' permission. I could name the dioceses for you but will not: I don't want them punished. Generally, though, if you find a diocese (well, in the U.S.A. or France) having a large population and yet it has no approved T.L.M. every Sunday, it's one of them.

    There was news a few months ago that the P.C.E.D might, in such cases, send in a priest from another diocese 'di imperio'. But the bishops would likely scream 'collegiality!' over that. Right now, the simplest and most likely way around the episcopal obstructors would be for Rome to recognise Society Masses publicly.

    I know that my own motives are good because I feel real pain when I hear of a sad case in another diocese, whereas I hardly rejoiced at all when I got my own T.L.M. back after a wait of fourteen years. What got me involved so much in this movement in the first place was reacting to a case in which an elderly man (not a relative, by the way) was denied the last rites in the traditional form and had to die and be buried without them. It made me livid! I still grind my teeth over it sometimes. There is nothing in this world less charitable than a liberal, all their lying smiles to the contrary.

    P.K.T.P.

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  61. Anonymous5:32 AM

    Jordanes:

    "Human nations are nations of humans. If nations are developing, it is human development going on."

    No, I think that references to 'underdeveloped' countries means referencest to an underdevelopment in the technology of a country. That is not the same thing as development in humans.

    P.K.T.P.

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  62. Anonymous5:35 AM

    Jordanes writes:

    "That wasn't John Paul II's intent, for he was always stressing that need for man to acknowledge the truth about the human person, which can only be known through Christ. Benedict XVI has much the same emphasis, from what I can tell."

    I'm not convinced by your claim re John Paul II, and I note that many traditionalists have alleged that the late Pope was involved, willingly or not, in an advancement of the Cult of Man.

    I'll leave it at that for now.

    P.K.T.P.

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  63. Just a quick response to the "Weigel" commentary on this thread.

    It was striking for me reading Weigel's Witness to Hope biography of John Paul II.

    There he seemed to me to give hundreds of pages of 100 per cent unadulterated praise to John Paul ... as though he were a demi-God ...

    I intend no disrespect here for John Paul here, only a comment on Weigel's treatment ...

    Anyway there was one curious exception- whenever John Paul did not seem to go along with Weigel's neocon American economics which he shared with people like Michael Novak ...

    As in particularly JPII's first two social encyclicals.

    Then and only then, at least as I recall it, does Weigel stop the 100 per cent hagiography and actually criticise John Paul ... i.e. when he goes significantly to the left of Weigel economically ... or becomes "gauchiste" to use Weigel's own term in this piece.

    My memory of this book certainly isn't perfect, but this memory was important for me as context to Weigel's remarks on the new encyclical ... which looks beautiful indeed.

    To reveal my own bias ...

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  64. I'm not convinced by your claim re John Paul II, and I note that many traditionalists have alleged that the late Pope was involved, willingly or not, in an advancement of the Cult of Man. ***

    Yes, I'm aware they've alleged that, but they're wrong. If you doubt what I say, just take a look at Centissimus Annus 53-55. And that wasn't the only time John Paul II strongly reminded everyone that the truth of the human person is known only through faith, only through Christ's revelation. It wasn't the Cult of Man that the late Vicar of Christ was advancing, but the Cult of the Son of Man.

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  65. I just want to add to my last comment re: George Weigel and Caritas in Veritate.

    His whole piece is clearly trying to suggest two opposed authors here, the Holy Father and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

    However disjointed the encyclical might appear, whatever the truth of the history Weigel paints here …

    What he says, speaks very poorly indeed of the Holy Father

    Eg:


    "the passages that reflect Justice and Peace ideas and approaches that Benedict evidently believed he had to try and accommodate"


    "Benedict XVI, a truly gentle soul, may have thought it necessary to include in his encyclical these multiple off-notes, in order to maintain the peace within his curial household."


    The implication clearly here and throughout this piece is that it is not Benedict XVI BELIEVES the so-called “default” positions of Justice and Peace, as Weigel mocks them …

    But that the Holy Father is just a “gentle soul" who has to “accommodate” and “maintain the peace” …

    If I am reading Weigel correctly, I find this _disgraceful_.

    I am sure there is much more here than the Holy Father simply being gentle and accomodating ...

    I am sure he has wrestled profoundly with these issues in the long time this encyclical has taken and is profoundly consciousness of the the long-lasting historical legacy that a social encyclical always entails ... being commented on and worked with for generations to come ...

    Profoundly, morally conscious,as the Holy Father most clearly is, I am sure far more is going on here with him than Weigel - consciously or not - would like his reading public at the National Review and elsewhere to believe ...

    Yes - conscious or not - I think we have a deep misrepresentation of the Holy Father from someone who should know better …

    Moreover it appears to be in pursuit of a political agenda - discrediting Vatican positions he does not agree with by misrepresenting the Pope ...

    I am honestly a bit shocked by this.

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  66. Anonymous7:48 AM

    On Jordanes's last post:

    I've read a great deal of John Paul II's words on this subject over the years, although it has not been a topic which interested me in particular. I was really reading them more in reference to matters of social and political organisation. Anyway, I am not convinced by your interpretation but would consider investigating the matter more in the future. I have read Centissimus Annus. In fact, I have a volume of all the social justice encyclicals up to but not beyond that one. Was there one after C.A. by the way?

    P.K.T.P.

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  67. It is no secret to that Popes even before the last Council spoke of world collaboration. The question, however, is: given what the UN have become and have been for quite some time, is it not surprising that Paul VI's enthusiasm for this organism by now has not faded?

    In politics as in any other area, theories are of little use if they do not take reality into account. Nor is naivety a virtue.

    As to the subject of human perfectability, I believe that P.K.T.P. has some good points. If one insists on using words and language to which most people to-day give a certain (deeply un-Catholic) meaning, in a very un-Catholic world saturated with ideas of Never-Ending Progress and Evolution, then, one risks being misunderstood. The notion of human development, therefore, is a very hazardous one.

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  68. Anonymous10:52 AM

    "Paragraph 12 is an important text for the hermeneutic of continuity."

    With all the appointments of liberals in recent week by this Pope, by the meeting he had with the Austrian bishops, where apparently he bent "way over backward" to accomodate these radicals, by appointing a dissenting liberal to the See of Olinda and Recife after it had had an awesome traditional Archbishop for over 20 years, after this morning appointing Levada (no lover of Catholic tradition that man) as head of Ecclesia Dei WHO CARES about paragraph 12 of this encyclical.

    To speak about continuity and tradition, but then by concrete actions to do exactly the opposite...I don't have any trust in the man who is Pope anymore. In encyclicals or anything else.

    As for this: " haven't read it yet, but looked at the references at the end of the page. Too few references to pre-conciliar documents." from one poster....THAT SAYS IT ALL. We're still stuck with a Pope and in a Church which acts as if the Catholic Church started with Vatican II, 40+ years ago.
    I'm not interested in a Church like that.

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  69. Anonymous11:26 AM

    P.K.T.P.,
    In charity,you might rethink your reply. You come off sounding like a complete a**. I wasn't trying to insult you, but you have insulted me and you owe an apology for accusing me of being a liar.

    Instead of calling me a liar, how about you ask politely for clarification first, then call me liar if you must. If this how you are responding, I would strongly suggest you take a long break (weeks) from the internet and fast and pray. Posting on forums the way did yesterday or have on many other occasions is not healthy. And your absurd and violent response indicates that you have a problem.

    I'll pray for you,
    nobody of importance.



    "I must imagine that either that you are a liar or that there is someone else out there posting messages under my initials. I post on one weblist (and not much there any more) plus this blog. Where else have you seen my initials? I haven't posted any messages anywhere else in months. So I guess that you're just throwing out an insult in the hope that it might stick. It doesn't.

    I did post a great deal on this blog yesterday but that was an exception.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I'm also somewhat disappointed. It sounded to me too general and too naive.

    For instance, the Pope has spoken laudatorily on immigration. Very well. Ok. It's all right. I'm grandson of immigrants.

    But... Wasn't this Pope the one who opposed Turkey entry on European Union on the grounds of deChristianization of Europe?

    But... Isn't deChristianization a consequence, among others, of mass immigration of muslims to Europe?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Anyway, I am not convinced by your interpretation but would consider investigating the matter more in the future. ***

    Well, as I said, C.A. 53-55 might refresh your memory about what John Paul II said is the truth about the human person. It's astonishing that anyone would read his words and conclude that he was involved in replacing the Cult of God with a Cult of Man. Not when he says the Church's "sole purpose" in explicating her social doctrine "has been care and responsibility for man, who has been entrusted to her by Christ himself: for this man, whom, as the Second Vatican Council recalls, is the only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake, and for which God has his plan, that is, a share in eternal salvation. . . . We are dealing with each individual, since each one is included in the mystery of Redemption, and through this mystery Christ has united himself with each one for ever.108 It follows that the Church cannot abandon man, and that 'this man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission ... the way traced out by Christ himself, the way that leads invariably through the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption.'"

    Or when he goes on to say, "However, man's true identity is only fully revealed to him through faith, and it is precisely from faith that the Church's social teaching begins. While drawing upon all the contributions made by the sciences and philosophy, her social teaching is aimed at helping man on the path of salvation."

    Or when he says, "Thus the Church's social teaching is itself a valid instrument of evangelization. As such, it proclaims God and his mystery of salvation in Christ to every human being, and for that very reason reveals man to himself. In this light, and only in this light, does it concern itself with everything else: the human rights of the individual, and in particular of the 'working class,' the family and education, the duties of the State, the ordering of national and international society, economic life, culture, war and peace, and respect for life from the moment of conception until death."
    Or when he says, "The Church receives 'the meaning of man' from Divine Revelation. 'In order to know man, authentic man, man in his fullness, one must know God,' said Pope Paul VI, and he went on to quote Saint Catherine of Siena, who, in prayer, expressed the same idea: 'In your nature, O eternal Godhead, I shall know my own nature.'"

    It entirely escapes me how any of that can be read as intentionally or unintentionally replacing the worship of God with the worship of man (and in particular the worship of man apart from consideration of a his relationship with and dependence on God and his need for salvation and redemption).

    As I've said, that same emphasis recurs throughout John Paul's pontificate. For example, in Jan. 1999 during his visit to St. Lous, Missouri, he said, "America first proclaimed its independence on the basis of self-evident moral truths. America will remain a beacon of freedom for the world as long as it stands by those moral truths with are the very heart of its historical experience. And so America: if you want peace, work for justice. If you want justice, defend life. If you want life, embrace the truth -- the truth revealed by God."

    I have read Centissimus Annus. In fact, I have a volume of all the social justice encyclicals up to but not beyond that one. Was there one after C.A. by the way? ***

    Apart from Evangelium Vitae in 1995, I don't recall him writing another social justice encyclical, though he continued to address social justice in other writings and addresses.

    ReplyDelete
  72. P.K.T.P.

    Thank you for responding to my posts. I know I write unclearly, and have confused you with my use of the word "and," for instance, I meant that Charity is a virtue and that Truth is a state of being, not that both are virtues and states of being. I still think your definition of both is not robust enough, but I understand your concern about the use of language and its precision, and I do hope that the Latin provides clarity in these matters.

    I'm off to read about the new Motu Proprio. I already see people whining around about it, so I better take a look...

    ReplyDelete
  73. Anonymous9:48 PM

    Jordanes, said this, "That wasn't John Paul II's intent, for he was always stressing that need for man to acknowledge the truth about the human person, which can only be known through Christ. Benedict XVI has much the same emphasis, from what I can tell."

    And continues to defend this line of reasoning elsewhere.

    Surely, JP2 and his cohorts can write more plainly, to the point, clearly without extra wordiness, for easier understanding - agreeing with Catholic doctrine or not. Where is the clarity for common believers?

    I don't expect an answer, it just is so frustrating that Catholics can't even agree on what a Pope meant to write after it was written. There is something fundamentally wrong here.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Piusx1:55 AM

    K Gurries, your quotes were well refuted on AQ.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Your Holiness,

    This is one sheep, who does not want a one world government...

    Small is better....

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo

    ReplyDelete
  76. Anonymous2:09 AM

    World government would be tyranny. No Way!

    ReplyDelete

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