In Pennsylvania's

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Economic Life

As per Chapter Seven of the Compendium, Economic Life,
    “Through the gift of his Spirit and the conversion of hearts, he [Jesus] comes to establish the 'Kingdom of God', so that a new manner of social life is made possible, in justice, brotherhood, solidarity and sharing. The Kingdom inaugurated by Christ perfects the original goodness of the created order and of human activity, which were compromised by sin. Freed from evil and being placed once more in communion with God, man is able to continue the work of Jesus, with the help of his Spirit....
    “economic activity is to be considered and undertaken as a grateful response to the vocation which God holds out for each person....Economic activity and material progress must be placed at the service of man and society....Goods, even when legitimately owned, always have a universal destination....

    “The Fathers of the Church insist more on the need for the conversion and transformation of the consciences of believers than on the need to change the social and political structures of their day….

    “The social doctrine of the Church recognizes the proper role of profit as the first indicator that a business is functioning well....But this does not cloud her awareness…that a business may show a profit while not properly serving society....recourse to usury is to be morally condemned....

    “The Church's social doctrine insists on the need for business owners and management to strive to structure work in such a way so as to promote the family, especially mothers, in the fulfilment of their duties….

    “A truly competitive market is an effective instrument for attaining important objectives of justice…. The free market cannot be judged apart from the ends that it seeks…and the values that it transmits on a societal level....The inversion of the relationship between means and ends, however, can make it degenerate into an inhuman and alienating institution….

    “[The market must] be firmly rooted in its ethical objectives…. The idea that the market alone can be entrusted with the task of supplying every category of goods cannot be shared, because such an idea is based on a reductionist vision of the person and society….Freedom in the economic sector… must be regulated by appropriate legal norms so that it will be placed at the service of integral human freedom....

    "The action of the State and of other public authorities must be consistent with the principle of subsidiarity and create situations favourable to the free exercise of economic activity. It must also be inspired by the principle of solidarity and establish limits for the autonomy of the parties in order to defend those who are weaker.

    “Solidarity without subsidiarity… can easily degenerate into a 'Welfare State', while subsidiarity without solidarity runs the risk of encouraging forms of self-centred localism....
    “Public spending is directed to the common good when certain fundamental principles are observed:• the payment of taxes as part of the duty of solidarity;
    • a reasonable and fair application of taxes;
    • precision and integrity in administering and distributing public resources.

    In the redistribution of resources, public spending must observe the principles of solidarity, equality and making use of talents. It must also pay greater attention to families, designating an adequate amount of resources….
    “The social-economic system must be marked by the twofold presence of public and private activity, including private non-profit activity....State intervention should be characterized by a genuine solidarity, which as such must never be separated from subsidiarity….

    “The phenomenon of consumerism maintains a persistent orientation towards 'having' rather than 'being'…. it is necessary to create 'lifestyles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments'. [John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 36: AAS 83 (1991), 839.]....
    “Looking after the common good means making use of the new opportunities for the redistribution of wealth among the different areas of the planet, to the benefit of the underprivileged that until now have been excluded or cast to the sidelines of social and economic progress.[Cf. John Paul II, Address to members of the “Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice” Foundation (9 May 1998), 2: L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, 27 May 1998, p. 6.]....

    “The Church's social doctrine has time and again called attention to aberrations in the system of international trade,[Cf. Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 61: AAS 59 (1967), 287.] which often, owing to protectionist policies, discriminates against products coming from poorer countries and hinders the growth of industrial activity in and the transfer of technology to these countries.[Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 43: AAS 80 (1988), 574-575.]....

    “‘....we are witnessing the emergence of an alarming gap between a series of new ‘rights’ being promoted in advanced societies – the result of new prosperity and new technologies – and other more basic human rights still not being met, especially in situations of underdevelopment. I am thinking here for example about the right
    • to food and drinkable water,
    • to housing and security,
    • to self-determination and
    • independence – which are still far from being guaranteed & realized'.[John Paul II, Message for the 2003 World Day of Peace, 5: AAS 95 (2003), 343.]….

    “‘Globalization must not be a new version of colonialism. It must respect the diversity of cultures which, within the universal harmony of peoples, are life's interpretive keys. In particular, it must not deprive the poor of what remains most precious to them, including their religious beliefs and practices, since genuine religious convictions are the clearest manifestation of human freedom'. [John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (27 April 2001), 4: AAS 93 (2001), 600.]….

    “Solidarity between generations requires that global planning take place according to the principle of the universal destination of goods, which makes it morally illicit and economically counterproductive to burden future generations with the costs involved….

    “If the creation of what is called the 'global capital market' has brought benefits, thanks to the fact that the greater mobility of capital allows the productivity sector easier access to resources, on the other hand it has also increased the risk of financial crises. The financial sector, which has seen the volume of financial transactions far surpass that of real transactions, runs the risk of developing according to a mentality that has only itself as a point of reference, without being connected to the real foundations of the economy…..A financial economy that is an end unto itself is destined to contradict its goals....

    “The loss of centrality on the part of States must coincide with a greater commitment on the part of the international community to exercise a strong guiding role….The sphere of politics too, just like that of the economy, must be in a position to extend its range of action beyond national boundaries....One of the fundamental tasks of those actively involved in international economic matters is to achieve for mankind an integral development in solidarity....

    “Rich countries have shown the ability to create material well-being, but often at the expense of man and the weaker social classes....

    “The life of man, just like the social life of the community, must not be reduced to its materialistic dimension....

    “Faced with the rapid advancement of technological and economic progress, and with the equally rapid transformation of the processes of production and consumption, the Magisterium senses the need to propose a great deal of educational and cultural formation”

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