in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Social Doctrine and Ecclesial Action

As per Chapter Twelve of the Compendium, Social Doctrine and Ecclesial Action,

    “In her social doctrine the Church offers above all an integral vision of man and a complete understanding of his personal and social dimensions. Christian anthropology reveals the inviolable dignity of every person and places the realities of work, economics and politics into an original perspective that sheds light on authentic human values while at the same time inspiring and sustaining the task of Christian witness in the varied areas of personal, cultural and social life....

    “The contemporary world is marked by a rift between the Gospel and culture, by a secularized vision of salvation that tends to reduce even Christianity to 'merely human wisdom, a pseudo- science of well-being'[John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 11: AAS 83 (1991), 259-260.]....'The ‘new evangelization', which the modern world urgently needs, ... must include among its essential elements a proclamation of the Church's social doctrine'[John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 5: AAS 83 (1991), 800.]….

    “The social message of the Gospel must guide the Church in her twofold pastoral activity:
    • … helping men and women to discover the truth and to choose the path that they will follow, and
    • …encouraging Christians to bear witness with a spirit of service to the Gospel in the field of social activity....

    "The Church's social doctrine is an indispensable reference point for a totally integrated Christian formation....This doctrinal patrimony is neither taught nor known sufficiently, which is part of the reason for its failure to be suitably reflected in concrete behaviour….

    “The Church's social doctrine must be the basis of an intense and constant work of formation, especially of the lay faithful. Such a formation should take into account their obligations in civil society. 'It belongs to the layman, without waiting passively for orders and directives, to take the initiative freely and to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws and structures of the community in which they live'[Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 81: AAS 59 (1967), 296-297.]....

    “The Church's social doctrine is a privileged instrument of dialogue between Christian communities and the civil and political community….

    “The social teaching of the Church is also fertile soil for dialogue and collaboration in the ecumenical sphere….

    “In the common tradition of the Old Testament, the Catholic Church is able to engage in dialogue with her Jewish brothers and sisters, which she does also through her social doctrine....

    “the Church's social doctrine is also characterized by a constant call to dialogue among all members of the world's religions ….

    "With special reference to local realities, the Bishop is responsible for promoting the teaching and diffusion of the Church's social doctrine, which he should do through appropriate institutions....

    "The essential characteristic of the lay faithful who work in the Lord's vineyard (cf. Mt 20:1-16) is the secular nature of their Christian discipleship, which is carried out precisely in the world....

    "The lay faithful should act according to the dictates of prudence, the virtue that makes it possible to discern the true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means for achieving it....

    “Promoting human dignity implies above all affirming the inviolability of the right to life, from conception to natural death, the first among all rights and the condition for all other rights of the person[Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum Vitae, (22 February 1987): AAS 80 (1988), 70-102.]….

    "Respect for personal dignity requires, moreover, that the religious dimension of the person be recognized.....In the present cultural context, there is a particularly urgent need to defend marriage and the family, which can be adequately met only if one is convinced of the unique and singular value of these two realities for an authentic development of human society[Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 42-48: AAS 74 (1982), 134-140.]….

    “An urgent priority today is also found in the need to present the patrimony of Catholic tradition, its values and content, and the entire spiritual, intellectual and moral heritage of Catholicism, in culturally up-to-date terms....

    “When the religious dimension of the person or of a people is denied, culture itself starts to die off, sometimes disappearing completely….

    “In the promotion of an authentic culture, the laity will place great importance on mass media, examining above all the contents of the countless choices that people make....

    “Professionals in the field of media are not the only people with ethical duties. Those who make use of the media also have obligations. Media operators who try to meet their responsibilities deserve audiences who are aware of their own responsibilities. The first duty of media users is to be discerning and selective....

    “Faced with the complexity of today's economic context, the laity will be guided in their action by the principles of the social Magisterium….

    “For the lay faithful, political involvement is a worthy and demanding expression of the Christian commitment of service to others[Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, 46: AAS 63 (1971), 433-436.].
    • The pursuit of the common good in a spirit of service,
    • the development of justice with particular attention to situations of poverty and suffering,
    • respect for the autonomy of earthly realities,
    • the principle of subsidiarity,
    • the promotion of dialogue and peace in the context of solidarity:
    these are the criteria that must inspire the Christian laity in their political activity. All believers, insofar as they possess rights and duties as citizens, are obligated to respect these guiding principles. Special attention must be paid to their observance by those who occupy institutional positions dealing with the complex problems of the public domain, whether in local administrations or national and international institutions….

    “Those who exercise political authority must see to it that the energies of all citizens are directed towards the common good; and they are to do so not in an authoritarian style but by making use of moral power sustained in freedom….

    “Faced with the many situations involving fundamental and indispensable moral duties, it must be remembered that Christian witness is to be considered a fundamental obligation that can even lead to the sacrificing of one's life, to martyrdom in the name of love and human dignity[Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, 39: AAS 81 (1989), 466-468.]....

    “The principle of autonomy involves respect for every religious confession on the part of the State....

    “to deny the basis of a natural morality….is the harbinger of a moral anarchy with the obvious consequence of the stronger prevailing over the weaker….it undermines the very foundations of human society....

    “A particular area for discernment on the part of the lay faithful concerns the choice of political instruments, that is, membership in a party or in other types of political participation. A choice must be made that is consistent with values, taking into account actual circumstances....

    “.the choice of a party, a political alliance, the persons to whom public life is to be entrusted, while involving the conscience of each person, can never be an exclusively individual choice.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Our representation in D.C....

Click to check the status of federal legislation:

Click to ascertain legislation being sponsored or co-sponsored (and take note of what is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):

Click to check U.S. House votes.

Click to check U.S. Senate votes.


Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

Contacting the Pa governor

717 787 2500 or

Contacting Our Bishops