Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Almighty and Merciful God"

(note - Unlike most public homilies and addresses delivered by Pope Benedict, the following homily was given extemporaneously due to the Holy Father's inability to write while his hand and arm are in a cast)

Vespers Concluding Prayer -

Almighty and merciful God, by your will Christ your Son suffered for the salvation of the whole world. Grant that your people may offer themselves as a living sacrifice to you and be filled to overflowing with your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI
Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Aosta, Italy

Vespers, July 24, 2009

Dear brothers and sisters,

I wish first of all to say "Thank you," Your Excellency, for the words with which you have introduced me to the great history of this cathedral. You have made me feel that we pray here, not only at this moment, but that I pray with [the faithful of] past centuries in this beautiful church. And thanks to all of you who have come to pray with me and to make visible this network of prayer that links us all and always.

In this brief homily, I wish to say a few words about the prayer with which these Vespers conclude, because I think that in this passage, from the Letter of the Romans, prayer is interpreted and transformed.

The prayer from Romans has two parts: an addresss - a heading, we might say - and then, the prayer itself, made up of two requests.

Let us start with the address, which itself has two parts: it concretizes the "you" with whom we talk in prayer, so we can better knock at the door of God's heart. In the Italian text, we read simply: "Merciful Father" The Latin text is more ample - "Almighty and merciful God."

In my recent encyclical [Caritas in Veritate], I have tried to show the priority of God both in our personal life, as well as in the life of history, of society, of the world. Certainly, choosing God is something profoundly personal, and the person is a being-in-relationship. If the fundamental relationship - the relation with God - is not there, if it is not lived, then all of man's other relationships cannot find their correct form. And this goes likewise for society, for mankind as such.

If God is missing, if one does without God, if God is absent, then there is no compass to show the entirety of all relationships that can make us find the way, the orientation in which one must proceed. God - we must bring back to the world the reality of God, make Him known, and make Him present.

But how are we to know God?

In the ad-limina visits, when I speak with the bishops where traditional relgions still exist - above all in Africa, but also in Asia and Latin America - these religions have many details that are diverse from one another of course, but they also have common elements. All know that there is a God, one God, that "God" is a word in the singular, that the gods are not God, that there is God, the God.

But at the same time, this God seems absent, very distant, who does not seem to come into our daily life - He is hidden, we do not know His face. And so, religions concern themselves mostly with things, powers that are nearer, spirits, ancestors, etc. - since God Himself is too distant, one must deal instead with these powers closer to hand.

The act of evangelization consists precisely in the fact that it brings that "distant" God closer. God is no longer distant but close, so that this "known unknown" can now make Himself known, He reveals Himself, the veil over Him disappears, and He shows His face. And because God is near, we can know Him, He shows us His face, He enters into our daily life. We no longer have to deal with other "powers" because He is the true power. He is the Almighty.

I do not know why they omitted the word "almighty" in the Italian text. The truth is we all feel somewhat threatened by omnipotence - it would seem to limit our freedom, it seems a bit too strong. But we should learn that the omnipotence of God is not arbitrary power, because God is Goodness, He is the Truth. God can do everything, but He cannot act against what is good, He cannot act against the truth, He cannot act against love and against freedom, because He Himself is goodness, He is Love, He is true freedom. So, everything that He does can never be against truth, love and freedom.

On the contrary - He, God, is the custodian of our freedom, of love and of truth. The eye that sees us is not an evil eye that keeps us under surveillance - it is the presence of a love which will never abandon us and which gives us the certainty that it is good that we exist, it is good to live. He is the eye of love who gives us the space to live.

"Almighty and merciful God." This text from the Letter to the Romans is linked with a passage from the Book of Wisdom, which says: "You, God, show us your omnipotence in forgiveness and mercy." The peak of God's power is mercy, it is forgiveness.

In the world concept of power today, we think of someone with large properties, who has something to say about the economy because he can dispose of capital to influence the world through the market. Or we think of someone who has military might, who can threaten. Stalin's question, "How many divisions has the Pope?" still characterizes the average idea of power.

And theirs is power that can be dangerous, that can threaten, that can destroy, that holds so many things of the world in its hands. But Revelation tells us it is not so. True power is the power of grace, the power of mercy. In His mercy, God shows His true power.

Thus, the second part of this prayer's address says, "You have redeemed the world with the Passion, with the suffering of your Son."

God suffered, through His Son, with us. This is the peak of His power - that He is capable of suffering with us. That is how He shows us the true divine power - that He wished to suffer with us, and that He will never leave us alone in our suffering. God, in His Son, had suffered with us and is therefore close to us in our suffering.

Nonetheless, the difficult question remains, one that I cannot now interpret amply: Why was it necessary to suffer in order to save the world?

It was necessary because there exists an ocean of evil in the world, an ocean of injustice, of hatred, of violence. And all the victims of hatred and injustice have the right to justice. God could not ignore the cry of those who suffered and who had been oppressed by injustice.

To forgive is not to ignore but to transform, so God had to enter into this world to oppose this ocean of injustice, much more vast than that of goodness and love. That explains the Cross, and from that moment, against that ocean of evil, there now exists an infinite river that will always be greater than all the injustices of the world, a river of goodness, of truth and of love.

God forgives, transforming the world. He enters our world so that there can be a power against evil in that river of goodness, which is always greater than all the evil that can ever exist.

The address to God is also an address to ourselves: God invites us to place ourselves on His side, to leave that ocean of evil, of hate, of violence, of selfishness, and to identify ourselves with the river of His love, to enter into it.

And this is the request contained in the first part of the prayer: "Grant that your Church may offer itself to you as a living and holy sacrifice."

This appeal, addressed to God, also concerns us. It refers to two passages in the Letter to the Romans. In 12:1, Paul says: "We ourselves should become a living sacrifice."

We ourselves, with all our being, should become adoration, sacrifice. We should restore our world to God and thus transform the world.

And in Chapter 15, Paul describes the apostolate as priesthood. The function of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it becomes a living host, it becomes liturgy. That liturgy is not just something alongside the realities of the world, but that the world itself may become a living host, it becomes liturgy. It is the great vision that Teilhard de Chardin later had, that in the end, we would have a true cosmic liturgy, when the world becomes a living host.

Let us pray to the Lord that He may help us to be priests in this sense of helping to transform the world, in the adoration of God, and begin by transforming ourselves. So that our life may speak of God, that our life becomes liturgy, an announcement of God, the gate through which a distant God becomes the God who is near, and that we truly give ourselves to God.

Then comes the second appeal of the prayer: "Grant that your people may always experience the fullness of your love."

In the Latin text it says, "Satiate us with your love." Thus, the text refers to the psalm which we sang, "Open your hand and satiate the hunger of every living being." (144(145):16)

How much hunger there is on earth! Hunger for bread in so many parts of the world - and Your Excellency has spoken of suffering among families here - hunger for justice, hunger for love.

With this prayer, we ask God, "Open your hand and truly satiate the hunger of every living being. Satiate our hunger for the truth, and for your love." So may it be.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

General Audience on Caritas in Veritate

Address of Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience of July 8, 2009

Paul VI Audience Hall

Dear brothers and sisters:

My new encyclical "Caritas in Veritate," which was officially presented yesterday, was fundamentally inspired in a passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, in which the apostle speaks of acting according to truth in charity: "Rather," we have just heard, "living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ" (4:15).

Charity in truth is, therefore, the principal propelling force for the true development of each person and all of humanity. Because of this, the whole of the Church's social doctrine revolves around the principle "caritas in veritate." Only with charity, enlightened by reason and faith, is it possible to achieve objectives of development with a human and humanizing value. Charity in the truth "is the principle around which the Church's social doctrine turns, a principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that govern moral action" (No. 6).

In the introduction, the encyclical immediately refers to two fundamental criteria: justice and the common good. Justice is an integral part of this love "in deed and truth" (1 John 3:18), to which the Apostle John exhorts us (cf. No. 6). And "to love someone is to desire that person's good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society. … The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them." Therefore, there are two operative criteria: justice and the common good. In this second element, charity acquires a social dimension. Every Christian, the encyclical says, is called to this charity and, it adds, "This is the institutional path … of charity" (cf. No. 7).

Like other documents of the magisterium, this encyclical also takes up again and goes deeper into the analysis and reflection of the Church on social issues of vital interest to humanity in our times. In a special way, it is linked to what Paul VI wrote now more than 40 years ago in "Populorum Progressio," the cornerstone of the Church's social teaching, in which the great Pontiff outlined certain decisive and ever relevant ideas for the integral development of man and of the modern world. The world situation, as the chronicle of recent months amply demonstrates, continues presenting not a few problems and the "scandal" of outrageous inequalities, which remain despite commitments made in the past. On one hand, signs of grave social and economic inequalities are evident; on the other hand, peoples from all over are calling for reform that will overcome the discrepancy of development among peoples, and this cannot wait.

The phenomenon of globalization can, in this sense, be a real opportunity, but for this, it is important to undertake a profound moral and cultural renewal and responsible discernment of the decisions that must be made for the common good. A better future for everyone is possible, if it is founded on the discovery of fundamental ethical values. A new economic plan is needed that will reshape development in a global way, basing itself on the fundamental ethics of responsibility before God and before man as a creature of God.

The encyclical certainly doesn't look to give technical solutions to the great social problems of the world today -- this is not the role of the Church's magisterium (cf. No. 9). It recalls, however, the great principles that show themselves to be indispensable for building human development in the coming years. Among these: In the first place, attention to the life of the person, considered as the center of all true progress; respect for the right to religious liberty, always closely linked to the development of the person; rejection of a Promethean vision of the human being, which considers him the absolute author of his own destiny. An unlimited trust in the power of technology in the end shows itself to be illusory.

Upright people are needed as much in politics as in the economy, people who are sincerely attentive to the common good. In particular, looking at world emergencies, it is urgent to call the attention of public opinion to the drama of hunger and food security, which affects a considerable portion of humanity. A drama of such proportions piques our consciences: It must be decisively confronted, eliminating the structural causes that bring it about and promoting agricultural development in the poorest countries.

I am sure that this path of solidarity toward the development of the poorest countries will certainly help to elaborate a solution to the current global crisis. Undoubtedly, the role and political power of the state should be attentively re-evaluated, in an age in which limitations to its sovereignty exist as a result of the new economic-commercial and international financial situation.

And on the other hand, the participation of citizens in national and international politics should not be lacking, thanks as well to a renewed commitment from the associations of workers called to establish new synergies at the local and international level. The means of social communication also have a primary role in this field, to advance dialogue among cultures and distinct traditions.

In wanting to make a plan for development that is not tainted by the malfunctions and distortions amply present today, serious reflection on the very meaning of the economy and its goals is required from everyone. The ecological state of the planet demands it; the cultural and moral crisis of man that is apparent in every corner of the globe requires it. The economy needs ethics for its correct functioning; it needs to recover the important contribution of the principle of gratuitousness and the "logic of gift" in the economy of the market, in which the norm cannot be personal gain.

But this is only possible thanks to a commitment from everyone, economists and politicians, producers and consumers, and presupposes formation of the conscience that gives strength to moral criteria in the elaboration of political and economic projects. Rightly so, many places pay recourse to the fact that rights presuppose corresponding duties, without which rights run the risk of becoming arbitrary.

It is said more and more that it is necessary for all of humanity to have a different style of life, in which the duties of everyone toward the environment are united with those of the person considered in himself and in relation with others. Humanity is one family and fruitful dialogue between faith and reason cannot but enrich it, making the work of charity more effective in society, moreover establishing the appropriate framework to stimulate collaboration between believers and non-believers, in the shared perspective of working for justice and peace in the world.

As guidelines for this fraternal interaction, in the encyclical I indicate the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, which are interconnected. I have indicated, finally, faced with such vast and deep problems in the world of today, the need for a world political authority regulated by law, which abides by the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity already mentioned and which is firmly oriented toward the fulfillment of the common good, in respect of the great moral and religious traditions of humanity.

The Gospel reminds us that man does not live on bread alone: not just with material goods can he satisfy the deep thirst of his heart. The horizons of man are undoubtedly higher and broader. Because of this, every development program should have present, together with the material, the spiritual growth of the human person, who is gifted with soul and body.

This is integral development, to which the Church's social doctrine constantly refers -- development that has its guiding criteria in the propelling strength of "charity in truth." Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray so that this encyclical too can help humanity to feel that it is one family committed in bringing about a world of justice and peace. Let us pray that believers who work in economics and politics realize how important is the coherence of their Gospel testimony in the service they offer society.

In particular, I invite you to pray for the leaders of states and governments of the G-8 who are meeting during these days in L'Aquila. That from this important world summit might come decisions and useful guidelines for the true progress of all peoples, especially of the poorest. Let us entrust these intentions to the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church and of humanity.

(After saying the foregoing in Italian, the Pope said in English)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today I wish to reflect on my Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. Some forty years after Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Populorum Progressio, it too addresses social themes vital to the well-being of humanity and reminds us that authentic renewal of both individuals and society requires living by Christ’s truth in love (cf. Eph 4:15) which stands at the heart of the Church’s social teaching.

The Encyclical does not aim to provide technical solutions to today’s social problems but instead focuses on the principles indispensable for human development. Most important among these is human life itself, the centre of all true progress. Additionally, it speaks of the right to religious freedom as a part of human development, it warns against unbounded hope in technology alone, and it underlines the need for upright men and women – attentive to the common good – in both politics and the business world.

In regard to matters of particular urgency affecting the word today, the Encyclical addresses a wide range of issues and calls for decisive action to promote food security and agricultural development, as well as respect for the environment and for the rule of law. Stressed is the need for politicians, economists, producers and consumers alike to ensure that ethics shape economics so that profit alone does not regulate the world of business.

Dear friends: humanity is a single family where every development program – if it is to be integral – must consider the spiritual growth of human persons and the driving force of charity in truth. Let us pray for all those who serve in politics and the management of economies, and in particular let us pray for the Heads of State gathering in Italy for the G8 summit. May their decisions promote true development especially for the world’s poor. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Section 67 of Caritas in Veritate, the United Nations, and that "True World Political Authority"

Much of the discussion on Caritas in Veritate is focused on Section 67, which speaks of "a true world political authority." That certainly is the focus of the reporting by the major media. However, already, from the differing takes on that passage, it is clear that some are misinterpreting and misunderstanding it. So let us take that portion up first and consider it.

67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect[146] and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good[147], and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights[148]. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations.

A proper understanding of this section and the entire Encyclical requires a careful reading of the text, not overlooking key words here and there, and it requires a reading in the context of the whole. Unfortunately, I fear that some portions might be susceptible of being misappropriated or hijacked for political ends, just as much of the Church’s social doctrine has been misappropriated over the years by some seeking to justify a certain political ideology.

In the past, Pope Benedict used the occasion of subsequent addresses and homilies to further explain and expand upon his encyclicals, Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi. Thus, I expect he will do the same in this case.

This would seem to be especially needed with respect to Section 67, which at first blush and in isolation might be seen to be awfully and unduly utopianistic. However, it would be a mistake to read Section 67 in isolation rather than in the context of the whole Encyclical or, indeed, in the context of all of Pope Benedict's magisterium. The utopian idea of the perfectibility of man through human progress, human means, or human institutions is counter to everything that Benedict has said and written. Indeed, in other places he has said that such attempts would and have ended only in tyranny (e.g. Spe Salvi).

The Pope speaks, not merely of a "world political authority," but of a "true world political authority," and then he adds in the other qualifiers of subsidiarity, solidarity, common good, charity in truth, and conforming to the moral order, each of which is defined in Christian terms. All of these qualifiers would seem to preclude the possibility of any such true world political authority from ever coming into existence. So, what he is speaking of is not really a structural plan, not a call for a particular political structure, but rather, he is offering a statement of principles. That is, if we consider these Christian-based qualifiers, what Benedict essentially says that is "needed" is a Christianized authority (that is, not Christian, per se, but Christianized, an authority that shares Christian ethos and values) -- and that would be consistent with what Benedict has always taught, that what the world "needs" most of all is Christ.

The world has known many counterfeit world political authorities -- authorities that would use and exploit the occasion with the effect of subverting human development by tyranny and infringements upon human freedom and dignity, rather than fostering authentic positive human development. And in Caritas in Veritate, Benedict many times cautions, however implicitly, against the idea that government is the answer to the problems of human development. In non-economic areas, such as marriage, family, and human sexuality, government in recent times has been the problem, not the solution, he notes. Most definitely, he says, those governments that are in opposition to God are destructive of authentic human development in every area.

Still, we have this mention of a need for a "world political authority" that some might take to mean an active and interventionist body to "control" economic society. Thus, Section 67 presents some difficulty in understanding and it is expected that Pope Benedict will have occasion to further expand upon it. However, perhaps the key to understanding the section is not the phrase "world political authority," but the beginning of the section, wherein he says "there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance." Perhaps this is less of a call for a new political regulatory body than it is a criticism of the current system.

Having raised the issue of reform of the United Nations, perhaps we ought revisit the Pope's address to that same United Nations in April 2008 (which is footnoted in the Encyclical).

. . . I greet the peoples who are represented here. They look to this institution to carry forward the founding inspiration to establish a “center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends” of peace and development (cf. Charter of the United Nations, article 1.2-1.4). As Pope John Paul II expressed it in 1995, the Organization should be “a moral center where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a ‘family of nations’” (Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 50th Anniversary of its Foundation, New York, 5 October 1995, 14).

Through the United Nations, States have established universal objectives which, even if they do not coincide with the total common good of the human family, undoubtedly represent a fundamental part of that good. The founding principles of the Organization – the desire for peace, the quest for justice, respect for the dignity of the person, humanitarian cooperation and assistance – express the just aspirations of the human spirit, and constitute the ideals which should underpin international relations. As my predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II have observed from this very podium, all this is something that the Catholic Church and the Holy See follow attentively and with interest, seeing in your activity an example of how issues and conflicts concerning the world community can be subject to common regulation. The United Nations embodies the aspiration for a “greater degree of international ordering” (John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 43), inspired and governed by the principle of subsidiarity, and therefore capable of responding to the demands of the human family through binding international rules and through structures capable of harmonizing the day-to-day unfolding of the lives of peoples. This is all the more necessary at a time when we experience the obvious paradox of a multilateral consensus that continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community.

Indeed, questions of security, development goals, reduction of local and global inequalities, protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate, require all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law, and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet. I am thinking especially of those countries in Africa and other parts of the world which remain on the margins of authentic integral development, and are therefore at risk of experiencing only the negative effects of globalization. In the context of international relations, it is necessary to recognize the higher role played by rules and structures that are intrinsically ordered to promote the common good, and therefore to safeguard human freedom. These regulations do not limit freedom. On the contrary, they promote it when they prohibit behaviour and actions which work against the common good, curb its effective exercise and hence compromise the dignity of every human person. In the name of freedom, there has to be a correlation between rights and duties, by which every person is called to assume responsibility for his or her choices, made as a consequence of entering into relations with others. Here our thoughts turn also to the way the results of scientific research and technological advances have sometimes been applied. Notwithstanding the enormous benefits that humanity can gain, some instances of this represent a clear violation of the order of creation, to the point where not only is the sacred character of life contradicted, but the human person and the family are robbed of their natural identity. Likewise, international action to preserve the environment and to protect various forms of life on earth must not only guarantee a rational use of technology and science, but must also rediscover the authentic image of creation. This never requires a choice to be made between science and ethics: rather it is a question of adopting a scientific method that is truly respectful of ethical imperatives.

Recognition of the unity of the human family, and attention to the innate dignity of every man and woman, today find renewed emphasis in the principle of the responsibility to protect. This has only recently been defined, but it was already present implicitly at the origins of the United Nations, and is now increasingly characteristic of its activity. Every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. If States are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter and in other international instruments. The action of the international community and its institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty. On the contrary, it is indifference or failure to intervene that do the real damage. What is needed is a deeper search for ways of pre-empting and managing conflicts by exploring every possible diplomatic avenue, and giving attention and encouragement to even the faintest sign of dialogue or desire for reconciliation.

The principle of “responsibility to protect” was considered by the ancient ius gentium as the foundation of every action taken by those in government with regard to the governed: at the time when the concept of national sovereign States was first developing, the Dominican Friar Francisco de Vitoria, rightly considered as a precursor of the idea of the United Nations, described this responsibility as an aspect of natural reason shared by all nations, and the result of an international order whose task it was to regulate relations between peoples. Now, as then, this principle has to invoke the idea of the person as image of the Creator, the desire for the absolute and the essence of freedom. The founding of the United Nations, as we know, coincided with the profound upheavals that humanity experienced when reference to the meaning of transcendence and natural reason was abandoned, and in consequence, freedom and human dignity were grossly violated. When this happens, it threatens the objective foundations of the values inspiring and governing the international order and it undermines the cogent and inviolable principles formulated and consolidated by the United Nations. When faced with new and insistent challenges, it is a mistake to fall back on a pragmatic approach, limited to determining “common ground”, minimal in content and weak in its effect.

This reference to human dignity, which is the foundation and goal of the responsibility to protect, leads us to the theme we are specifically focusing upon this year, which marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document was the outcome of a convergence of different religious and cultural traditions, all of them motivated by the common desire to place the human person at the heart of institutions, laws and the workings of society, and to consider the human person essential for the world of culture, religion and science. Human rights are increasingly being presented as the common language and the ethical substratum of international relations. At the same time, the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights all serve as guarantees safeguarding human dignity. It is evident, though, that the rights recognized and expounded in the Declaration apply to everyone by virtue of the common origin of the person, who remains the high-point of God’s creative design for the world and for history. They are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removing human rights from this context would mean restricting their range and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights.

The life of the community, both domestically and internationally, clearly demonstrates that respect for rights, and the guarantees that follow from them, are measures of the common good that serve to evaluate the relationship between justice and injustice, development and poverty, security and conflict. The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security. Indeed, the victims of hardship and despair, whose human dignity is violated with impunity, become easy prey to the call to violence, and they can then become violators of peace. The common good that human rights help to accomplish cannot, however, be attained merely by applying correct procedures, nor even less by achieving a balance between competing rights. The merit of the Universal Declaration is that it has enabled different cultures, juridical expressions and institutional models to converge around a fundamental nucleus of values, and hence of rights. Today, though, efforts need to be redoubled in the face of pressure to reinterpret the foundations of the Declaration and to compromise its inner unity so as to facilitate a move away from the protection of human dignity towards the satisfaction of simple interests, often particular interests. The Declaration was adopted as a “common standard of achievement” (Preamble) and cannot be applied piecemeal, according to trends or selective choices that merely run the risk of contradicting the unity of the human person and thus the indivisibility of human rights.

Experience shows that legality often prevails over justice when the insistence upon rights makes them appear as the exclusive result of legislative enactments or normative decisions taken by the various agencies of those in power. When presented purely in terms of legality, rights risk becoming weak propositions divorced from the ethical and rational dimension which is their foundation and their goal. The Universal Declaration, rather, has reinforced the conviction that respect for human rights is principally rooted in unchanging justice, on which the binding force of international proclamations is also based. This aspect is often overlooked when the attempt is made to deprive rights of their true function in the name of a narrowly utilitarian perspective. Since rights and the resulting duties follow naturally from human interaction, it is easy to forget that they are the fruit of a commonly held sense of justice built primarily upon solidarity among the members of society, and hence valid at all times and for all peoples. This intuition was expressed as early as the fifth century by Augustine of Hippo, one of the masters of our intellectual heritage. He taught that the saying: Do not do to others what you would not want done to you “cannot in any way vary according to the different understandings that have arisen in the world” (De Doctrina Christiana, III, 14). Human rights, then, must be respected as an expression of justice, and not merely because they are enforceable through the will of the legislators.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As history proceeds, new situations arise, and the attempt is made to link them to new rights. Discernment, that is, the capacity to distinguish good from evil, becomes even more essential in the context of demands that concern the very lives and conduct of persons, communities and peoples. In tackling the theme of rights, since important situations and profound realities are involved, discernment is both an indispensable and a fruitful virtue.

Discernment, then, shows that entrusting exclusively to individual States, with their laws and institutions, the final responsibility to meet the aspirations of persons, communities and entire peoples, can sometimes have consequences that exclude the possibility of a social order respectful of the dignity and rights of the person. On the other hand, a vision of life firmly anchored in the religious dimension can help to achieve this, since recognition of the transcendent value of every man and woman favours conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism and war, and to promote justice and peace. This also provides the proper context for the inter-religious dialogue that the United Nations is called to support, just as it supports dialogue in other areas of human activity. Dialogue should be recognized as the means by which the various components of society can articulate their point of view and build consensus around the truth concerning particular values or goals. It pertains to the nature of religions, freely practised, that they can autonomously conduct a dialogue of thought and life. If at this level, too, the religious sphere is kept separate from political action, then great benefits ensue for individuals and communities. On the other hand, the United Nations can count on the results of dialogue between religions, and can draw fruit from the willingness of believers to place their experiences at the service of the common good. Their task is to propose a vision of faith not in terms of intolerance, discrimination and conflict, but in terms of complete respect for truth, coexistence, rights, and reconciliation.

Human rights, of course, must include the right to religious freedom, understood as the expression of a dimension that is at once individual and communitarian – a vision that brings out the unity of the person while clearly distinguishing between the dimension of the citizen and that of the believer. The activity of the United Nations in recent years has ensured that public debate gives space to viewpoints inspired by a religious vision in all its dimensions, including ritual, worship, education, dissemination of information and the freedom to profess and choose religion. It is inconceivable, then, that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves – their faith – in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights. The rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature. The full guarantee of religious liberty cannot be limited to the free exercise of worship, but has to give due consideration to the public dimension of religion, and hence to the possibility of believers playing their part in building the social order. Indeed, they actually do so, for example through their influential and generous involvement in a vast network of initiatives which extend from Universities, scientific institutions and schools to health care agencies and charitable organizations in the service of the poorest and most marginalized. Refusal to recognize the contribution to society that is rooted in the religious dimension and in the quest for the Absolute – by its nature, expressing communion between persons – would effectively privilege an individualistic approach, and would fragment the unity of the person.

My presence at this Assembly is a sign of esteem for the United Nations, and it is intended to express the hope that the Organization will increasingly serve as a sign of unity between States and an instrument of service to the entire human family. It also demonstrates the willingness of the Catholic Church to offer her proper contribution to building international relations in a way that allows every person and every people to feel they can make a difference. In a manner that is consistent with her contribution in the ethical and moral sphere and the free activity of her faithful, the Church also works for the realization of these goals through the international activity of the Holy See. Indeed, the Holy See has always had a place at the assemblies of the Nations, thereby manifesting its specific character as a subject in the international domain. As the United Nations recently confirmed, the Holy See thereby makes its contribution according to the dispositions of international law, helps to define that law, and makes appeal to it.

The United Nations remains a privileged setting in which the Church is committed to contributing her experience “of humanity”, developed over the centuries among peoples of every race and culture, and placing it at the disposal of all members of the international community. This experience and activity, directed towards attaining freedom for every believer, seeks also to increase the protection given to the rights of the person. Those rights are grounded and shaped by the transcendent nature of the person, which permits men and women to pursue their journey of faith and their search for God in this world. Recognition of this dimension must be strengthened if we are to sustain humanity’s hope for a better world and if we are to create the conditions for peace, development, cooperation, and guarantee of rights for future generations.

In my recent Encyclical, Spe Salvi, I indicated that “every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs” (no. 25). For Christians, this task is motivated by the hope drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ. That is why the Church is happy to be associated with the activity of this distinguished Organization, charged with the responsibility of promoting peace and good will throughout the earth. Dear Friends, I thank you for this opportunity to address you today, and I promise you of the support of my prayers as you pursue your noble task.

Before I take my leave from this distinguished Assembly, I should like to offer my greetings, in the official languages, to all the Nations here represented.

Peace and Prosperity with God’s help!

Here, again, as with the Encyclical, we see less of a statement of praise for the United Nations and world political authorities than we see a statement of what is needed for right and just authorities and a caution against what is contrary to justice and human rights and dignity. What is most needed, the Pope says, are structures that share Christian ethos and values (which, properly understood, are universal and therefore not applicable to Christians exclusively), that is, a belief in the fundamental and transcendent dignity of the human person, which includes the freedom to be true to that transcendent diginity.

In history and in the present, Benedict says at the United Nations, various authorities have acted contrary to these values and beliefs. So what he says is needed is not some new world authority per se, he is not calling for a particular structure to be built, but is stating principle, calling for world authorities to comply with the moral truth, that is, to become a "true" world authority, an authority that is consistent with charity and truth and thereby safeguards and promotes the freedom and dignity of the human person.

Caritas in Veritate - Charity in Truth

Caritas in Veritate
Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI

on Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth
Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, June 29, 2009

Go to Chapter Six


78. Without God, man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). As we contemplate the vast amount of work to be done, we are sustained by our faith that God is present alongside those who come together in his name to work for justice. Paul VI recalled in Populorum Progressio that man cannot bring about his own progress unaided, because by himself he cannot establish an authentic humanism. Only if we are aware of our calling, as individuals and as a community, to be part of God's family as his sons and daughters, will we be able to generate a new vision and muster new energy in the service of a truly integral humanism. The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism[157] that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. 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. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life — structures, institutions, culture and ethos — without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment. Awareness of God's undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God's love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish[158]. God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope.

79. Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us. For this reason, even in the most difficult and complex times, besides recognizing what is happening, we must above all else turn to God's love. Development requires attention to the spiritual life, a serious consideration of the experiences of trust in God, spiritual fellowship in Christ, reliance upon God's providence and mercy, love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace. All this is essential if “hearts of stone” are to be transformed into “hearts of flesh” (Ezek 36:26), rendering life on earth “divine” and thus more worthy of humanity. All this is of man, because man is the subject of his own existence; and at the same time it is of God, because God is at the beginning and end of all that is good, all that leads to salvation: “the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's” (1 Cor 3:22-23). Christians long for the entire human family to call upon God as “Our Father!” In union with the only-begotten Son, may all people learn to pray to the Father and to ask him, in the words that Jesus himself taught us, for the grace to glorify him by living according to his will, to receive the daily bread that we need, to be understanding and generous towards our debtors, not to be tempted beyond our limits, and to be delivered from evil (cf. Mt 6:9-13).

At the conclusion of the Pauline Year, I gladly express this hope in the Apostle's own words, taken from the Letter to the Romans: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honour” (Rom 12:9-10). May the Virgin Mary — proclaimed Mater Ecclesiae by Paul VI and honoured by Christians as Speculum Iustitiae and Regina Pacis — protect us and obtain for us, through her heavenly intercession, the strength, hope and joy necessary to continue to dedicate ourselves with generosity to the task of bringing about the “development of the whole man and of all men”[159].

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.

Benedictus PP. XVI

[157] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 42: loc. cit., 278.
[158] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, 35: loc. cit., 1013-1014.
[159] Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 42: loc. cit., 278.

© Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Caritas in Veritate - Charity in Truth
Chapter Six

Caritas in Veritate
Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI

on Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth
Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, June 29, 2009

Go to Chapter Five

Chapter Six
The Development of Peoples and Technology

68. The development of peoples is intimately linked to the development of individuals. The human person by nature is actively involved in his own development. The development in question is not simply the result of natural [deterministic] mechanisms, since as everybody knows, we are all capable of making free and responsible choices. Nor is it merely at the mercy of our caprice, since we all know that we are a gift, not something self-generated. Our freedom is profoundly shaped by our being, and by its limits. No one shapes his own conscience arbitrarily, but we all build our own “I” on the basis of a “self” which is given to us. Not only are other persons outside our control, but each one of us is outside his or her own control. A person's development is compromised, if he claims to be solely responsible for producing what he becomes. By analogy, the development of peoples goes awry if humanity thinks it can re-create itself through the “wonders” of technology, just as economic development is exposed as a destructive sham if it relies on the “wonders” of finance in order to sustain unnatural and consumerist growth. In the face of such Promethean presumption, we must fortify our love for a freedom that is not merely arbitrary, but is rendered truly human by acknowledgment of the good that underlies it. To this end, man needs to look inside himself in order to recognize the fundamental norms of the natural moral law which God has written on our hearts.

69. The challenge of development today is closely linked to technological progress, with its astounding applications in the field of biology. Technology — it is worth emphasizing — is a profoundly human reality, linked to the autonomy and freedom of man. In technology we express and confirm the hegemony of the spirit over matter. “The human spirit, ‘increasingly free of its bondage to creatures, can be more easily drawn to the worship and contemplation of the Creator'”[150]. Technology enables us to exercise dominion over matter, to reduce risks, to save labor, to improve our conditions of life. It touches the heart of the vocation of human labor: in technology, seen as the product of his genius, man recognizes himself and forges his own humanity. Technology is the objective side of human action[151] whose origin and raison d'etre is found in the subjective element: the worker himself. For this reason, technology is never merely technology. It reveals man and his aspirations towards development, it expresses the inner tension that impels him gradually to overcome material limitations. Technology, in this sense, is a response to God's command to till and to keep the land (cf. Gen 2:15) that he has entrusted to humanity, and it must serve to reinforce the covenant between human beings and the environment, a covenant that should mirror God's creative love.

70. Technological development can give rise to the idea that technology is self-sufficient when too much attention is given to the “how” questions, and not enough to the many “why” questions underlying human activity. For this reason technology can appear ambivalent. Produced through human creativity as a tool of personal freedom, technology can be understood as a manifestation of absolute freedom, the freedom that seeks to prescind from the limits inherent in things. The process of globalization could replace ideologies with technology[152], allowing the latter to become an ideological power that threatens to confine us within an a priori that holds us back from encountering being and truth. Were that to happen, we would all know, evaluate and make decisions about our life situations from within a technocratic cultural perspective to which we would belong structurally, without ever being able to discover a meaning that is not of our own making. The “technical” worldview that follows from this vision is now so dominant that truth has come to be seen as coinciding with the possible. But when the sole criterion of truth is efficiency and utility, development is automatically denied. True development does not consist primarily in “doing”. The key to development is a mind capable of thinking in technological terms and grasping the fully human meaning of human activities, within the context of the holistic meaning of the individual's being. Even when we work through satellites or through remote electronic impulses, our actions always remain human, an expression of our responsible freedom. Technology is highly attractive because it draws us out of our physical limitations and broadens our horizon. But human freedom is authentic only when it responds to the fascination of technology with decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility. Hence the pressing need for formation in an ethically responsible use of technology. Moving beyond the fascination that technology exerts, we must reappropriate the true meaning of freedom, which is not an intoxication with total autonomy, but a response to the call of being, beginning with our own personal being.

71. This deviation from solid humanistic principles that a technical mindset can produce is seen today in certain technological applications in the fields of development and peace. Often the development of peoples is considered a matter of financial engineering, the freeing up of markets, the removal of tariffs, investment in production, and institutional reforms — in other words, a purely technical matter. All these factors are of great importance, but we have to ask why technical choices made thus far have yielded rather mixed results. We need to think hard about the cause. Development will never be fully guaranteed through automatic or impersonal forces, whether they derive from the market or from international politics. Development is impossible without upright men and women, without financiers and politicians whose consciences are finely attuned to the requirements of the common good. Both professional competence and moral consistency are necessary. When technology is allowed to take over, the result is confusion between ends and means, such that the sole criterion for action in business is thought to be the maximization of profit, in politics the consolidation of power, and in science the findings of research. Often, underneath the intricacies of economic, financial and political interconnections, there remain misunderstandings, hardships and injustice. The flow of technological know-how increases, but it is those in possession of it who benefit, while the situation on the ground for the peoples who live in its shadow remains unchanged: for them there is little chance of emancipation.

72. Even peace can run the risk of being considered a technical product, merely the outcome of agreements between governments or of initiatives aimed at ensuring effective economic aid. It is true that peace-building requires the constant interplay of diplomatic contacts, economic, technological and cultural exchanges, agreements on common projects, as well as joint strategies to curb the threat of military conflict and to root out the underlying causes of terrorism. Nevertheless, if such efforts are to have lasting effects, they must be based on values rooted in the truth of human life. That is, the voice of the peoples affected must be heard and their situation must be taken into consideration, if their expectations are to be correctly interpreted. One must align oneself, so to speak, with the unsung efforts of so many individuals deeply committed to bringing peoples together and to facilitating development on the basis of love and mutual understanding. Among them are members of the Christian faithful, involved in the great task of upholding the fully human dimension of development and peace.

73. Linked to technological development is the increasingly pervasive presence of the means of social communications. It is almost impossible today to imagine the life of the human family without them. For better or for worse, they are so integral a part of life today that it seems quite absurd to maintain that they are neutral — and hence unaffected by any moral considerations concerning people. Often such views, stressing the strictly technical nature of the media, effectively support their subordination to economic interests intent on dominating the market and, not least, to attempts to impose cultural models that serve ideological and political agendas. Given the media's fundamental importance in engineering changes in attitude towards reality and the human person, we must reflect carefully on their influence, especially in regard to the ethical-cultural dimension of globalization and the development of peoples in solidarity. Mirroring what is required for an ethical approach to globalization and development, so too the meaning and purpose of the media must be sought within an anthropological perspective. This means that they can have a civilizing effect not only when, thanks to technological development, they increase the possibilities of communicating information, but above all when they are geared towards a vision of the person and the common good that reflects truly universal values. Just because social communications increase the possibilities of interconnection and the dissemination of ideas, it does not follow that they promote freedom or internationalize development and democracy for all. To achieve goals of this kind, they need to focus on promoting the dignity of persons and peoples, they need to be clearly inspired by charity and placed at the service of truth, of the good, and of natural and supernatural fraternity. In fact, human freedom is intrinsically linked with these higher values. The media can make an important contribution towards the growth in communion of the human family and the ethos of society when they are used to promote universal participation in the common search for what is just.

74. A particularly crucial battleground in today's cultural struggle between the supremacy of technology and human moral responsibility is the field of bioethics, where the very possibility of integral human development is radically called into question. In this most delicate and critical area, the fundamental question asserts itself force-fully: is man the product of his own labors or does he depend on God? Scientific discoveries in this field and the possibilities of technological intervention seem so advanced as to force a choice between two types of reasoning: reason open to transcendence or reason closed within immanence. We are presented with a clear either/or. Yet the rationality of a self-centered use of technology proves to be irrational because it implies a decisive rejection of meaning and value. It is no coincidence that closing the door to transcendence brings one up short against a difficulty: how could being emerge from nothing, how could intelligence be born from chance?[53] Faced with these dramatic questions, reason and faith can come to each other's assistance. Only together will they save man. Entranced by an exclusive reliance on technology, reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusion of its own omnipotence. Faith without reason risks being cut off from everyday life[154].

75. Paul VI had already recognized and drawn attention to the global dimension of the social question[155]. Following his lead, we need to affirm today that the social question has become a radically anthropological question, in the sense that it concerns not just how life is conceived but also how it is manipulated, as bio-technology places it increasingly under man's control. In vitro fertilization, embryo research, the possibility of manufacturing clones and human hybrids: all this is now emerging and being promoted in today's highly disillusioned culture, which believes it has mastered every mystery, because the origin of life is now within our grasp. Here we see the clearest expression of technology's supremacy. In this type of culture, the conscience is simply invited to take note of technological possibilities. Yet we must not underestimate the disturbing scenarios that threaten our future, or the powerful new instruments that the “culture of death” has at its disposal. To the tragic and widespread scourge of abortion we may well have to add in the future — indeed it is already surreptiously present — the systematic eugenic programming of births. At the other end of the spectrum, a pro-euthanasia mindset is making inroads as an equally damaging assertion of control over life that under certain circumstances is deemed no longer worth living. Underlying these scenarios are cultural viewpoints that deny human dignity. These practices in turn foster a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life. Who could measure the negative effects of this kind of mentality for development? How can we be surprised by the indifference shown towards situations of human degradation, when such indifference extends even to our attitude towards what is and is not human? What is astonishing is the arbitrary and selective determination of what to put forward today as worthy of respect. Insignificant matters are considered shocking, yet unprecedented injustices seem to be widely tolerated. While the poor of the world continue knocking on the doors of the rich, the world of affluence runs the risk of no longer hearing those knocks, on account of a conscience that can no longer distinguish what is human. God reveals man to himself; reason and faith work hand in hand to demonstrate to us what is good, provided we want to see it; the natural law, in which creative Reason shines forth, reveals our greatness, but also our wretchedness insofar as we fail to recognize the call to moral truth.

76. One aspect of the contemporary technological mindset is the tendency to consider the problems and emotions of the interior life from a purely psychological point of view, even to the point of neurological reductionism. In this way man's interiority is emptied of its meaning and gradually our awareness of the human soul's ontological depths, as probed by the saints, is lost. The question of development is closely bound up with our understanding of the human soul, insofar as we often reduce the self to the psyche and confuse the soul's health with emotional well-being. These over-simplifications stem from a profound failure to understand the spiritual life, and they obscure the fact that the development of individuals and peoples depends partly on the resolution of problems of a spiritual nature. Development must include not just material growth but also spiritual growth, since the human person is a “unity of body and soul”[156], born of God's creative love and destined for eternal life. The human being develops when he grows in the spirit, when his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator. When he is far away from God, man is unsettled and ill at ease. Social and psychological alienation and the many neuroses that afflict affluent societies are attributable in part to spiritual factors. A prosperous society, highly developed in material terms but weighing heavily on the soul, is not of itself conducive to authentic development. The new forms of slavery to drugs and the lack of hope into which so many people fall can be explained not only in sociological and psychological terms but also in essentially spiritual terms. The emptiness in which the soul feels abandoned, despite the availability of countless therapies for body and psyche, leads to suffering. There cannot be holistic development and universal common good unless people's spiritual and moral welfare is taken into account, considered in their totality as body and soul.

77. The supremacy of technology tends to prevent people from recognizing anything that cannot be explained in terms of matter alone. Yet everyone experiences the many immaterial and spiritual dimensions of life. Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us. We should never cease to marvel at these things. In all knowledge and in every act of love the human soul experiences something “over and above”, which seems very much like a gift that we receive, or a height to which we are raised. The development of individuals and peoples is likewise located on a height, if we consider the spiritual dimension that must be present if such development is to be authentic. It requires new eyes and a new heart, capable of rising above a materialistic vision of human events, capable of glimpsing in development the “beyond” that technology cannot give. By following this path, it is possible to pursue the integral human development that takes its direction from the driving force of charity in truth.

Go to Conclusion

[150] Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 41: loc. cit., 277-278; cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 57.
[151] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens, 5: loc. cit., 586-589.
[152] Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, 29: loc. cit., 420.
[153] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Participants in the Fourth National Congress of the Church in Italy, Verona, 19 October 2006; Id., Homily at Mass, Islinger Feld, Regensburg, 12 September 2006.
[154] Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on certain bioethical questions Dignitas Personae (8 September 2008): AAS 100 (2008), 858-887.
[155] Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 3: loc. cit., 258.
[156] Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 14.

Caritas in Veritate - Charity in Truth
Chapter Five

Caritas in Veritate
Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI

on Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth
Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, June 29, 2009

Go to Chapter Four

Chapter Five
The Cooperation of the Human Family

53. One of the deepest forms of poverty a person can experience is isolation. If we look closely at other kinds of poverty, including material forms, we see that they are born from isolation, from not being loved or from difficulties in being able to love. Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God's love, by man's basic and tragic tendency to close in on himself, thinking himself to be self-sufficient or merely an insignificant and ephemeral fact, a “stranger” in a random universe. Man is alienated when he is alone, when he is detached from reality, when he stops thinking and believing in a foundation[125]. All of humanity is alienated when too much trust is placed in merely human projects, ideologies and false utopias[126]. Today humanity appears much more interactive than in the past: this shared sense of being close to one another must be transformed into true communion. The development of peoples depends, above all, on a recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side[127].

Pope Paul VI noted that “the world is in trouble because of the lack of thinking”[128]. He was making an observation, but also expressing a wish: a new trajectory of thinking is needed in order to arrive at a better understanding of the implications of our being one family; interaction among the peoples of the world calls us to embark upon this new trajectory, so that integration can signify solidarity[129] rather than marginalization. Thinking of this kind requires a deeper critical evaluation of the category of relation. This is a task that cannot be undertaken by the social sciences alone, insofar as the contribution of disciplines such as metaphysics and theology is needed if man's transcendent dignity is to be properly understood.

As a spiritual being, the human creature is defined through interpersonal relations. The more authentically he or she lives these relations, the more his or her own personal identity matures. It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God. Hence these relations take on fundamental importance. The same holds true for peoples as well. A metaphysical understanding of the relations between persons is therefore of great benefit for their development. In this regard, reason finds inspiration and direction in Christian revelation, according to which the human community does not absorb the individual, annihilating his autonomy, as happens in the various forms of totalitarianism, but rather values him all the more because the relation between individual and community is a relation between one totality and another[130]. Just as a family does not submerge the identities of its individual members, just as the Church rejoices in each “new creation” (Gal 6:15; 2 Cor 5:17) incorporated by Baptism into her living Body, so too the unity of the human family does not submerge the identities of individuals, peoples and cultures, but makes them more transparent to each other and links them more closely in their legitimate diversity.

54. The theme of development can be identified with the inclusion-in-relation of all individuals and peoples within the one community of the human family, built in solidarity on the basis of the fundamental values of justice and peace. This perspective is illuminated in a striking way by the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity within the one divine Substance. The Trinity is absolute unity insofar as the three divine Persons are pure relationality. The reciprocal transparency among the divine Persons is total and the bond between each of them complete, since they constitute a unique and absolute unity. God desires to incorporate us into this reality of communion as well: “that they may be one even as we are one” (Jn 17:22). The Church is a sign and instrument of this unity[131]. Relationships between human beings throughout history cannot but be enriched by reference to this divine model. In particular, in the light of the revealed mystery of the Trinity, we understand that true openness does not mean loss of individual identity but profound interpenetration. This also emerges from the common human experiences of love and truth. Just as the sacramental love of spouses unites them spiritually in “one flesh” (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:5; Eph 5:31) and makes out of the two a real and relational unity, so, in an analogous way, truth unites spirits and causes them to think in unison, attracting them as a unity to itself.

55. The Christian revelation of the unity of the human race presupposes a metaphysical interpretation of the “humanum” in which relationality is an essential element. Other cultures and religions teach brotherhood and peace and are therefore of enormous importance to integral human development. Some religious and cultural attitudes, however, do not fully embrace the principle of love and truth and therefore end up retarding or even obstructing authentic human development. There are certain religious cultures in the world today that do not oblige men and women to live in communion but rather cut them off from one other in a search for individual well-being, limited to the gratification of psychological desires. Furthermore, a certain proliferation of different religious “paths”, attracting small groups or even single individuals, together with religious syncretism, can give rise to separation and disengagement. One possible negative effect of the process of globalization is the tendency to favor this kind of syncretism[132] by encouraging forms of “religion” that, instead of bringing people together, alienate them from one another and distance them from reality. At the same time, some religious and cultural traditions persist which ossify society in rigid social groupings, in magical beliefs that fail to respect the dignity of the person, and in attitudes of subjugation to occult powers. In these contexts, love and truth have difficulty asserting themselves, and authentic development is impeded.

For this reason, while it may be true that development needs the religions and cultures of different peoples, it is equally true that adequate discernment is needed. Religious freedom does not mean religious indifferentism, nor does it imply that all religions are equal[133]. Discernment is needed regarding the contribution of cultures and religions, especially on the part of those who wield political power, if the social community is to be built up in a spirit of respect for the common good. Such discernment has to be based on the criterion of charity and truth. Since the development of persons and peoples is at stake, this discernment will have to take account of the need for emancipation and inclusivity, in the context of a truly universal human community. “The whole man and all men” is also the criterion for evaluating cultures and religions. Christianity, the religion of the “God who has a human face”[134], contains this very criterion within itself.

56. The Christian religion and other religions can offer their contribution to development only if God has a place in the public realm, specifically in regard to its cultural, social, economic, and particularly its political dimensions. The Church's social doctrine came into being in order to claim “citizenship status” for the Christian religion[135]. Denying the right to profess one's religion in public and the right to bring the truths of faith to bear upon public life has negative consequences for true development. The exclusion of religion from the public square — and, at the other extreme, religious fundamentalism — hinders an encounter between persons and their collaboration for the progress of humanity. Public life is sapped of its motivation and politics takes on a domineering and aggressive character. Human rights risk being ignored either because they are robbed of their transcendent foundation or because personal freedom is not acknowledged. Secularism and fundamentalism exclude the possibility of fruitful dialogue and effective cooperation between reason and religious faith. Reason always stands in need of being purified by faith: this also holds true for political reason, which must not consider itself omnipotent. For its part, religion always needs to be purified by reason in order to show its authentically human face. Any breach in this dialogue comes only at an enormous price to human development.

57. Fruitful dialogue between faith and reason cannot but render the work of charity more effective within society, and it constitutes the most appropriate framework for promoting fraternal collaboration between believers and non-believers in their shared commitment to working for justice and the peace of the human family. In the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, the Council fathers asserted that “believers and unbelievers agree almost unanimously that all things on earth should be ordered towards man as to their center and summit”[136]. For believers, the world derives neither from blind chance nor from strict necessity, but from God's plan. This is what gives rise to the duty of believers to unite their efforts with those of all men and women of good will, with the followers of other religions and with non-believers, so that this world of ours may effectively correspond to the divine plan: living as a family under the Creator's watchful eye. A particular manifestation of charity and a guiding criterion for fraternal cooperation between believers and non-believers is undoubtedly the principle of subsidiarity[137], an expression of inalienable human freedom. Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance to the human person via the autonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always designed to achieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility. Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others. By considering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being, subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state. It is able to take account both of the manifold articulation of plans — and therefore of the plurality of subjects — as well as the coordination of those plans. Hence the principle of subsidiarity is particularly well-suited to managing globalization and directing it towards authentic human development. In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together. Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a global common good that needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized in a subsidiary and stratified way[138], if it is not to infringe upon freedom and if it is to yield effective results in practice.

58. The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need. This general rule must also be taken broadly into consideration when addressing issues concerning international development aid. Such aid, whatever the donors' intentions, can sometimes lock people into a state of dependence and even foster situations of localized oppression and exploitation in the receiving country. Economic aid, in order to be true to its purpose, must not pursue secondary objectives. It must be distributed with the involvement not only of the governments of receiving countries, but also local economic agents and the bearers of culture within civil society, including local Churches. Aid programs must increasingly acquire the characteristics of participation and completion from the grass roots. Indeed, the most valuable resources in countries receiving development aid are human resources: herein lies the real capital that needs to accumulate in order to guarantee a truly autonomous future for the poorest countries. It should also be remembered that, in the economic sphere, the principal form of assistance needed by developing countries is that of allowing and encouraging the gradual penetration of their products into international markets, thus making it possible for these countries to participate fully in international economic life. Too often in the past, aid has served to create only fringe markets for the products of these donor countries. This was often due to a lack of genuine demand for the products in question: it is therefore necessary to help such countries improve their products and adapt them more effectively to existing demand. Furthermore, there are those who fear the effects of competition through the importation of products — normally agricultural products — from economically poor countries. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that for such countries, the possibility of marketing their products is very often what guarantees their survival in both the short and long term. Just and equitable international trade in agricultural goods can be beneficial to everyone, both to suppliers and to customers. For this reason, not only is commercial orientation needed for production of this kind, but also the establishment of international trade regulations to support it and stronger financing for development in order to increase the productivity of these economies.

59. Cooperation for development must not be concerned exclusively with the economic dimension: it offers a wonderful opportunity for encounter between cultures and peoples. If the parties to cooperation on the side of economically developed countries — as occasionally happens — fail to take account of their own or others' cultural identity, or the human values that shape it, they cannot enter into meaningful dialogue with the citizens of poor countries. If the latter, in their turn, are uncritically and indiscriminately open to every cultural proposal, they will not be in a position to assume responsibility for their own authentic development[139]. Technologically advanced societies must not confuse their own technological development with a presumed cultural superiority, but must rather rediscover within themselves the oft-forgotten virtues which made it possible for them to flourish throughout their history. Evolving societies must remain faithful to all that is truly human in their traditions, avoiding the temptation to overlay them automatically with the mechanisms of a globalized technological civilization. In all cultures there are examples of ethical convergence, some isolated, some interrelated, as an expression of the one human nature, willed by the Creator; the tradition of ethical wisdom knows this as the natural law[140]. This universal moral law provides a sound basis for all cultural, religious and political dialogue, and it ensures that the multi-faceted pluralism of cultural diversity does not detach itself from the common quest for truth, goodness and God. Thus adherence to the law etched on human hearts is the precondition for all constructive social cooperation. Every culture has burdens from which it must be freed and shadows from which it must emerge. The Christian faith, by becoming incarnate in cultures and at the same time transcending them, can help them grow in universal brotherhood and solidarity, for the advancement of global and community development.

60. In the search for solutions to the current economic crisis, development aid for poor countries must be considered a valid means of creating wealth for all. What aid program is there that can hold out such significant growth prospects — even from the point of view of the world economy — as the support of populations that are still in the initial or early phases of economic development? From this perspective, more economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid, thus respecting the obligations that the international community has undertaken in this regard. One way of doing so is by reviewing their internal social assistance and welfare policies, applying the principle of subsidiarity and creating better integrated welfare systems, with the active participation of private individuals and civil society. In this way, it is actually possible to improve social services and welfare programs, and at the same time to save resources — by eliminating waste and rejecting fraudulent claims — which could then be allocated to international solidarity. A more devolved and organic system of social solidarity, less bureaucratic but no less coordinated, would make it possible to harness much dormant energy, for the benefit of solidarity between peoples.

One possible approach to development aid would be to apply effectively what is known as fiscal subsidiarity, allowing citizens to decide how to allocate a portion of the taxes they pay to the State. Provided it does not degenerate into the promotion of special interests, this can help to stimulate forms of welfare solidarity from below, with obvious benefits in the area of solidarity for development as well.

61. Greater solidarity at the international level is seen especially in the ongoing promotion — even in the midst of economic crisis — of greater access to education, which is at the same time an essential precondition for effective international cooperation. The term “education” refers not only to classroom teaching and vocational training — both of which are important factors in development — but to the complete formation of the person. In this regard, there is a problem that should be highlighted: in order to educate, it is necessary to know the nature of the human person, to know who he or she is. The increasing prominence of a relativistic understanding of that nature presents serious problems for education, especially moral education, jeopardizing its universal extension. Yielding to this kind of relativism makes everyone poorer and has a negative impact on the effectiveness of aid to the most needy populations, who lack not only economic and technical means, but also educational methods and resources to assist people in realizing their full human potential.

An illustration of the significance of this problem is offered by the phenomenon of international tourism[141], which can be a major factor in economic development and cultural growth, but can also become an occasion for exploitation and moral degradation. The current situation offers unique opportunities for the economic aspects of development — that is to say the flow of money and the emergence of a significant amount of local enterprise — to be combined with the cultural aspects, chief among which is education. In many cases this is what happens, but in other cases international tourism has a negative educational impact both for the tourist and the local populace. The latter are often exposed to immoral or even perverted forms of conduct, as in the case of so-called sex tourism, to which many human beings are sacrificed even at a tender age. It is sad to note that this activity often takes place with the support of local governments, with silence from those in the tourists' countries of origin, and with the complicity of many of the tour operators. Even in less extreme cases, international tourism often follows a consumerist and hedonistic pattern, as a form of escapism planned in a manner typical of the countries of origin, and therefore not conducive to authentic encounter between persons and cultures. We need, therefore, to develop a different type of tourism that has the ability to promote genuine mutual understanding, without taking away from the element of rest and healthy recreation. Tourism of this type needs to increase, partly through closer coordination with the experience gained from international cooperation and enterprise for development.

62. Another aspect of integral human development that is worthy of attention is the phenomenon of migration. This is a striking phenomenon because of the sheer numbers of people involved, the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community. We can say that we are facing a social phenomenon of epoch-making proportions that requires bold, forward-looking policies of international cooperation if it is to be handled effectively. Such policies should set out from close collaboration between the migrants' countries of origin and their countries of destination; it should be accompanied by adequate international norms able to coordinate different legislative systems with a view to safeguarding the needs and rights of individual migrants and their families, and at the same time, those of the host countries. No country can be expected to address today's problems of migration by itself. We are all witnesses of the burden of suffering, the dislocation and the aspirations that accompany the flow of migrants. The phenomenon, as everyone knows, is difficult to manage; but there is no doubt that foreign workers, despite any difficulties concerning integration, make a significant contribution to the economic development of the host country through their labor, besides that which they make to their country of origin through the money they send home. Obviously, these laborers cannot be considered as a commodity or a mere workforce. They must not, therefore, be treated like any other factor of production. Every migrant is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance[142].

63. No consideration of the problems associated with development could fail to highlight the direct link between poverty and unemployment. In many cases, poverty results from a violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited (through unemployment or underemployment), or “because a low value is put on work and the rights that flow from it, especially the right to a just wage and to the personal security of the worker and his or her family”[143]. For this reason, on 1 May 2000 on the occasion of the Jubilee of Workers, my venerable predecessor Pope John Paul II issued an appeal for “a global coalition in favour of ‘decent work”'[144], supporting the strategy of the International Labor Organization. In this way, he gave a strong moral impetus to this objective, seeing it as an aspiration of families in every country of the world. What is meant by the word “decency” in regard to work? It means work that expresses the essential dignity of every man and woman in the context of their particular society: work that is freely chosen, effectively associating workers, both men and women, with the development of their community; work that enables the worker to be respected and free from any form of discrimination; work that makes it possible for families to meet their needs and provide schooling for their children, without the children themselves being forced into labor; work that permits the workers to organize themselves freely, and to make their voices heard; work that leaves enough room for rediscovering one's roots at a personal, familial and spiritual level; work that guarantees those who have retired a decent standard of living.

64. While reflecting on the theme of work, it is appropriate to recall how important it is that labor unions — which have always been encouraged and supported by the Church — should be open to the new perspectives that are emerging in the world of work. Looking to wider concerns than the specific category of labor for which they were formed, union organizations are called to address some of the new questions arising in our society: I am thinking, for example, of the complex of issues that social scientists describe in terms of a conflict between worker and consumer. Without necessarily endorsing the thesis that the central focus on the worker has given way to a central focus on the consumer, this would still appear to constitute new ground for unions to explore creatively. The global context in which work takes place also demands that national labor unions, which tend to limit themselves to defending the interests of their registered members, should turn their attention to those outside their membership, and in particular to workers in developing countries where social rights are often violated. The protection of these workers, partly achieved through appropriate initiatives aimed at their countries of origin, will enable trade unions to demonstrate the authentic ethical and cultural motivations that made it possible for them, in a different social and labor context, to play a decisive role in development. The Church's traditional teaching makes a valid distinction between the respective roles and functions of trade unions and politics. This distinction allows unions to identify civil society as the proper setting for their necessary activity of defending and promoting labor, especially on behalf of exploited and unrepresented workers, whose woeful condition is often ignored by the distracted eye of society.

65. Finance, therefore — through the renewed structures and operating methods that have to be designed after its misuse, which wreaked such havoc on the real economy — now needs to go back to being an instrument directed towards improved wealth creation and development. Insofar as they are instruments, the entire economy and finance, not just certain sectors, must be used in an ethical way so as to create suitable conditions for human development and for the development of peoples. It is certainly useful, and in some circumstances imperative, to launch financial initiatives in which the humanitarian dimension predominates. However, this must not obscure the fact that the entire financial system has to be aimed at sustaining true development. Above all, the intention to do good must not be considered incompatible with the effective capacity to produce goods. Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity, so as not to abuse the sophisticated instruments which can serve to betray the interests of savers. Right intention, transparency, and the search for positive results are mutually compatible and must never be detached from one another. If love is wise, it can find ways of working in accordance with provident and just expediency, as is illustrated in a significant way by much of the experience of credit unions.

Both the regulation of the financial sector, so as to safeguard weaker parties and discourage scandalous speculation, and experimentation with new forms of finance, designed to support development projects, are positive experiences that should be further explored and encouraged, highlighting the responsibility of the investor. Furthermore, the experience of micro-finance, which has its roots in the thinking and activity of the civil humanists — I am thinking especially of the birth of pawnbroking — should be strengthened and fine-tuned. This is all the more necessary in these days when financial difficulties can become severe for many of the more vulnerable sectors of the population, who should be protected from the risk of usury and from despair. The weakest members of society should be helped to defend themselves against usury, just as poor peoples should be helped to derive real benefit from micro-credit, in order to discourage the exploitation that is possible in these two areas. Since rich countries are also experiencing new forms of poverty, micro-finance can give practical assistance by launching new initiatives and opening up new sectors for the benefit of the weaker elements in society, even at a time of general economic downturn.

66. Global interconnectedness has led to the emergence of a new political power, that of consumers and their associations. This is a phenomenon that needs to be further explored, as it contains positive elements to be encouraged as well as excesses to be avoided. It is good for people to realize that purchasing is always a moral — and not simply economic — act. Hence the consumer has a specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in-hand with the social responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educated[145] regarding their daily role, which can be exercised with respect for moral principles without diminishing the intrinsic economic rationality of the act of purchasing. In the retail industry, particularly at times like the present when purchasing power has diminished and people must live more frugally, it is necessary to explore other paths: for example, forms of cooperative purchasing like the consumer cooperatives that have been in operation since the nineteenth century, partly through the initiative of Catholics. In addition, it can be helpful to promote new ways of marketing products from deprived areas of the world, so as to guarantee their producers a decent return. However, certain conditions need to be met: the market should be genuinely transparent; the producers, as well as increasing their profit margins, should also receive improved formation in professional skills and technology; and finally, trade of this kind must not become hostage to partisan ideologies. A more incisive role for consumers, as long as they themselves are not manipulated by associations that do not truly represent them, is a desirable element for building economic democracy.

67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect[146] and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good[147], and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights[148]. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations.

Go to Chapter Six

[125] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 41: loc. cit., 843-845.
[126] Cf. ibid.
[127] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, 20: loc. cit., 422-424.
[128] Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 85: loc. cit., 298-299.
[129] Cf. John Paul II, Message for the 1998 World Day of Peace, 3: AAS 90 (1998), 150; Address to the Members of the Vatican Foundation “Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice”, 9 May 1998, 2; Address to the Civil Authorities and Diplomatic Corps of Austria, 20 June 1998, 8; Message to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 5 May 2000, 6.
[130] According to Saint Thomas “ratio partis contrariatur rationi personae”, In III Sent., d. 5, q. 3, a. 2; also “Homo non ordinatur ad communitatem politicam secundum se totum et secundum omnia sua”, Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 21, a. 4, ad 3.
[131] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 1.
[132] Cf. John Paul II, Address to the Sixth Public Session of the Pontifical Academies of Theology and of Saint Thomas Aquinas, 8 November 2001, 3.
[133] Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church Dominus Iesus (6 August 2000), 22: AAS 92 (2000), 763-764; Id., Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life (24 November 2002), 8: AAS 96 (2004), 369-370.
[134] Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, 31: loc. cit., 1010; Address to the Participants in the Fourth National Congress of the Church in Italy, Verona, 19 October 2006.
[135] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 5: loc. cit., 798-800; Benedict XVI, Address to the Participants in the Fourth National Congress of the Church in Italy, Verona, 19 October 2006.
[136] No. 12.
[137] Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno (15 May 1931): AAS 23 (1931), 203; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 48: loc. cit., 852-854; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1883.
[138] Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, loc. cit., 274.
[139] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 10, 41: loc. cit., 262, 277-278.
[140] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to Members of the International Theological Commission, 5 October 2007; Address to the Participants in the International Congress on Natural Moral Law, 12 February 2007.
[141] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Bishops of Thailand on their “Ad Limina” Visit, 16 May 2008.
[142] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Instruction Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi (3 May 2004): AAS 96 (2004), 762-822.
[143] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens, 8: loc. cit., 594-598.
[144] Jubilee of Workers, Greeting after Mass, 1 May 2000.
[145] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 36: loc. cit., 838-840.
[146] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Members of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, New York, 18 April 2008.
[147] Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, loc. cit., 293; Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 441.
[148] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 82.
[149] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 43: loc. cit., 574-575.