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Love for others requires involvement in politics, pope says
Catholic News Service ^ | July 7, 2009 | By Cindy Wooden

Posted on 07/07/2009 7:15:58 AM PDT by jacknhoo

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Christian call to love one another and to work for justice requires the active participation in the political process, Pope Benedict XVI said in his new encyclical.

"To desire the common good and strive toward it is a requirement of justice and charity," the pope said in his encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth").

The encyclical, published July 7, said God's love for all his creatures must be mirrored in the way they love and care for one another, engaging in acts of charity and solidarity with respect for the truth that every human life is sacred and that humanity forms one family.

"To love someone is to desire that person's good and to take effective steps to secure it," the pope said. "Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good."

Promoting the common good requires that individuals get involved in the institutions that structure society and its laws, its civic and political life and its culture, he said.

"This is the institutional path -- we might also call it the political path -- of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbor directly," he said.

Charity or love for others, the pope said, gives a special quality to political efforts to promote the common good and helps ensure full respect for their dignity as individuals whom God created and for whom he has a plan.

Religions have a vast influence over the attitudes and behaviors of their members and can mobilize people quickly to respond to emergency needs, so if faith is pushed out of the public sphere society loses a valuable partner for promoting the common good, Pope Benedict said.

When faith is excluded from public discussions or manipulated by religious fundamentalists, "public life is sapped of its motivation and politics takes on a domineering and aggressive character," he said.

- - -

Editor's Note: "Caritas in Veritate" can be found in Origins, the CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 39, No. 9. Print and electronic versions of this issue of Origins can be ordered by calling 202-541-3290.

The English version can be found online at

The Spanish version can be found online at


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; charity; encyclical; politics

1 posted on 07/07/2009 7:15:59 AM PDT by jacknhoo
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To: jacknhoo

The probelm with today’s culture is everyone hates each other, on all sides......
People hate Sarah Palin
People hate Obama
People hate Michael Jackson
People hate Conservatives
People hate Liberals.....

I am sure GOD is just shaking his head, thinking they just can’t get it right....

The Greatest Commandment Jesus left us with, seems the hardest thing for human beings to do....

John 13:34-35 (King James Version)

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

2 posted on 07/07/2009 8:06:02 AM PDT by TaraP (Unless we stand for something, we will fall for everything.")
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To: jacknhoo



Obama wants to pervert justice by favoring the poor. Leviticus 19:15 “is a helpful correction” to that notion.


“..[some] go on to a disastrous confusion between the poor of the Scripture and the proletariat of Marx.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

3 posted on 07/07/2009 8:24:21 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obama has entered the "cracking stage" of his presidency. ~ Gagdad)
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Excerpts From Pacem In Terris: Peace on Earth

Encyclical of Pope John XXIII, On Establishing Universal Peace In Truth, Justice, Charity, And Liberty, April 11, 1963

“Man’s personal dignity requires besides that he enjoy freedom and be able to make up his own mind when he acts.

In his association with his fellows, therefore, there is every reason why his recognition of rights, observance of duties, and many-sided collaboration with other men, should be primarily a matter of his own personal decision.

Each man should act on his own initiative, conviction, and sense of responsibility, not under the constant pressure of external coercion or enticement.

There is nothing human about a society that is welded together by force.

Far from encouraging, as it should, the attainment of man’s progress and perfection, it is merely an obstacle to his freedom.”

“Hence, a regime which governs solely or mainly by means of threats and intimidation or promises of reward, provides men with no effective incentive to work for the common good.

And even if it did, it would certainly be offensive to the dignity of free and rational human beings.”

“Consequently, laws and decrees passed in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience, since ‘it is right to obey God rather than men.’”

4 posted on 07/07/2009 8:27:08 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obama has entered the "cracking stage" of his presidency. ~ Gagdad)
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To: TaraP

A couple months ago a priest gave a talk about loving one another. He said how this is a difficult commandment. WHile we may say we love everyone, we need to not just love those who love us, but also love those who would wish us dead. That is the challenge.

5 posted on 07/07/2009 8:30:05 AM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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Pope: “Non-Negotiable Human Rights” include “Right to Life and Right to Freedom of Conscience”


- Pope Benedict XVI addressed members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences yesterday at their plenary session which is focused on the theme of Catholic social teaching and human rights, and called for the promotion of universal human rights based on both faith and reason, affirming the “right to life and the right to freedom of conscience and religion as being at the center of those rights that spring from human nature itself.” The Holy Father noted...

6 posted on 07/07/2009 8:30:09 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obama has entered the "cracking stage" of his presidency. ~ Gagdad)
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To: TaraP
Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict XVI teach that the individual Christian's responsibilities toward God fall in this order:

" authentic...theology: [is] one that puts

[1] God and the life of the spirit first,

[2] direct charitable care of others second,

[3] and only then draws consequences for a just social order."


7 posted on 07/07/2009 8:35:00 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obama has entered the "cracking stage" of his presidency. ~ Gagdad)
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To: HungarianGypsy

I agree....It is truly sad how much hate there is in this world......

Jesus did say in the *Last Days* People’s love for one another would wax cold.......

8 posted on 07/07/2009 8:35:44 AM PDT by TaraP (Unless we stand for something, we will fall for everything.")
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“All men are created equal” is the Founders’ shorthand for “All men are created equally free and independent with equal authority over his own life.”

As Thomas Jefferson wrote, in his last extant letter, written just the week before he died: “the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”

Read on:

“That Honorable Determination” By Christopher Flannery

Anything in these remarks that does not stray from the truth is indebted to the American Founders, who bequeathed these ideas to us, to Abraham Lincoln, who preserved and ennobled them in the country’s greatest crisis, to Harry V. Jaffa, who has done more than anyone since Lincoln to recover them, and to the late Tom Silver, the wisest and best of those who founded the Claremont Institute for the sake of these ideas.

American children are not born understanding the principles of their country, and most American college students­if reports can be believed­are still largely unfamiliar with them when they graduate. So it is a useful tradition, as the Fourth of July comes around each year, to reflect again­and again­on the American political principles famously proclaimed on the original Independence Day, which, as many college graduates know, happened sometime in the past, possibly during summertime. Lest we seem to rest all our political expectations on the capacity of the next generation for self-government, let us admit that the grownups, as well, can benefit from an annual refresher.

As Thomas Jefferson said late in life, when explaining the genesis of the Declaration of Independence, the ideas expressed in it were “the common sense of the subject” in Revolutionary America. In drafting the Declaration, he had not meant to proclaim any “new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of,” but merely to express “the American mind.” The Declaration contains a stunning summation of the principles of free government; but it was only because the American people had already learned to understand and to embrace these principles that it was possible to establish an American republic. As the Declaration proclaims, the just powers of government are derived from “the consent of the governed.” Only a people prepared to consent to a republic is capable of establishing one­or capable of keeping it, as Benjamin Franklin later reminded his fellow citizens. Are we still such a people? No one else can answer this question for us. It is up to this generation, as it has been up to each generation that preceded us and will be up to each generation that succeeds us, to demonstrate our capacity for self-government. This we do for our own sake and for the sake of the cause to which our country was dedicated on that Fourth of July long ago.

Through the Declaration of Independence and the long war that followed it, the American people “assume[d] among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle[d] them.” The most famous passage of the Declaration explained to the world what Americans regarded as the principled foundations and purposes of their political independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.­That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,­That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.

The self-evident truth “that all men are created equal” is the most fundamental and far-reaching principle affirmed in the Declaration. This is the central idea of the American political experiment from which all other ideas radiate. It is a philosophical idea about human nature, the natural relation of each human being to all others, and the place of all human beings in the natural or created universe.

The revolutionary and founding generation of Americans expressed this idea of human equality in a variety of ways. The language of the Declaration of Independence is “that all men are created equal.” To express the same idea, the Virginia Declaration of Rights (June 12, 1776) stated that “all men are by nature equally free and independent.” The Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (March 2, 1780) stated that “All men are born free and equal.”

All of these phrases are different ways of expressing a doctrine about the “state all men are naturally in,” which the American colonists had learned in large part from the English philosopher John Locke. Locke had written, less than a century before the Declaration of Independence, that all men are naturally in

a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man.
A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another: there being nothing more evident than that creatures of the same species and rank promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the Lord and Master of them all, should by any manifest declaration of his will set one above another, and confer on him by an evident and clear appointment an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.

To say that all men are by nature equal is to say that human beings are not naturally subordinated one to another: No man is by nature a master; no man is by nature a slave.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote, in his last extant letter, written just the week before he died: “the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”

Human beings, then, are naturally free as they are naturally equal. It is from natural human equality and freedom that the founders derived the idea that government could only justly be founded on consent. Because human beings are not naturally subordinated to one another­that is, because they are equal and free­their consent must be obtained before any human being may rightfully exercise authority over them. It is the voluntary consent of the people that gives authority to government.

Government among free and equal men is formed, the American Founders would say, by “social compact.” In the words of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780: “The body-politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: It is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people.” The American body-politic is a social compact in which each citizen is pledged to the defense of all and all to the defense of each for the sake of the ends set forth in the American Declaration of Independence, through the means established in the United States Constitution. This is the political community begun when, in the last words of the Declaration of Independence, “for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge[d] to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Because they are equal and free by nature, human beings may not rightfully consent to just any government­to a form of tyranny, for example. In the idea of natural human equality and freedom is the recognition of human rationality and of the limits of human rationality. As Locke wrote, “we are born free as we are born rational.” Because human beings are by nature rational beings, one man may not rightly rule over another as he may rightly rule over a non-rational being (like a dog or a horse). But also, because no man is all-knowing or all-good­that is, because human reason is limited and fallible and subject to human passions­one human being may never rightly subject himself to the unrestrained will or unlimited power of another. This is what James Madison meant when he wrote that “government... [is] the greatest of all reflections on human nature[.]”

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.

Human nature or human equality­the fact that human beings are neither angels nor mindless brutes­gives rise to the idea of constitutional or limited government. This is a political constitution that conforms to the natural constitution of man. Because human beings are fallible and because their reason is subject sometimes to their passions, human government must be subject to law. Human beings would only reasonably consent to be ruled by laws made by another if that other agreed to be bound by the same laws.

A nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” will­if circumstances permit­be under a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” In other words, the principle of equality gives rise most naturally to a democratic or republican form of government. James Madison expressed this idea in Federalist 39, where he considered whether the government proposed under the new constitution would be “strictly republican.” “It is evident,” he wrote,

that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government. ....

Even for the heroic Revolutionary generation of Americans, there was much to learn and much to overcome on the way to ensuring that free government would be good government. So let us gather again on Constitution Day, September 17, to continue the conversation. It will do us all good­young and old alike.

9 posted on 07/07/2009 8:59:58 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obama has entered the "cracking stage" of his presidency. ~ Gagdad)
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To: Matchett-PI; TaraP
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. ... 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. ... 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.
Pope call for Antichrist.

10 posted on 07/07/2009 9:09:46 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Yes I did hear that....

I also think that is *Prophetic* in nature....

11 posted on 07/07/2009 9:14:36 AM PDT by TaraP (Unless we stand for something, we will fall for everything.")
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To: TaraP

I do not hate leftists, or Obama specifically.

I simply have no desire to live in accord with their decisions, or the unintended consequences of their decisions.

12 posted on 07/07/2009 9:27:31 AM PDT by oblomov (Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods. - Mencken)
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To: oblomov

I simply have no desire to live in accord with their decisions, or the unintended consequences of their decisions.

And that I would agree with you.....

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.

When the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”

And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise.

13 posted on 07/07/2009 9:36:11 AM PDT by TaraP (Unless we stand for something, we will fall for everything.")
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To: jacknhoo
Benedict XVI Tightens Up the Church's Social Teaching

Excerpts from Pope Benedict XVI New Encyclical "CARITAS IN VERITATE" (CHARITY AND TRUTH)

Love for others requires involvement in politics, pope says

14 posted on 07/07/2009 3:00:02 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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