Skip to comments.Catholic Teaching: The New Zeitgeist for Britainís Left
Posted on 11/05/2012 8:12:06 AM PST by marshmallow
A new zeitgeist is capturing business people, academics and political players from both the Left and Right, looking for an ethical alternative for our time. Their inspiration? Catholic teaching.
In many ways these are difficult times for the Catholic Church. Congregations in England are still in decline, child abuse scandals around the world have cast a long shadow and in many areas of policy - from euthanasia to gay marriage - the church's fixed positions make it sound outdated and out of touch.
Yet in the last couple of months I have received some intriguing invitations from Catholic friends: one to an event on business ethics organised by Catholic bishops and featuring some of our most high-profile corporate leaders.
Another to a discussion of the progressive values after the credit crunch with prominent Labour advisors and Catholic theologians.
The common thread running through these events is a set of ideas going under the name "Catholic Social Teaching".
Compassion for the poor
I set out to understand more about these ideas, to find out why they are engaging so many different groups of people right now, and whether their current influence is likely to make any substantive difference to policy or politics.
Although its roots can be traced back not just to the Bible, but to the ideas of Aristotle, rediscovered in the 13th Century by St Thomas Aquinas, the modern expression of Catholic Social Teaching came in an encyclical - the highest form of papal teaching - titled Rerum Novarum and issued in 1891 by Pope Leo XIII.
The Pope offered the "gift" of Catholic social thought to a troubled world.
He called on the one hand for compassion for the poor and respect for the dignity of labour and, on the other hand, for respect for property and the
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Maybe the Catholic church could create a “Moral Ordinariate”, for non-believers, regarding them as “moral gentiles”, who follow the moral teachings of the church but do not belong to it.
In past, such things as the Geneva Conventions have been seen solely in a secular light, not creations of the church even if they have roots in church teachings, and are not objectionable in their own right to the church.
But secularism just does not possess the elements to develop its own morality, so is handicapped by, on one hand, rejecting faith and belief, but on the other hand lacking a moral center of their own.
Ironically, secularlists and atheists have long tried to create their own morality by creating a “parody” of the moral teachings of the Bible and church. And this has failed terribly for the simple reason that instead of placing God at the center of morality, they try to put mankind there.
The bottom line is the old argument of salvation being just of faith or of good works. The “Moral Ordinariate” could advance the notion that faith and believe are what matters; but if those outside of the church want guidance to practice good works, the church is willing to provide them some guidance.
This would satisfy the church in two ways, that those who have faith and believe will find salvation; but those who do not, but just practice good works, won’t be so damned obnoxious about it.