Skip to comments.Expect More Catholic Caveats about Government
Posted on 12/20/2012 7:08:28 AM PST by marshmallow
I found some extraordinarily important distinctions in Pope Benedicts recent address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. These distinctions ought to affect significantly how we approach the Churchs social teaching regarding governmental authority in general, and world governmental authority in particular.
Recent popes have called for the exercise of administrative authority at the global level to deal with those problems that are global in scope, and therefore not amenable to solution at lower levels. This would seem to be an extension of their call for intervention and collaboration by national governments to address widespread social problems, such as economic disparity, both at home and abroad. One famous example is Pope Paul VIs advocacy of government-organized foreign aid, and even the establishment of a world fund, in Populorum Progressio; another is Pope Benedicts own insistence in Caritas in Veritate #67 on the need for a world political authority to deal with global economic and environmental instability.
In proposing these expansions of the highest levels of governmental authority, the Church has received considerable criticism for what many perceive as a naïve expectation that modern States, and the international organizations they create, are actually capable of addressing significant problems in a salutary way. These criticisms have not been entirely lost on the Churchs social magisterium. For example, Pope John Paul II recognized in Centesimus Annus #48 that the modern social assistance State frequently fails to understand and respect the nature of man, thereby making many problems worse. But with some frequency, bishops and even popes have called for increased State or international authority without identifying the potential dangers.
There is, after all, little disagreement at the level of pure theory. Everybody would admit that the principle of subsidiarity remains firmly intact when government....
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicculture.org ...
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.
-- from the thread Encycli-bites for reading Caritas in veritate