Pope: love basis of social evangelization, new humanism
Though great progress in the defence of human rights has been made in our time, the
human person tends to be devalued in today’s culture characterized by utilitarian
individualism and technocratic economic policies. That’s what Pope Benedict XVI said
in remarks in the Vatican Monday to members of the Pontifical Council for Justice
and Peace on occasion of their Plenary Assembly.
Listen to our report:
is emerged in an “infinite network of relationships and communications,” the Pope
said, man today paradoxically “often seems an isolated being” because his rapport
with God, the root of all other relationships, is regarded with indifference.
man, the Pope continued, is considered primarily in “biological terms” or as “human
capital” or as a “resource” in the overall productive and financial workings of society.
ideologies such as “hedonistic and selfish sexual and reproductive rights” or uncurbed
financial capitalism that abuses political power and removes structures from the “real
economy” lead to a consideration of the employee and his work as “minor goods” - thus
undermining the natural bases of society, especially the family, said the Pope.
reality,” Pope Benedict pointed out, “the human being… enjoys a true supremacy” which
endows him with responsibility both for himself and creation. For Christianity, work
is a fundamental good for man, for his “personalization, socialization, formation
of the family and with regard to the common good and peace.”
stressed that a “new social evangelization” can lead to a “new humanism and renewed
cultural commitment”. Solidarity, charity and love offer the best response to individualism,
materialism and technocracy.
The secret of any “fully human and peaceful social
life” as well as “political renewal” in national and world institutions, the Pope
said, should be based on the Lord’s commandment to love one another as He has loved
Citing Pope John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris which offers love as the primary
motivator behind the creation of a “world community” and authority , Pope Benedict
said the Church’s task is to offer “principles for reflection, criteria of judgement
and practical orientation ” guaranteeing an anthropological and ethical framework
for the common good.
This reflection, the Pope said, should not contemplate
the creation of a superpower to dominate people and take advantage of the weakest,
concentrating power in the hands of a few. Rather, this authority must be understood
as a moral force empowered by reason and limited in its actions and rights.
Pope thanked the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace for its commitment to studying
his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, and asked them to reflect further on the reform
of the international financial and monetary system during their Plenary Assembly.