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Sane Commentary on Caritas in Veritate

There is a lot of insane commentary about the Pope's latest encyclical. Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ is gleefully proclaiming that Pope Benedict is politically to the left of every American politician. May I suggest you ignore such antics. They sound like toddlers jumping up and down saying "Daddy loves me best!" Caritas in Veritate is not a political document. It is not about scoring political points. It is about proclaiming truth. The Truth.

What strikes me most about Caritas in Veritate is that it is implicitly humbling. No matter how enlightened we think we have become, if we have not fallen to our knees and first pleaded with God for his assistance and responded to HIS WILL, we will not adequately address global social and economic issues. It does not matter if we are proposing a highly government controlled socialistic intervention or a market driven libertarian approach. We need God.

The best commentary without political shrieking I have found is over at the Mirror of Justice Blog. There is a post by Rick Garnett that takes to task those who politicize the encyclical:

This should be interesting. "Conservatives" are being criticized (quite snarkily, in some quarters, perhaps fairly in others) for squirming at the encyclical's social-democratic prescriptions, but one would hope that the "liberal" critics would at least consider the possibility -- as the Pope is challenging all of us to do -- that Humanae vitae has more to say about integral human development than they have hitherto appreciated.

And yes, the Pope emphasizes the importance of unions, but he also criticizes their excessive politicization and their resistance to change; yes, he talks about environmental stewardship, but he strongly criticizes the neo-pagan and anti-humanist strands in the environmental movement; yes, he talks about the need for international bodies and authorities to coordinate various efforts, but he insists that these bodies and authorities be constrained by religious liberty, subsidiarity, and rule-of-law principles. Etc. etc.

Fr. Robert Araujo, SJ offers a very cogent summary that captures the essence of Caritas in Veritate. If you don't have the opportunity to read the whole encyclical now, read this summary so you will know what everyone is discussing! As Fr. Araujo himself reminds us, eventually take the time to read the actual encyclical.


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