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    » 08/20/2009, 00.00


    ‘Caritas in veritate’ shows the value of the Church’s social doctrine

    Reid Shelton Fernando

    Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical is praised by Fr Reid Shelton Fernando, a priest from the diocese of Colombo and well-known in Sri Lanka for his writings and commentaries on economic and social issues.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) – Fr Reid Shelton Fernando is a priest from the Colombo diocese, well-known in Sri Lanka for his writings and commentaries on social and political issues. He spoke to AsiaNews about Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, Caritas in veritate, which he says “must cheer everyone”. It is for him a crucial tool that will make sure that “the social ministry does not remain ‘the Church’s best kept secret’.Here are his thoughts.

    Caritas in veritate is theologically rich and must cheer everyone. It is rooted in Paul VI’s Populorum progressio of 1967, and says that development should aim at the realisation of each and every person and beat the evils of poverty, disease, ignorance, hunger and unemployment.”

    Critics claim that Christian humanism comes alive when solutions to problems have already been found. In reality in Caritas in veritate, the Pope highlights that faith and ethics represent crucial elements in the current situation.

    On the one hand, the Pontiff shows his concern for the challenges of hunger and poverty. On the other, he underscores the importance of social security and markets. He says that the positive aspects of the process of globalisation must be used to beat poverty everywhere and that profits should not be considered as ends in themselves.

    The Holy Father focuses on the malaise generated by the economic crisis, financial speculation, labour market-related large scale migration and the largely ignored calls for ethical foundations.

    With this encyclical Benedict XVI renews with the traditional social ministry of the Church which has tried from Leo XII onward to appeal to the world’s political leaders.

    Not only elites and theologians must study the encyclical. It ought to touch everyone’s heart. Everyone should read it, including ordinary people, so that the social ministry does not remain the Church’s best kept secret.

    (Melani Manel Perera contributed to this article)

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    See also

    25/10/2009 VATICAN
    Africa, have courage; rise up! Follow the Lord of life and hope, says the Pope
    Africans “suffering from poverty, disease, injustice, wars, violence and forced migration” are “the Heavenly Father’s favourite.” The Church is a sign of reconciliation among ethnic groups. Elaborated by missionaries more than 40 years ago, Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio encyclical offers the best rationale for the continent’s development. It is urgent to correct globalization so that it serves all peoples. The Universal Church expresses its solidarity. In the Angelus, the Pope mentions Don Gnocchi, beatified today in Milan.

    26/05/2011 SRI LANKA
    ‘Mater et Magistra’ at 50, but Church’s social doctrine is forgotten
    A three-day seminar organised by the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace celebrates Pope John XXIII’s encyclical. “Christian business people and politicians” should “play an active role in bearing Christian witness in their daily life,” Fr Reid Shelton Fernando says.

    05/11/2007 SRI LANKA
    Thamilselvan buried today, people fear retaliation
    Civil groups and the Catholic community condemn the killing of the rebel political leader by government forces. It will not bring peace but only generate further hatred. Tigers’ leader reiterates his group’s “renewed determination” to fight for independence.

    18/03/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: economic crisis opportunity to think of a more "human" development model
    The crisis overcome more successfully by those companies able to follow a moral and caring behaviour towards people and the territory. Development, in any field of human existence also implies openness to the transcendent.

    30/09/2007 VATICAN
    Pope appeals for peace in Myanmar and Korea
    Benedict XVI says he feels close to the “dear people” of Burma, calling on the entire Church to do the same. He expresses hope for talks between the two Koreas set to begin in Beijing, and makes an appeal on behalf of sub-Saharan Africa where people are enduring hunger caused by political and economic conflicts as well as natural disasters.

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