12/03/2012, 00.00
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Evangelising in the social sphere against consumerism and technocracy, says pope

Full employment is a priority even in periods of economic recession. A world community can be built, with matching authority, starting with love for the common good of the human family.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - For Christianity, "work is fundamental for man". For this reason, "the goal of access to work for all is always a priority, even in periods of economic recession." In order to reach that end, we must "dethrone modern idols, and replace individualism, materialistic consumerism and technocracy with a culture of brotherhood, free-giving, and mutual love," this is "a new evangelisation in the social sphere."

This morning, the pope received and spoke to the participants to the27th plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. Since the plenary assembly is taking place "in the Year of Faith, after the synod dedicated to the new evangelisation and on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and, in a few months, of the Encyclical Pacem in terris of the Blessed Pope John XXIII," Benedict XVI said that "the social doctrine, as the Blessed Pope John Paul II taught us, is an integral part of the Church's evangelising mission. A fortiori it must be considered important for the new evangelisation. By welcoming Jesus Christ and his Gospel, in addition to one's life, we bear also in social relations a vision of man, his dignity, liberty and relations, which is marked by transcendence, both horizontal and vertical."

"Although great progress has been made in our time in the defence of human rights, today's culture, characterised by utilitarian individualism and technocratic economic policies, tends to devalue the human person. Today's man is considered primarily in 'biological terms' or as 'human capital' or a 'resource' in the overarching productive and financial machinery of society."

"Even though human dignity continues to be much vaunted, new ideologies, such as hedonistic and selfish sexual and reproductive rights or uncurbed financial capitalism that abuses political power and undermines the 'real economy,' reduce employees and their work to the status of 'minor goods,' thus undermining the natural foundations of society, especially the family. In fact, human beings, inherently transcendent compared to other beings or earthly goods, enjoy true primacy, which gives them responsibility for themselves and creation."

This is a "social vision", based on "a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another"(Jh, 13-34); the secret of a fully human and peaceful social life, and the basis for the renewal of politics and national and international institutions."

"The Blessed John XXIII motivated efforts to build a world community, with a corresponding authority precisely on love for the common good of the human family. The Church certainly does not have the task of suggesting, from a judicial or political point of view, the precise configuration of an international system of this type, but rather offers a set of principles for reflection, criteria for judgement and practical guidelines able to guarantee an anthropological and ethical structure for the common good" (cf Enc. Caritas in veritate, 67).

"However, it is important to note that one should not envisage a superpower, concentrated in the hands of the few, dominating all peoples and exploiting the weakest among them; rather such an authority should be understood primarily as a moral force, a power to influence according to reason (cf Pacem in terris, 27), or rather as a participatory authority, limited in jurisdiction and by law."

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