Catholics must offer constructive participation, rich in content, firm on principles, says Pope
Benedict XVI upheld the foundations of the Church’s social doctrine during a Mass celebrated in Carpineto Romano, the birthplace of Leo XIII, author of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum. During the Angelus, the Pope spoke to young people again about the meaning of his message for World Youth Day, “Rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith”.
Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – Christians, acting within the reality of history, “constitute a beneficial and peaceful force for profound change, favouring the development of the inner potential of reality itself. This is the type of presence and action in the world that is proposed by the social doctrine of the Church, which has always aimed at developing the conscience as a condition for valid and lasting transformations,” said Benedict XVI as he described the meaning of the social doctrine of the Church during a visit to Carpineto Romano, the birth place of Pope Leo XIII, author of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum.

It is because of it that “Leo XIII at a time of harsh anticlericalism and rabid demonstrations against the Pope was able to lead and support Catholics on a path of constructive participation, rich in content, firm on principles and capable of openness.” However, proposing the social doctrine, stressed the current Pope, has as its foundation the fact that Leo XIII “was a man of great faith and profound devotion. This always remains the basis of everything, for every Christian, even the Pope.”

It is a “foundation” that Benedict XVI recommended to young people in his message for the upcoming World Youth Day, which was released yesterday and which he mentioned today before the Angelus, on his return to Castel Gandolfo. “[R]ooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith” is the expression the Apostle Paul uses in the Letter to the Colossians, which Benedict XVI chose for young people and which he repeated today.

“It is a proposal that goes against the mainstream,” the Pope added. “Who nowadays tells young people to be ‘rooted’ and ‘established’? Praise goes instead to uncertainty and mobility, features that reflect a culture that is indecisive in regards to basic values and principles by which we can steer and regulate our life.”

The heart of the message for Youth Day “lies in Christ” and “faith”. The latter are the same foundations, he noted in the Mass celebrated in Carpineto Romano, which moved Leo XIII, who “was thus able to introduce to the 20th century a rejuvenated Church, with the right attitude to face new challenges.”

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