US Politicians: Encyclical Points to Human Dignity

Affirm Value of Document for Catholic, Secular World

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 10, 2009 ( Two U.S. legislators are underlining the value of Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical and are endorsing its study by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, as food for thought in the economic crisis.

The House of Representatives republican leader, John Boehner, and the republican policy committee chairman, Thaddeus McCotter, affirmed this in a joint statement issued today.
<br>The statement pointed out that «Caritas in Veritate» is «neither an indictment of capitalism nor an endorsement of any political or economic agenda.»

It added that «ideologues and politicos hoping to spin it» as either of these things are «destined to be unsuccessful.»

The legislators agreed that the Pope’s central point in the encyclical is that «at times of economic challenge, the inherent dignity of the individual must be preserved and sustained through genuine charity and compassion.»

Their statement explained, «This message is clearly distinct from efforts to ‘remake’ government into a soul-crushing centralized welfare state in which independent citizens are remade into dependent servants.»

It noted the Holy Father’s emphasis «that the human being must remain as the center of our free-market system.»

It underlined the Pontiff’s warning that «individuals, families, churches, communities, and businesses must never become subservient to the state.»

The politicians highlighted Benedict XVI’s point that «the sanctity of all human life must always be protected.»

They also noted the encyclical’s support of conservation, not «radical environmentalism.»

The statement concluded that «Caritas in Veritate is not a political document, but rather a complex work that warrants careful and thoughtful contemplation by American Catholics and non-Catholics alike at this time of economic anxiety.»

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