Aide: Pope Points to Way Out of Crisis

Father Lombardi Comments on “Caritas in Veritate”

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2009 ( In the encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” Benedict XVI shows the way out of the global economic crisis, says a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, summed up the contribution of Benedict XVI’s third encyclical in three words: “development, gratuity and hope,” in his editorial on the last episode of the weekly Vatican Television program “Octave Dies.”

According to the Jesuit priest, the papal text, addressed to all men of good will, attempts, among other things, to “rediscover the courage to plan the future of humanity, not with the illusions of worn out ideologies, but with the freedom of gathering together in an ample dynamic synthesis all the elements offered by the negative and positive experience of peoples, from the reflections of the various disciplines, from the toils of reason.”

“All of that would be unrealistic and sterile without the breath of life that the inspiration of faith offers,” he added.
Father Lombardi pointed to a phrase in No. 34 as the document’s central claim: “Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. The human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension.”

According to the Vatican spokesman, “the logic of the gift and gratuity is the key to that ‘fraternity’ in which the Pope sees the emergence of the true solutions of the dramatic problems of the human family in the time of globalization.”

Among these challenges, Father Lombardi singled out “the persisting of inequalities and hunger, but also the cultural and spiritual degradation that harms the dignity of the human person, who is a victim of economic dynamics that are exclusively utilitarian or of an ideology of the unlimited power of technology.”

He concluded: “The crisis that we and the powerful of the earth are rightly trying to deal with, and which the poor suffer the hardest effects of, must be an occasion to look more deeply into who we are and what we must be — brothers called to love and give — and where we must go — beyond the closed and blind materialistic horizon.

“If we do not, globalization will not become an opportunity for life, but a spiral and a tangle of a more and more dramatic slavery.”

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