VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The common good is what gives meaning to progress, protecting development from possible negative consequences, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this Saturday when he received members of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, which promotes the social doctrine of the Church.
He explained that progress would be “limited to the sole production of material goods” if it were not oriented toward the common good.
“Progress and development are necessary,” the Holy Father affirmed, “but if they are not oriented to the common good, they lead to the negative consequences of the prevalence of consumerism, waste, poverty and excess.”
However, the Pontiff clarified that the common good is not a single goal, but rather a composite of many goods, material, cognitive, institutional, moral and spiritual, the latter two being of highest importance.
“The commitment to the common good of the family of peoples, as for every society, entails, therefore, taking care of and of making use of a complex of institutions,” he clarified.
In this regard, the priority that will ensure development for all peoples is “to do one’s utmost to recognize the true scale of goods-values,” Benedict XVI reflected. “Only thanks to a correct hierarchy of human goods is it possible to understand what type of development must be promoted.”
Certain principles guide the way for integral human development, the Pope continued, naming “subsidiarity and solidarity, as well as the interdependence between state, society and market.”
“In a global society, made up of many peoples and various religions, the common good and integral development are obtained with the contribution of all,” he affirmed.
And in this effort, the Holy Father contended, religion is decisive, “especially when it teaches fraternity and peace, and when, in a society marked by secularization, it instructs the faithful to give space to God and to be open to the transcendent.”
The Pontiff lauded the foundation for their work in promoting social doctrine, saying it “responds to the most profound expectations of man, and your commitment to further it and spread it is a valid contribution to build the ‘civilization of love.'”
The Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1993. As a lay foundation, it aims to promote the social doctrine of the Church in professional and business sectors.
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