Benedict XVI Calls for Evangelization of Economy

Says Justice Must Be Rooted in Universal Good

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2011 ( The globalized world needs a new evangelization, and though the context of today is different than that of 50 years ago, the Church’s social doctrine still has the pillars to resolve social inequality.

These reflections were made today by Benedict XVI when he addressed participants in an international conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The conference marked the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s encyclical «Mater et Magistra.»

The Holy Father said his predecessor’s writing is still very applicable today.

«Pope Roncalli, with a vision of the Church at the service of the human family, especially through her specific evangelizing mission, thought of social doctrine — anticipating Blessed John Paul II — as an essential element of this mission,» he reflected.

«For Blessed John XXIII,» he continued, «the social doctrine of the Church has Truth as its light, Love as its propelling force, and Justice as its objective, (cf. n. 209), a vision of social doctrine, which I took up in the encyclical ‘Caritas in Veritate,’ as testimony of that continuity that keeps united the entire corpus of the social encyclicals.»

Truth, love and justice, along with the principle of the universal destination of goods, are still the pillars to enable solutions to the imbalances seen in the globalized world, the Pontiff proposed.

Back to zero

Benedict XVI lamented that after the acute phase of the financial crisis, the same problems have returned. He said the practice of dangerous speculation, for example, only results in graver problems for those who already live in precarious situations.

«Today’s social question is without a doubt a question of global social justice, as, moreover, ‘Mater et Magistra’ reminded 50 years ago, although with reference to another context,» he stated. «It is, in addition, a question of equitable distribution of material and immaterial resources, of globalization of essential, social and participatory democracy.»

The Pope said a new evangelization of the social realm must bring about justice at the universal level.

Such a justice, he said, cannot be achieved by «leaning on mere social consensus, without recognizing that, to be lasting, it must be rooted in the universal human good.»

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