Thoughts on Caritas in Veritate: Part 3

July 28, 2009


Part 1

Part 2

I stopped at the end of Section 27 last time, let’s see if I can finish the Chapter…

Section 28:

“Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress.”

Amen. China’s one-child rule is evil, as is Obama’s science czar’s forced abortion ideas to fight the population bomb boogieman.

“Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures.”

UN Millenial Goals, anyone?

Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good.”


Section 29:

“There is another aspect of modern life that is very closely connected to development: the denial of the right to religious freedom… [People] frequently kill in the holy name of God, as both my predecessor John Paul II and I myself have often publicly acknowledged and lamented. Violence puts the brakes on authentic development and impedes the evolution of peoples towards greater socio-economic and spiritual well-being. This applies especially to terrorism motivated by fundamentalism, which generates grief, destruction and death, obstructs dialogue between nations and diverts extensive resources from their peaceful and civil uses.”

Sounds a little too much like Rosie (or, alternatively, political correctness, which is a sin). Can you not call a Mohammadean a Mohammadean?

“Yet it should be added that, as well as religious fanaticism that in some contexts impedes the exercise of the right to religious freedom, so too the deliberate promotion of religious indifference or practical atheism on the part of many countries obstructs the requirements for the development of peoples, depriving them of spiritual and human resources. God is the guarantor of man’s true development, inasmuch as, having created him in his image, he also establishes the transcendent dignity of men and women and feeds their innate yearning to “be more”. Man is not a lost atom in a random universe: he is God’s creature, whom God chose to endow with an immortal soul and whom he has always loved. If man were merely the fruit of either chance or necessity, or if he had to lower his aspirations to the limited horizon of the world in which he lives, if all reality were merely history and culture, and man did not possess a nature destined to transcend itself in a supernatural life, then one could speak of growth, or evolution, but not development. When the State promotes, teaches, or actually imposes forms of practical atheism, it deprives its citizens of the moral and spiritual strength that is indispensable for attaining integral human development and it impedes them from moving forward with renewed dynamism as they strive to offer a more generous human response to divine love. In the context of cultural, commercial or political relations, it also sometimes happens that economically developed or emerging countries export this reductive vision of the person and his destiny to poor countries. This is the damage that “superdevelopment” causes to authentic development when it is accompanied by “moral underdevelopment”.”


Section 32:

“The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.”

I’m sorry, but the only way I can read this statement is that Ratzinger is calling for economic equality of outcomes, which denies the humanity of all involved. 2 different people which 2 different skill sets are going to naturally have 2 different outcomes (amount of wealth, prestige, benefits, et cetera); an extraordinary person will have a much more desirable outcome than an incompetent person, ceteris paribus. Is he saying we should ensure that everyone get an equal (or equalish) outcome? The only way that will happen is to quash the things that make the people extraordinary. Thomas Sowell being spotted 50 points against Michael Jordan, for example. And everyone suffers the decrease in quality when job tasks are reduced to something an incompetent can handle.

And that is essentially the end of the chapter. I’m going to stop here to try and contain all of Chapter 3 in a single post (next time). It should be short enough (10 sections) that I can reasonably expect to be able to do so.


One Response to “Thoughts on Caritas in Veritate: Part 3”

  1. Tony G Says:

    As a sidenote, here’s some commentary from a well-versed Catholic theologian I thought you might find interesting:

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