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"Social justice and the spiritual walk hand in hand" Watch

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    Pope Benedict has this week published a new teaching document (encyclical) called Caritas in Veritate (Love in truth.)

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/be...ritate_en.html

    It is wide-ranging covering business, unemployment, poverty, overseas aid and investment/finance.

    It describes what he considers a discredited system of capitalism from which a world crisis and financial meltdown has resulted through greed.

    "It [encyclical] calls for a new way of living with a new set of values, observing that capitalism is flawed because of its model of man driven by self-interest. Instead it offers fraternity as a more humane concept and urges people to work together, motivated by service rather than profit. At its heart is a belief in the common good - a belief that we should aspire to the collective welfare of society and which has much in common with philosophical concepts of social justice." - Catherine Pepinster.

    The encyclical finds its origins in the Gospel values taught by Jesus Christ.

    There are some who think that the business of saving souls is all that religion preaches. But in the words of Pope Benedict "Authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension." The late Cardinal Bernadin explained that "faith is a seamless garment, something integral to my whole life. And if my neighbour is to be protected from anxiety, then it is part of my vocation to ensure that he is not sunk by the encircling gloom."

    What do you think? Does social justice demand that we all have collective responsibility within our communities for each other? Or do you believe that the responsibilty for social justice stops with oneself?

    Let's have a mature and serious debate for a change, folks.
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    Personally, I believe that everyone has their own responsibility. It'd be lovely to see collective responsibility, but people want to live their lives in different ways, and I believe that everyone should be free to live their life as they wish.
    Sadly, this sometimes means that some people are less than nice - but I also believe that people create their own lives, 100%.
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    (Original post by cpj1987)
    Personally, I believe that everyone has their own responsibility. It'd be lovely to see collective responsibility, but people want to live their lives in different ways, and I believe that everyone should be free to live their life as they wish.
    Sadly, this sometimes means that some people are less than nice - but I also believe that people create their own lives, 100%.
    Don't you think that social justice is as much about making decisions about savings and investments and the way we treat colleagues at work, as it does with loving our families and caring for our friends?

    Accepting collective responsibility does not mean that one is not free to live their life as they wish. It is about supporting people outside of our own insular lives to be able to do that. It is about showing concern for the well-being of our fellow human beings.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    What do you think? Does social justice demand that we all have collective responsibility within our communities for each other? Or do you believe that the responsibilty for social justice stops with oneself?

    Let's have a mature and serious debate for a change, folks.
    I believe that we do have a responsibility for those around us, and that failing to assist those who suffer is a moral failing and leaves us culpable. However I don't believe that one has to be religious in order to have such a responsibility.

    Incidentally Yawn, what's the estimated worth of the Catholic Church? I know the Pope has several expensive watches and other non essential items, and I believe Jesus said something about hypocrites in the gospels.
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    I think there should be a feeling of collective responsibility within a community. I think religion is a good way to bring this about. I completely agree with the comment about capitalism fuelling a materialistic individualism which conflicts with our innate sense of self in relation to others.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    I believe that we do have a responsibility for those around us, and that failing to assist those who suffer is a moral failing and leaves us culpable. However I don't believe that one has to be religious in order to have such a responsibility.
    Indeed not, Andy. It is a timely reminder to those who would profess to having faith to put that faith into action.

    Incidentally Yawn, what's the estimated worth of the Catholic Church? I know the Pope has several expensive watches and other non essential items, and I believe Jesus said something about hypocrites in the gospels.
    I'm not sure of the worth since much of the available revenues are used for promoting social justice and carrying out charitable works which costs money. In addition, there's all those hospitals funded by the Church that treat those with leprosy, aids, terminal illnesses etc. And of course, feeding the starving, housing the homeless, sheltering the dispossessed, clothing the naked and all such things don't come from thin air.

    You do know that the Pope has no personal possessions, don't you, since he's taken a vow of personal poverty? Obviously the accoutrements of high office require that he exists in a state that is above the poverty level, but unlike the Queen, he has no personal wealth and even the shoes on his feet are provided courtesy of the generosity of the 'faithful' according to their means and voluntary gestures.

    Jesus talked a lot about hypocrites...can you cite any pertinent scriptural references or were you making an unsubstantiated accusation against anyone in particular?

    Then, would you like to return to the debate proper and try to persuade some of the more self-interested to be less so?
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    Man is the most unpredictable creature ever created so how can each individual be let to do they on thing and an order of law has to be draw up first.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    I'm not sure of the worth since much of the available revenues are used for promoting social justice and carrying out charitable works which costs money. In addition, there's all those hospitals funded by the Church that treat those with leprosy, aids, terminal illnesses etc. And of course, feeding the starving, housing the homeless, sheltering the dispossessed, clothing the naked and all such things don't come from thin air.

    You do know that the Pope has no personal possessions, don't you, since he's taken a vow of personal poverty? Obviously the accoutrements of high office require that he exists in a state that is above the poverty level, but unlike the Queen, he has no personal wealth and even the shoes on his feet are provided courtesy of the generosity of the 'faithful' according to their means and voluntary gestures.

    Jesus talked a lot about hypocrites...can you cite any pertinent scriptural references or were you making an unsubstantiated accusation against anyone in particular?

    Then, would you like to return to the debate proper and try to persuade some of the more self-interested to be less so?
    Scriptural references?

    Matthew 7:3-5 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

    I've seem photographs of the Pope in possession of a watch with a worth around £1,500. I'm sure that's a comparatively minor expense compared to some of the things he enjoys. I don't care if these come from the "faithful" or not, they'd be better put to other uses.

    I'm not saying the church doesn't do good things (It does a lot of bad things as well, promote a harmful policy towards AIDS in Africa, apologises for dictators) indeed in many places such as South America, the main provider of welfare services, and indeed during the 1980s a number of Catholic priests and nuns were targeted by CIA backed groups for their championing of social justice.

    It's just, in all honesty Yawn, I've been to the Vatican, I've seen the amount of wealth on display there, I'm sure the Catholic Church as a whole has millions if not billions in the bank, and I don't see a justification for hoarding of wealth, of any kind, even if it is to maintain the outward display of status required of his role.

    Regardless of my position on theism per se, I'm perfectly aware of the fact that Catholic organisations do good things in many areas, I wasn't scoring cheap points, it's just that I'm concerned that the Catholic Church could do more than it currently is doing to help social justice.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Scriptural references?

    Matthew 7:3-5 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
    Christ also said in the same Gospel, "Come to me, all you that are weary and heavy-burdened and I will give you rest." These burdens are not merely restricted to struggles such as coping with bereavement or a crisis of conscience, or a doubt about God's own existence. They also include anxieties such as whether one will lose one's job...or be exploited by one's employer because they know there is a queque of people waiting to take our job...employer's looking for sources of cheaper labour abroad...what relevance does it have to our faith?

    It has everything to do with faith...we have a responsibility to society and others that is integral to our faith. Our faith cannot affect one part of our lives only and be ignored in others.

    It is those who restrict their faith to nominal areas of life that you should be accusing of hypocrisy...or even people such as yourself who might protest loudly, speak angrily and blame others; yet remain passive when it comes to the actual helping of people in dire circumstances in a constructive manner.

    I say to all; get out there - change society by helping your fellow human being and turn self-interest into community interest.

    I've seem photographs of the Pope in possession of a watch with a worth around £1,500. I'm sure that's a comparatively minor expense compared to some of the things he enjoys. I don't care if these come from the "faithful" or not, they'd be better put to other uses.

    I'm not saying the church doesn't do good things (It does a lot of bad things as well, promote a harmful policy towards AIDS in Africa, apologises for dictators) indeed in many places such as South America, the main provider of welfare services, and indeed during the 1980s a number of Catholic priests and nuns were targeted by CIA backed groups for their championing of social justice.

    It's just, in all honesty Yawn, I've been to the Vatican, I've seen the amount of wealth on display there, I'm sure the Catholic Church as a whole has millions if not billions in the bank, and I don't see a justification for hoarding of wealth, of any kind, even if it is to maintain the outward display of status required of his role.

    Regardless of my position on theism per se, I'm perfectly aware of the fact that Catholic organisations do good things in many areas, I wasn't scoring cheap points, it's just that I'm concerned that the Catholic Church could do more than it currently is doing to help social justice.
    The rest of your post is quite frankly irrelevant. The Church is doing much more than most to help social justice - it is the voice of conscience. But it doesn't make good copy as condemnation appeals to people like you who would much rather condemn than applaud.

    President Obama said the Catholic Church's long tradition of social justice has had a "profound influence" on him - Fox.news.com

    Again, I would ask you to join me and encourage others to view their disadvantaged fellow human beings with more compassion, thought and practical help.
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    Organised religion as it has happened in practice is totally unrelated to Social Justice. I'm not sure how the Pope can claim to practice what he preaches when he lives in such wealth. Aside from spreading false information like "This recession is caused by capitalism" and "We will all be rich as long as we ignore our own self-interests", what does the Papacy really do to help people?

    Of course, I'm not saying that it should. I don't believe in "social justice" or that people are born with responsibilities to other people. I think that's collectivist nonsense, and that it's also dangerous. But if the Holy See is going to claim that they're working for the interests of the poor of this world they're going to have to do alot more to prove it, in my opinion.

    It's also pretty absurd that it is being essentially claimed by the Pope that Socialism is the only way to stop poverty.
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    (Original post by Bagration)

    It's also pretty absurd that it is being essentially claimed by the Pope that Socialism is the only way to stop poverty.
    Not at all...Jesus was the 'prototype' for social justice...and the Pope is charged with being the earthly leader of His Church.

    Have you not read the New Testament?

    Don't get confused with political ideals - social justice is more wide-ranging - and as independent of 'Socialism' as it is of 'Conservatism.'

    Would you not do your best to intervene when your neighbour is in need of help and alleviate his circumstances...in other words, put his needs before your own temporarily?

    Or are you an apostle of Thatcher?
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Not at all...Jesus was the 'prototype' for social justice...and the Pope is charged with being the earthly leader of His Church.

    Have you not read the New Testament?

    Don't get confused with political ideals - social justice is more wide-ranging - and as independent of 'Socialism' as it is of 'Conservatism.'

    Would you not do your best to intervene when your neighbour is in need of help and alleviate his circumstances...in other words, put his needs before your own temporarily?

    Or are you an apostle of Thatcher?
    Well, I'm not saying that Christianity is anti social justice (I was actually saying the Pope and co were pretty much hypocrits), I'm just saying I don't believe in social justice. It's very much tied to political ideals -- the notion you are born in debt to help other people -- that's an economic idea and it's one that's being proposed by the Popel, is it not?

    Of course I'd intervene to help a neighbour or a friend or perhaps even a stranger, but that doesn't justify a wider range of economic reforms based on eradicating profit which is what the Pope appears to be suggesting.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    The rest of your post is quite frankly irrelevant. The Church is doing much more than most to help social justice - it is the voice of conscience. But it doesn't make good copy as condemnation appeals to people like you who would much rather condemn than applaud.

    President Obama said the Catholic Church's long tradition of social justice has had a "profound influence" on him - Fox.news.com

    Again, I would ask you to join me and encourage others to view their disadvantaged fellow human beings with more compassion, thought and practical help.
    Yawn, I'm not arguing that social justice is a bad thing, that would be stupid. My point is that I don't think the Catholic Church is in the best position to advocate it so long as they maintain the wealth they do. I know they do some good things, I know they do some bad things, that's called being open and balanced about events. You on the other hand appear to assume all I'm doing is ****ging off the Catholic Church. In fact, I'm arguing that the good things that they do should be improved (though some things, like the Mother Theresa hospices were undoubtedly harmful, and should be removed) whilst those practices which act to prevent the Catholic Church from totally involving itself in social justice (such as retention of wealth) should be eliminated. Once this is done, the Church can truly act as a beacon to the world in terms of carrying out social justice.

    Yawn, you do realise that not all criticisms of the Catholic Church are point scoring, some of them are genuinely aimed at areas where there is room for improvement? Unless you believe everything the Church does is perfect, which would be a rather naive view in my mind.

    Also, I'm not an Obama fan, and randomly quoting people in the hope I agree isn't the best debating technique.
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    All I can say is that those who overlook the message because of who the messenger is, are the hypocrites...

    The quote was to evidence the work of the Catholic Church in social justice...you seem to think that they are limited in what they do. Do you have any idea of the enormity of the day-in, day-out work that is done by the Church to alleviate physical and emotional suffering, to address hunger, to ensure the naked are clothed, the visit the sick and the imprisoned, to give succour to the despairing...? I could go on but I'm sure you get my drift. Those who have witnessed that work in action are those who are in a position to either praise or condemn - but I see no condemnation from those who have witnessed the work, only admiration.

    The Church has always had a bigger remit than the saving of souls...it lives out the preaching of Jesus...and to demean such work on the basis of biased reading is anathema to social justice.

    I had hoped that this thread would allow for debate on the walking together of social justice and faith.

    Unfortunately, the two main respondents have demeaned the good intent by ignoring the splinter in their own eyes for looking for the plank in the eye of the Church.

    That is very sad...
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    (Original post by yawn)
    All I can say is that those who overlook the message because of who the messenger is, are the hypocrites...
    If that's aimed at me, I don't overlook the message.

    Those who espouse the message without following to the utmost themselves are hypocrites.

    Yawn, do you really believe that a message from the Pope on social justice should be listened to without paying attention to the extent to which the Church's record concurs with the ideal of social justice?

    If Tony Blair made a speech on peace in the Middle East (to draw an analogy) do you think that message should be listened to without examining the speaker's record on the subject in question?

    I'm aware they do a lot, however unlike you I'm not totally uncritical of the actions of the Catholic Church. They could do a lot more, and some of the measures they have in place are quite harmful.

    Your idea of a debate seems to be everyone lining up to say how wonderful the Catholic Church is, without allowing for the possibility that there might be shortcomings in major areas.

    That's not a debate, it's a eulogy.
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    Organised religion as it has happened in practice is totally unrelated to Social Justice. I'm not sure how the Pope can claim to practice what he preaches when he lives in such wealth. Aside from spreading false information like "This recession is caused by capitalism" and "We will all be rich as long as we ignore our own self-interests", what does the Papacy really do to help people?

    Of course, I'm not saying that it should. I don't believe in "social justice" or that people are born with responsibilities to other people. I think that's collectivist nonsense, and that it's also dangerous. But if the Holy See is going to claim that they're working for the interests of the poor of this world they're going to have to do alot more to prove it, in my opinion.

    It's also pretty absurd that it is being essentially claimed by the Pope that Socialism is the only way to stop poverty.
    Rather than assuming what the Pope is saying because of your political disdain for 'Socialism' generally, read what he says and then maybe you'll be in a position to involve yourself in the debate in a meaningful mannner.

    I'll post the link again - read it or I'll copy and paste the whole thing and put it right in front of your nose!


    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/be...ritate_en.html
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    If that's aimed at me, I don't overlook the message.

    Those who espouse the message without following to the utmost themselves are hypocrites.

    Yawn, do you really believe that a message from the Pope on social justice should be listened to without paying attention to the extent to which the Church's record concurs with the ideal of social justice?
    You are making throw-away comments without any proper substantiation so how can you expect anyone to pay any attention to your denigrations? Of course it depends on what the individual's ideal of social justice is. It is not something than can be succinctly expressed in one sentence.

    If Tony Blair made a speech on peace in the Middle East (to draw an analogy) do you think that message should be listened to without examining the speaker's record on the subject in question?
    Yes, Tony Blair's views of peace in the ME should be listened to. It is his experience gathered during his terms of office that make him a person who should be taken seriously in such matters. He brokered peace in Northern Ireland...he was the most successful British PM in his endeavours. If he can do it for NI, he can do it for the ME.
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    I see you edited your post #15 after I responded to it...that's very cheeky and disingenuous.

    However, being of a forgiving nature, I'll overlook your deviousness on this occasion since I have something to present to you that is of more importance. I think you are getting a little confused over what 'Caritas in veritate' actually means, so to help you along, I've copied a part of the very encyclical for you to read and understand.

    (Original post by Pope Benedict XVI)
    Caritas in veritate” is the principle around which the Church's social doctrine turns, a principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that govern moral action. I would like to consider two of these in particular, of special relevance to the commitment to development in an increasingly globalized society: justice and the common good.
    (Original post by Pope Benedict XVI)
    First of all, justice.

    Ubi societas, ibi ius: every society draws up its own system of justice. Charity goes beyond justice, because to love is to give, to offer what is “mine” to the other; but it never lacks justice, which prompts us to give the other what is “his”, what is due to him by reason of his being or his acting. I cannot “give” what is mine to the other, without first giving him what pertains to him in justice. If we love others with charity, then first of all we are just towards them. Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: justice is inseparable from charity[1], and intrinsic to it. Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI's words, “the minimum measure” of it[2], an integral part of the love “in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18), to which Saint John exhorts us. On the one hand, charity demands justice: recognition and respect for the legitimate rights of individuals and peoples. It strives to build the earthly city according to law and justice. On the other hand, charity transcends justice and completes it in the logic of giving and forgiving[3]. The earthly city is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion. Charity always manifests God's love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvific value to all commitment for justice in the world.


    7. Another important consideration is the common good. To love someone is to desire that person's good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good. It is the good of “all of us”, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society[4]. It is a good that is sought not for its own sake, but for the people who belong to the social community and who can only really and effectively pursue their good within it. To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. To take a stand for the common good is on the one hand to be solicitous for, and on the other hand to avail oneself of, that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically and culturally, making it the pólis, or “city”. The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practise this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis. This is the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly, outside the institutional mediation of the pólis. When animated by charity, commitment to the common good has greater worth than a merely secular and political stand would have. Like all commitment to justice, it has a place within the testimony of divine charity that paves the way for eternity through temporal action. Man's earthly activity, when inspired and sustained by charity, contributes to the building of the universal city of God, which is the goal of the history of the human family. In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations[5], in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    I see you edited your post #15 after I responded to it...that's very cheeky and disingenuous.

    However, being of a forgiving nature, I'll overlook your deviousness on this occasion since I have something to present to you that is of more importance. I think you are getting a little confused over what 'Caritas in veritate' actually means, so to help you along, I've copied a part of the very encyclical for you to read and understand.
    Yawn, for the record, I hadn't actually seen your response prior to my editing, I edited because I felt I'd left out part of what I wanted to say and my edit was concurrent with my previous posts, namely that the Catholic Church does a lot of good things but the fact that it does a lot of good things does not mean that there is no room for improvement.

    You would do well not to ascribe malicious motives to people without proof, I've seen you do it before with regards to the moderators. Not everyone who disagrees with you is actively trying to denigrate or undermine you, we simply have different points of view.
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    O lawdy, that vile and corrupt institution is preaching how to do right. Haha, how dare they after they tried to cover up that child abuse scandal in the church, not to mention after centuries of murder and oppression stemming from their influence.
 
 
 
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