instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, October 24, 2011

Promote the common good through an upright life

To this point, I've only seen one response to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace's document, "Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority." That response, a tweet, was unfavorable.

I expect many more unfavorable responses. After all,
  • Poor Pope Benedict XVI can't possibly control all those damn socialists running amok in the Vatican.
  • The current Pope, like all the recent Popes, is a hopeless socialist himself.
  • The Church ought to have learned by now to keep its nose out of matters that don't concern faith and morals, like economic arrangements.
  • All this is just a distraction from the Church's one true mission of opposing legalized abortion.
On the other hand,
  • Isn't it great to see the theocon ultramontanists so discomfited?
  • To oppose the U.N. is to oppose the Church.
  • Catholics in the U.S. have a good reason not to vote for a candidate who doesn't campaign on a platform of surrendering national sovereignty to an international body.
Having cynically weaponized the statement, let me suggest we'd be better off trying to digest it instead. To that end -- or rather, as a first, tiny step on the road to that still-distant end -- let me quote my favorite passage of the [provisional English translation of the] "Conclusion":
As Benedict XVI exhorts us, agents on all levels -– social, political, economic, professional -– are urgently needed who have the courage to serve and to promote the common good through an upright life. Only they will succeed in living and seeing beyond the appearances of things and perceiving the gap between existing reality and untried possibilities. [Emphasis added]
An upright life is probably as good a way as any to start.