Friday, March 23, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 438.

YOUCAT Question n. 438 - Why does the Catholic Church have her own social teaching?

(Youcat answer) Because all men, as children of God, possess a unique dignity, the Church with her social teaching is committed to defending and promoting this human dignity for all men in the social sphere. She is not trying to preempt the legitimate freedom of politics or of the economy. When human dignity is violated in politics or economic practices, however, the Church must intervene.    

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2420) The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it" (GS 76 § 5). In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships. 

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) “The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well” (Second Vatican Council, GS). In her social teaching, the Church makes this statement specific. And she asks: How can we take responsibility for the well-being and the just treatment of all, even of non- Christians? What is a just organization of human society, of political, economic, and social institutions supposed to look like? In her commitment to justice, the Church is guided by a love that emulates Christ’s love for mankind. 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2422) The Church's social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ (Cf. SRS 1; 41). This teaching can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be guided by it. (CCC 2423) The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action: Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts (Cf. CA 24).

(The next question is: How did the Church’s social doctrine develop?)

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