Charity, the center of the social doctrine of the Church
Charity, Truth, Freedom: These are key notions that enlighten awareness and guide decisions.

Author: P. Fernando Pascual, L.C | Source:

If we look for the center of the social doctrine of the Church, we can quickly indicate one: charity.

In his encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" (June 2009), Benedict XVI underlined it (Introduction, N. 2), noting how charity serves as a guide not only to the "micro" (friendship, family) but also to the "macro" (Social life, political and economic).

That charity is in close union with another important word of Christianity: the truth. For, as Pope Ratzinger said in that encyclical, "truth opens and unites the intellect of human beings in the Lógos of love: This is the announcement and Christian witness of Charity" ("Caritas in Veritate" N. 4).

The truth that animates the love orients the human action in the present life towards the horizon of the higher goods. Man does not live alone for the here and now, for what is attained to understand in this world. He knows that his life makes sense if he discovers his relationship with God, in which he achieves a correct look at oneself and on others ("Caritas in Veritate" NN. 11 and 18).

In this optics is achieved a valid way of understanding human development (as I had already underlined Paul VI in his encyclical "Populorum Progressio"), which exceeds the simple pursuit of profit for profit and that circumscribes the idea of progress to a full view About the human being and about his place in the world in which he lives ("Caritas in Veritate" N. 21).

That is why all economic and political activity, as Benedict XVI recalled, has to have a man as center and end, because, using familiar terminology to the world of finances, it is necessary to remember that "the first capital to be safeguarded and valued is the Man, the person in his integrity "(" Caritas in Veritate "N. 25).

This is where the issues relating to bioethics and respect for life are placed, that occupies an important place in "Caritas in Veritate" and that are in close relationship with the effort to eradicate poverty in the world (N. 28, which anticipates an idea that often appears in the MA Gisterio of Pope Francis).

Also, the relevance given to religious freedom occupies a particular reflection in the encyclical of Benedict XVI, freedom attacked in some places by religious fanaticism and in others by some practical atheism or by religious indifference, in which It dispenses with the transcendent condition of the human being ("Caritas in Veritate" N. 29).

Charity, Truth, Freedom: These are key notions that enlighten awareness and guide decisions. From them, and thanks to the salvation received in the faith, the Christians can become a ferment that generates changes able to promote the justice and the peace that so much needs our world.

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