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Church's mission is to replace materialism with culture of love, Pope says

Catholic World News - December 03, 2012

Christians should “topple modern idols,” and replace the materialism and individualism that dominates society today with a culture of love, Pope Benedict XVI said in a December 3 address to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The Pope remarked that although society today claims to advance human rights, the prevailing culture, “marked among other things by a utilitarian individualism and a technocratic economism,” lacks a clear idea of human nature. Man is too often seen as merely a “cog in a productive and financial mechanism,” the Pontiff said. He observed that “human capital” is discussed as an economic resource, without reference to the transcendent importance of the human person.

Christians must counteract the “hedonistic and egotistic claim to sexual and reproductive rights, or unregulated financial capitalism that abuses politics and derails the true economy,” the Pope continued. He added that any reform of society must be based on strengthening the family.

Pope Benedict reminded his audience that the Church does not endorse any particular form of government, but offers general moral principles that should shape practical judgments.

Clarifying his own statements about the need for some worldwide authority, the Pope said that any such power should be based not on domination but should act “primarily as a moral force, a power to influence according to reason, or rather as a participatory authority, limited in competence and by law.”

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