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Catholic social teaching should counter powerful vested interests, Pope says

November 04, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has called for Catholic action in political and economic life to counteract “the predominance of economic and financial groups which dictate-- and intend to continue to do so-- the political agenda at the expense of the universal common good.”

In a message to participants in a plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Holy Father stressed the importance of Catholic social teaching as a remedy for fundamental problems in the world’s economic and political systems. “Only through charity, sustained by hope and illuminated by the light of faith and reason, can we achieve the goals of integral human freedom and universal justice,” he said.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is meeting in Rome this week under its new president, Cardinal Peter Turkson, to discuss the worldwide response to the Pope’s social encyclical, Caritatis in Veritate.

The Holy Father said that the universal Church must make a “commitment to educating Catholic laity in Church social doctrine.” The laity, he said, should be prepared to take an active role in public life, advancing a vision of justice that is “strongly rooted in affirming the transcendent dignity of man, in defending human life from conception to natural death and in religious freedom.”

He offered the suggestion that “it may be appropriate to create centers and institutions for its study, dissemination and implementation throughout the world.”


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