Elements for Understanding “Caritas in Veritate”- Benedict XVI Encyclical on The Economy

MHP 7/20/09

“A secret, an open secret: these world crises are crises of saints.

God wants a handful of men ‘of his own’ in every human activity. And then… ‘pax Christi in regno Christi – the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ.’[1]

1. God is not known because He is not experienced. We know “about” Him, but we do not now “experience” Him.

God: “The true problem of our times is the ‘Crisis of God,’ the absence of God, disguised by an empty religiosity. Theology must go back to being truly theo-logy, speaking about and with God.

            “[J.B.] Metz[Ratzinger’s professor of theology at the University of Munster] is right: the ‘unum necessarium’ to man is God. Everything changes, whether God exists or not. Unfortunately –we Christians also often live as if God did not exist (‘si Deus non daretur’). We live according to the slogan: God does not exist, and if he exists, he does not belong.

            “Therefore, evangelization must, first of all, speak about God…

            “Here too we must keep the practical aspect in mind. God cannot be made known with words alone. One does not really know a person if one knows about this person secondhandedly. To proclaim God is to introduce to the relation with God: to teach how to pray.”[2]

            If man is made in the image of God, if God is not known experientially, neither is man. Therefore, there is a loss of the meaning of man.

Realism: On my count, Benedict refers to God explicitly 66 times in the encyclical. His major assertion: “when God is eclipsed, our ability to recognize the natural order, purpose and the ‘good’ begins to wane[3]

More importantly, the experience of God is intimately connected with the experience of ourselves, and vice versa, the experience of ourselves is intimately connected with our experience of God. In fact, the flow of his argument comes from Scripture: a) The Person of the Father cannot be known except through the Son: “No one has at any time seen God. The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has revealed him” (Jn. 1, 18); b) “No one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and him to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt. 11, 27); The Father and Son are One God, yet they are distinct Persons: “I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10, 30); “The Father is greater than I” (Jn. 14, 29); And now, how we can know the Son experientially: “As he was praying in private, that his disciples also were with him, and he asked them, saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am/’ And they answered and said, “John the Baptist; and others, Elias; and others, that one of the ancient prophets ahs risen again.’

            “And he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ of God’” (Lk. 9, 18). Notice that not even the “feel me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Lk. 24) is working on the level of experience of the “I” in prayer with Christ as mention in Luke 9, 18.

The only way Simon can know his true self as image of God is by expanding his self and becoming real as Christ is real. He does this by expanding self into prayer with Christ.

Caritas in Veritate: The Broadening of Reason – For Realism

            Benedict gave 4 major addresses from 2006 to 2008 on Broadening Reason: The Regensburg Address, 2 to European professors of philosophy, and 1 to the Roman University “Sapienza.” He was asking for the philosophic and metaphysical recognition of the self, the “I,” as the really real, the experiential access to God, and the intrinsic relational character of the “I.”

It was exciting to see that in his taking up the theme of the economy, he placed it in the context of “Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth,” and since the economy is a human action, it must be a derivative of the development of the human person. And since the human person takes his prototype from Jesus Christ (GS #22), there can be no true human (economic and otherwise) development without the divinization (relationalizing-broadening) of the human person – which ultimately comes down to being “other Christs.” But to be “another Christ,” one must become relational to the Father and the others as Jesus Christ

The ontological measurements of the Person of the God-man, then, must be taken to understand what “development” in the created “imaging” man must look like. One of those measurements is the broadening of reason. Reason must “broaden” to take in the self as gift as Christ is gift. The state of this “giftedness” is a consciousness and attitude  that would conform and become adequate to the expansion of the self into the generosity of gifted ness as Christ. The encyclical makes explicit reference to this:

            “Paul VI had seen clearly that among the causes of underdevelopment there is a lack of wisdom and reflection, a lack of thinking capable of formulating a guiding synthesis  for which “a clear vision of all economic, social, cultural and spiritual aspects” is required. The excessive segmentation of knowledge,[4] the rejection of metaphysics by the human sciences,[5] the difficulties encountered by dialogue between science and theology are damaging not only to the development of knowledge, but also to the development of peoples, because these things make it harder to see the integral good of man in its various dimensions. The “broadening [of] our concept of reason and its application”[6]  is indispensable if we are to succeed in adequately weighing all the elements involved in the question of development and in the solution of socio-economic problems” (31).

            Note that in #83 of “Fides et ratio,” John Paul makes the large metaphysical identification of “being” with the human person. He says: “In a special way, the person constitutes a privileged locus for the encounter with being, and hence with metaphysical enquiry.”

In a philosophical work in 1974, Wojtyla had explained the equivalency of broadening reason by attending to the “I” of the human person as this privileged locus for accessing being or reality:

“Today more than ever before we feel the need – and also see a greater possibility – of objectifying the problem of the subjectivity of the human being…. The antinomy of Subjectivism vs. Objectivism, along with the underlying antinomy of idealism vs. realism, created conditions that discouraged dealing with human subjectivity – for fear that this would lead inevitably to subjectivism. These fears, which existed among thinkers who subscribed to realism and epistemological objectivism, were in some sense warranted by the subjectivistic and idealistic character – or at least overtones – analyses conducted within the realm of `pure consciousness.’ This only served to strengthen the line of demarcation in philosophy and the opposition between the `objective’ view of the human being, which was also an ontological view (the human being as a being), and the `subjective’ view, which seemed inevitably to sever the human being from this reality.

“Today we are seeing a breakdown of that line of demarcation… I am convinced that the line of demarcation between the subjectivistic (idealistic) and objectivistic (realistic) views in anthropology and ethics must break down and is in fact breaking down on the basis of the experience of the human being. This experience automatically frees us from pure consciousness as the subject conceived and assumed a priori and leads us to the full concrete existence of the human being, to the reality of the conscious subject.” [7]

Realism: Broadening Reason to the Dimensions of Being Relation

Broadening Reason is Simon entering into the prayer of Christ such that he experiences in himself what Christ experiences (mutatis mutandis) in Himself in relating to the Father. Only in this way could Simon “know” the “I” of Christ as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16, 16). By becoming relation in prayer, Simon becomes “Peter” and “experiences Christ in himself.”

In Caritas in Veritate #10, Benedict XVI refers to his discourse in Brazil in May 2007. There he explains that we have to update “the different terms in which the problem of development is presented today, as compared with forty years ago” in Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio.He talks about two levels of experience: the experience of the sense, and the experience of the self. Both are experiences of the real, but with a priority of importance of the self because it is there that we experience God by imaging Him. In Brazil, Benedict asked:

I. “What is real? Are only material goods, social, economic and political problems “reality”? This was precisely the great error of the dominant tendencies of the last century, a most destructive error, as we can see from the results of both Marxist and capitalist systems. They falsify the notion of reality by detaching it from the foundational and decisive reality which is God. Anyone who excludes God from his horizons falsifies the notion of “reality” and, in consequence, can only end up in blind alleys or with recipes for destruction.

“The first basic point to affirm, then, is the following: only those who recognize God know reality and are able to respond to it adequately and in a truly human manner. The truth of this thesis becomes evident in the face of the collapse of all the systems that marginalize God.

            Benedict then asks: who knows God? And responds:

 “How can we know him? We cannot enter here into a complex discussion of this fundamental issue. For a Christian, the nucleus of the reply is simple: only God knows God, only his Son who is God from God, true God, knows him. And he “who is nearest to the Father’s heart has made him known” (John 1:18). Hence the unique and irreplaceable importance of Christ for us, for humanity. If we do not know God in and with Christ, all of reality is transformed into an indecipherable enigma; there is no way, and without a way, there is neither life nor truth.

“God is the foundational reality, not a God who is merely imagined or hypothetical, but God with a human face; he is God-with-us, the God who loves even to the Cross. When the disciple arrives at an understanding of this love of Christ “to the end”, he cannot fail to respond to this love with a similar love: “I will follow you wherever you go” (Luke 9:57).

Benedict then says: “We can ask ourselves a further question: what does faith in this God give us? The first response is: it gives us a family, the universal family of God in the Catholic Church. Faith releases us from the isolation of the “I”, because it leads us to communion: the encounter with God is, in itself and as such, an encounter with our brothers and sisters, an act of convocation, of unification, of responsibility towards the other and towards others. In this sense, the preferential option for the poor is implicit in the Christological faith in the God who became poor for us, so as to enrich us with his poverty (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9).

II. In Rome in 2008, Benedict gave the keynote address to the Synod on The Word of God.  It was startling for the epistemological emphasis:

“Furthermore, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away. We can see this now with the fall of large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life” Synod on the Word of God, October 2008: Benedict XVI Keynote Address.

Relation

The meaning of development will involve entering into and becoming relational – in everything. Everything will involve going out of self. Faith, work, manufacture, marriage, economy, politics, etc. will all be facets of self-giving on this deeper reality and experience of the self. The reality of oneself as image will involve Gaudium et spes #24 whereby one becomes self by the sincere gift of self.

            Observe Caritas in Veritate: “54. The theme of development can be identified with the inclusion-in-relation of all individuals and peoples within the one community of the human family, built in solidarity on the basis of the fundamental values of justice and peace. This perspective is illuminated in a striking way by the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity within the one divine Substance. The Trinity is absolute unity insofar as the three divine Persons are pure relationality. The reciprocal transparency among the divine Persons is total and the bond between each of them complete, since they constitute a unique and absolute unity. God desires to incorporate us into this reality of communion as well: “that they may be one even as we are one” (Jn 17:22). The Church is a sign and instrument of this unity[131]. Relationships between human beings throughout history cannot but be enriched by reference to this divine model. In particular, in the light of the revealed mystery of the Trinity, we understand that true openness does not mean loss of individual identity but profound interpenetration. This also emerges from the common human experiences of love and truth. Just as the sacramental love of spouses unites them spiritually in “one flesh” (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:5; Eph 5:31) and makes out of the two a real and relational unity, so in an analogous way truth unites spirits and causes them to think in unison, attracting them as a unity to itself.

“55. The Christian revelation of the unity of the human race presupposes a metaphysical interpretation of the “humanum” in which relationality is an essential element.

            Consider this in the light of Ratzinger’s remarks in ‘Introduction to Christianity”  131-132 (1990 edition). A replica of it (1967) is found here in 2009:

“a new trajectory of thinking:’ “a new trajectory of thinking is needed in order to arrive at a better understanding of the implications of our being one family; interaction among the peoples of the world calls us to embark upon this new trajectory, so that integration can signify solidarity[129] rather than marginalization. Thinking of this kind requires a deeper critical evaluation of the category of relation. This is a task that cannot be undertaken by the social sciences alone, insofar as the contribution of disciplines such as metaphysics and theology is needed if man’s transcendent dignity is to be properly understood.”[8]

Key Texts

“(53)One of the deepest forms of poverty a person can experience is isolation. If we look closely at other kinds of poverty, including material forms, we see that they are born from isolation, from not being loved or from difficulties in being able to love. Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God’s love, by man’s basic and tragic tendency to close in on himself, thinking himself to be self-sufficient or merely an insignificant and ephemeral fact, a “stranger” in a random universe. Man is alienated when he is alone, when he is detached from reality, when he stops thinking and believing in a foundation[125]. All of humanity is alienated when too much trust is placed in merely human projects, ideologies and false utopias[126] (underline mine).

Keep in mind that this is not a third way between liberal capitalism and Marxist Communism. It is on a completely different level of experience, that of the working person, who finds self by gift of self.[9]

What Benedict is talking about is the human person as ontological relation that heretofore cannot be accounted for by the Greek or Neoscholastic metaphysic so as to takes its place among the human sciences, and therefore communicable conceptually. This is the great task of Benedict as testifier to Vatican II, Paul VI and John Paul II. He said as much immediately after his election as pope.[10] We have no “category” or concept for a pure relation in the horizon of concrete, material beings. Hence, we describe rather than define. He says: “As a spiritual being, the human creature is defined through interpersonal relations. The more authentically he or she lives these relations, the more his or her own personal identity matures. It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God. Hence these relations take on fundamental importance. The same holds true for peoples as well. A metaphysical understanding of the relations between persons is therefore of great benefit for their development. In this regard, reason finds inspiration and direction in Christian revelation, according to which the human community does not absorb the individual, annihilating his autonomy, as happens in the various forms of totalitarianism, but rather values him all the more because the relation between individual and community is a relation between one totality and another.”[11]

BOTTOM LINE

“These world crises are crises of saints:”

I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going … she’s going … she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:”To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.”
And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Faith is Constitutively Relational

            The Word of God, as Person, is pure relation to the Father. The acceptance of the Word of God, is the paradigm relational act. Our Lady is the paradigmatic human receptor, or “hearer of the Word.” To hear is to make the gift of self taking the Word into self to such a degree that the Word becomes flesh in one. She did so to the supreme degree by giving Him her humanity to become His own.  If the Word of God is “reality,” To “develop” into who we truly are, to know who we are experientially, to experience who God is, and to enter into realism is the result of making the act of faith as self-gift to the revealing Person of Christ of Christ. This “self-gift” is what Benedict means by relation. He says: “(53)One of the deepest forms of poverty a person can experience is isolation. If we look closely at other kinds of poverty, including material forms, we see that they are born from isolation, from not being loved or from difficulties in being able to love. Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God’s love, by man’s basic and tragic tendency to close in on himself, thinking himself to be self-sufficient or merely an insignificant and ephemeral fact, a “stranger” in a random universe. Man is alienated when he is alone, when he is detached from reality, when he stops thinking and believing in a foundation[125]. All of humanity is alienated when too much trust is placed in merely human projects, ideologies and false utopias[126] (underline mine).

            And, of course, this makes sense since the divine Persons are pure Relationalities and our ontological constitution images them. The great step that must be taken is to cross this threshold from sensible experience to the experience of the self in the free (and therefore moral) act of self-gift to Christ that is “faith.” More than a second tier, it is the experience of the self that gives “consciousness” – i.e. the context for all thought – that is distinct from the formation of concepts. To know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the living God, we must have experienced that consciousness in ourselves of being “other Christs” to able to re-cognize Him. Benedict calls this “a new trajectory of thinking:’ “a new trajectory of thinking is needed in order to arrive at a better understanding of the implications of our being one family; interaction among the peoples of the world calls us to embark upon this new trajectory, so that integration can signify solidarity[129] rather than marginalization. Thinking of this kind requires a deeper critical evaluation of the category of relation. This is a task that cannot be undertaken by the social sciences alone, insofar as the contribution of disciplines such as metaphysics and theology is needed if man’s transcendent dignity is to be properly understood.”[12]

            Keep in mind that this is not a third way between liberal capitalism and Marxist Communism. It is on a completely different level of experience, that of the working person, who finds self by gift of self.[13]

            What Benedict is talking about is the human person as ontological relation that heretofore cannot be accounted for by the Greek or Neoscholastic metaphysic so as to takes its place among the human sciences, and therefore communicable conceptually. This is the great task of Benedict as testifier to Vatican II, Paul VI and John Paul II. He said as much immediately after his election as pope.[14] We have no “category” or concept for a pure relation in the horizon of concrete, material beings. Hence, we describe rather than define. He says: “As a spiritual being, the human creature is defined through interpersonal relations. The more authentically he or she lives these relations, the more his or her own personal identity matures. It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God. Hence these relations take on fundamental importance. The same holds true for peoples as well. A metaphysical understanding of the relations between persons is therefore of great benefit for their development. In this regard, reason finds inspiration and direction in Christian revelation, according to which the human community does not absorb the individual, annihilating his autonomy, as happens in the various forms of totalitarianism, but rather values him all the more because the relation between individual and community is a relation between one totality and another.”[15]

The thrust of the encyclical is explicitly “development.” The opening gambit of the document is the Person of Jesus Christ as “the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity.” The document is about Jesus Christ as prototype, “in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, [Who] fully reveals humanity to itself (GS #22).[16]

            Hence, the notion of development is about the “authentic” development of the human person in function of Christ. Benedict quotes Paul VI: “What we hold important is man, each man and each group of men, and we even include the whole of humanity.’ Benedict continues: “In promoting development, the Christian faith does not rely on privilege or positions of power or, nor even on the merits of Christians… but only on Christ, to whom every authentic vocation to integral human development must be directed. The Gospel is fundamental development, because in the Gospel, Christ, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals humanity to itself.’” Then, “The truth of development consists in its completeness: if it does not involve the whole man and very man, it is not true development.. Integral human development on the natural plane, as a response to a vocation from God the Creator, demands self-fulfillment in a transcendent humanism which gives [to man] his greatest possible perfection: this is the highest goal of personal development.” The Christian vocation to this development therefore applies to both the natural place and the supernatural place; which is why, ‘when God is eclipsed, our ability to recognize the natural order, purpose and the ‘good’ begins to wane.’”[17]

The original start:

1. God is not known because He is not experienced. We know “about” Him, but we do not now “experience” Him.

God: “The true problem of our times is the ‘Crisis of God,’ the absence of God, disguised by an empty religiosity. Theology must go back to being truly theo-logy, speaking about and with God.

            “[J.B.] Metz[Ratzinger’s professor of theology at the University of Munster] is right: the ‘unum necessarium’ to man is God. Everything changes, whether God exists or not. Unfortunately –we Christians also often live as if God did not exist (‘si Deus non daretur’). We live according to the slogan: God does not exist, and if he exists, he does not belong.

            “Therefore, evangelization must, first of all, speak about God…

            “Here too we must keep the practical aspect in mind. God cannot be made known with words alone. One does not really know a person if one knows about this person secondhandedly. To proclaim God is to introduce to the relation with God: to teach how to pray.”[18]

Realism: On my count, Benedict refers to God explicitly 66 times in the encyclical. His major assertion: “when God is eclipsed, our ability to recognize the natural order, purpose and the ‘good’ begins to wane[19]

More importantly, the experience of God is intimately connected with the experience of ourselves, and vice versa, the experience of ourselves is intimately connected with our experience of God. In fact, the flow of his argument comes from Scripture: a) The Person of the Father cannot be known except through the Son: “No one has at any time seen God. The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has revealed him” (Jn. 1, 18); b) “No one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and him to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt. 11, 27); The Father and Son are One God, yet they are distinct Persons: “I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10, 30); “The Father is greater than I” (Jn. 14, 29); And now, how we can know the Son experientially: “As he was praying in private, that his disciples also were with him, and he asked them, saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am/’ And they answered and said, “John the Baptist; and others, Elias; and others, that one of the ancient prophets ahs risen again.’

            “And he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ of God’” (Lk. 9, 18). Notice that not even the “feel me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Lk. 24) is working on the level of experience of the “I” in prayer with Christ as mention in Luke 9, 18.

In “Crossing the Threshold of Hope,’ John Paul II had written: “It is therefore possible to speak from a solid foundation about human experience, or religious experience. And if it is possible to speak of such experiences, it is difficult to deny that , in the realm of human experience, one also finds good and evil, truth and beauty, and God…If God is a knowable object… He is such on the basis of man’s experience both of the visible world and of his interior world” [34]. To this Ratzinger commented: “God in Karol Wojtyla is not only thought but also experienced. The pope expressly opposes the limitation of the concept of experience which occurred in Empiricism; he points out that t he form of experience elaborated in the natural sciences is not the only kind, but that there are also other forms which are no less real and import ant: moral experience, human experience, religious experience (34). But this experience is, of course, also reflected upon and verified in its rational content. The presentation of the reasonability of faith is an essential element of this book.”[20]

Rev. Robert A. Connor


[1] The Way #301.

[2] J. Ratzinger, “The New Evangelization,” 2.

[3] Benedict XVI, “Address to Young People at Barangaroo,” Sydney, 7/17/08.

[4] John Paul “Fides et Ratio” (1998) #85.

[5] Ibid #83

[6] Benedict XVI “Address at the University of Regensburg,” 12 September 2006.

[7] Karol Wojtyla, “Subjectivity and the Irreducible in the Human Being,” Person and Community Lang (1993) 209-210.

[8] CV #53.

[9] “The Church’s social doctrine is not a “third way” between liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism, nor even a possible alternative to other solutions less radically opposed to one another: rather, it constitutes a category of its own. Nor is it an ideology, but rather the accurate formulation of the results of a careful reflection on the complex realities of human existence, in society and in the international order, in the light of faith and of the Church’s tradition. Its main aim is to interpret these realities, determining their conformity with or divergence from the lines of the Gospel teaching on man and his vocation, a vocation which is at once earthly and transcendent; its aim is thus to guide Christian behavior. It therefore belongs to the field, not of ideology, but of theology and particularly of moral theology” (Solicitudo Rei Socialis #41).

[10] “I forgot to mention the many documents that he left us — 14 encyclicals, many pastoral letters, and others. All this is a rich patrimony that has not yet been assimilated by the Church. My personal mission is not to issue many new documents, but to ensure that his documents are assimilated, because they are a rich treasure, they are the authentic interpretation of Vatican II. We know that the Pope was a man of the Council, that he internalized the spirit and the word of the Council. Through these writings he helps us understand what the Council wanted and what it didn’t. This helps us to be the Church of our times and of the future.” Polish Television 2005.

[11] CV #53.

[12] CV #53.

[13] “The Church’s social doctrine is not a “third way” between liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism, nor even a possible alternative to other solutions less radically opposed to one another: rather, it constitutes a category of its own. Nor is it an ideology, but rather the accurate formulation of the results of a careful reflection on the complex realities of human existence, in society and in the international order, in the light of faith and of the Church’s tradition. Its main aim is to interpret these realities, determining their conformity with or divergence from the lines of the Gospel teaching on man and his vocation, a vocation which is at once earthly and transcendent; its aim is thus to guide Christian behavior. It therefore belongs to the field, not of ideology, but of theology and particularly of moral theology” (Solicitudo Rei Socialis #41).

[14] “I forgot to mention the many documents that he left us — 14 encyclicals, many pastoral letters, and others. All this is a rich patrimony that has not yet been assimilated by the Church. My personal mission is not to issue many new documents, but to ensure that his documents are assimilated, because they are a rich treasure, they are the authentic interpretation of Vatican II. We know that the Pope was a man of the Council, that he internalized the spirit and the word of the Council. Through these writings he helps us understand what the Council wanted and what it didn’t. This helps us to be the Church of our times and of the future.” Polish Television 2005.

[15] CV #53.

[16] Caritas in Veritate (Henceforth CV) #18.

[17] CV #18.

[18] J. Ratzinger, “The New Evangelization,” 2.

[19] Benedict XVI, “Address to Young People at Barangaroo,” Sydney, 7/17/08.

[20] J. Ratzinger, “God in Pope John Paul II’s Crossing he Threshold of Hope” Communio 22 (Spring, 1995) 107.

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