"If there are no just people, justice does not exist," Pope Benedict XVI about the reasons for the economic crisis

Monday, 09 March 2009, 19:04
The reasons for the economic crisis can be found in egoism. About this Pope Benedict XVI spoke during a meeting on Thursday, February 26, with the clergy of the Rome diocese. We will recall that this was a meeting conducted in a spirit of sincere interaction, during which the Holy Father answered questions asked of him.
The reasons for the economic crisis can be found in egoism. About this Pope Benedict XVI spoke during a meeting on Thursday, February 26, with the clergy of the Rome diocese. We will recall that this was a meeting conducted in a spirit of sincere interaction, during which the Holy Father answered questions asked of him. The question whether it is the duty of the Church to expose injustice in the basis of the economic and financial system and to say an authoritative word, called to help Christians with the evangelical wisdom to manage the temporal goods which are given by God for all, but not only for a few, was asked by a priest who ministers in the suburbs of Rome, where the consequences of the actual economic crisis are felt strongest. Answering, Benedict XVI confirmed that the Church is called to expose errors which led to the present situation, and they are, first of all, human greed and idolatry, which has replaced the icon of the true God for an idol, mammon. The Pope recalled that he is preparing an encyclical devoted to social problems and acknowledged that during this work he noticed how difficult it is to talk competently about the economy. The Church has to expose large errors, but it needs to speak concretely, because simply moralizing does not help. Moralizing has to be supported with proper knowledge which helps understand reality and search for ways to change the situation, and this requires from all good will. Benedict XVI paid attention to the problem of original sin, as a result of which human nature is weakened by egoism, which is the root of greed, because its object is to subordinate the world to itself. Therefore with the mind alone, without the light of faith, which reaches the darkness of original sin, it is hard to find an exit. In this context the duty of the Church is to specify these concrete moral errors, which it does through social doctrine. Further the Pope paid attention to the fact that the decision of large macro-economic problems begins on the lower level, with the conversion of hearts. «If there are no just people, justice does not exist,» the Holy Father said, noting the necessity to educate for justice, which, first of all, is not an abstract concept, but the result of Christ’s mission. And the human being becomes just not otherwise than through daily, humble work for the conversion of the heart. And, thus, global justice grows, and the work of a pastor is fundamental not only for a parish but also for all humanity. Because if the just are lacking, justice itself remains an abstract concept, and the creation of good structures is impossible if human egoism is set against them. Therefore, Benedict XVI turned his attention; it is necessary to work together on all levels. The Universal Church is called to expose errors and to announce what it is possible to do and how to carry this out: the duty of every pastor is to educate for justice. www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/ucr/Articolo.asp
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