New Papal Encyclical: maybe 19 March?

This comes from the Italian daily Il Messaggero.

Some are saying that Pope Benedict might release his third encyclical on 19 March, the feast of St. Joseph.  It is rumored to be an encyclical on social doctrine and it may concern globalization.

 

Il Papa sferza la globalizzazione
«Preferiamo il bene comune»

«I conflitti per la supremazia economica ostacolano un mondo giusto»

di FRANCA GIANSOLDATI

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO – Benedetto XVI alleato dei no-global. Tanto fermo in dottrina quanto aperturista in questioni sociali e ambientali, con la sua ultima presa di posizione in materia, Papa Ratzinger scatenerà sicuramente l’entusiasmo dell’intero popolo di Seattle.
Le parole pronunciate durante la messa dell’Epifania, in una basilica gremita di fedeli, sono lo specchio delle preoccupazioni della Chiesa, testimone diretta, col suo esercito di missionari sparsi ai quattro angoli del pianeta, del divario tra il Nord sempre più opulento e il Sud sempre più povero. «Anche oggi resta vero quanto diceva il profeta: una nebbia fitta avvolge le nazioni» ha denunciato. Poi di seguito l’affondo: «Non si può dire che la globalizzazione sia sinonimo di ordine mondiale, tutt’altro. I conflitti per la supremazia economica e l’accaparramanto delle risorse energetiche, idriche e delle materie prime rendono difficile il lavoro di quanti, ad ogni livello si sforzano di costruire un mondo giusto e solidale». Col movimento anti globalizzazione il pontefice condivide l’analisi sullo strapotere delle multinazionali, un potere a volte così forte da pilotare le scelte dei singoli governi verso politiche non sostenibili da un punto di vista ambientale, energetico, in buona sostanza non rispettoso delle peculiarità locali, persino dannoso per le condizioni dei lavoratori. Ciò che il Papa suggerisce ad un Occidente distratto e ripiegato su se stesso è di aprire la porta del cuore alla speranza cristiana, unico antidoto in grado di tenere a bada le sirene dell’egoismo, la ricerca del superfluo, gli eccessi, in fondo la rovina di se stessi: «C’è bisogno – ha ammonito – di una speranza più grande che permetta di preferire il bene comune di tutti al lusso di pochi e alla miseria di molti». La moderazione – da regola ascetica – si trasforma in una vera e propria «via di salvezza per l’umanità». Condivisione, generosità, giustizia sono i binari sui quali dovrebbero muoversi popoli e governi: «E’ ormai evidente che solo adottando uno stile di vita sobrio, accompagnato dal serio impegno per una equa distribuzione delle ricchezze sarà possibile instaurare un ordine di sviluppo giusto e sostenibile». L’auspicio è di avere governanti lungimiranti e «coraggiosi», capaci di scelte ardite, proprio come i «re Magi che intrapresero un lungo viaggio seguendo una stella e che seppero inginocchiarsi davanti ad un Bambino e offrirgli doni preziosi». Il tema della globalizzazione – assai caro a Papa Ratzinger – sarà al centro della sua prima enciclica sociale. Secondo quanto filtra dai palazzi vaticani il testo dovrebbe vedere la luce il giorno di San Giuseppe, il prossimo 19 marzo. [L'onomastico der Santo Padre, tra altro.] L’argomento gli sta particolarmente a cuore, come del resto testimoniano i suoi recenti interventi. Dall’appello al G8, nel giugno scorso, con tanto di lettera personale ad Angela Merkel per spronare i Grandi ad aiutare l’Africa e sollecitare la cancellazione del debito ai paesi poveri, fino all’omelia pronunciata nel corso della visita pastorale a Velletri, [!] nel settembre scorso. Quel giorno denunciò la globalizzazione intesa soprattutto come fenomeno economico. Senza condannare il profitto in sè, Papa Ratzinger metteva paletti etici poichè il guadagno non può mai divenire il criterio ultimo dell’agire umano dato che dovrebbe tradursi sempre in condivisione e solidarietà. «La generosità si esprime in un amore sincero per tutti». A fare da battistrada al filone no-global è stato Giovanni Paolo II. Tre encicliche sociali e una sfilza di discorsi tanto che arrivò persino a meritarsi il plauso dell’allora segretario di Rifondazione Comunista, Fausto Bertinotti e di Fidel Castro. Ratzinger ha ripreso il cammino no global invitando le nazioni ad aprirsi, ad essere generose nella consapevolezza che le parti sociali, gli stati, i popoli sono interdipendenti, che dallo sviluppo degli uni dipende lo sviluppo degli altri. L’Occidente non può più restare in silenzio davanti al dramma di miliardi di persone affamate. Non vederne le conseguenze significa minare lo sviluppo dell’intero pianeta.

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13 Responses to New Papal Encyclical: maybe 19 March?

  1. But the Solemnity of St. Joseph isn’t March 19th this year because it would fall on Wednesday of holy week. Thus it was moved forward to March 15th (and the Annunciation – which would fall on Easter Tuesday- was moved back to March 31st).

    Thank you Father for all you do!

  2. Richard says:

    May 1 would be a great date – feast of St Joseph the Worker.

  3. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Father:

    For those of us who don’t read Italian well, what does the news story entail? It appears to me that the encyclical is occasioned by His Holiness’ awareness of the relative affluence of the North of Italy and the relative poverty of the South. Help!

  4. Chris: Northern and southern hemispheres.

  5. Masone says:

    Chris,

    not at all!

    It’s the north and the south of the world, of course!

    His Holiness is quite right.

    That’s the best: a pope who is right-wing (so to say) in doctrinal and liturgical matters, but left-wing in political and economical matters!

    God be praised.

    Masone

  6. Phil says:

    Masone said “That’s the best: a pope who is right-wing (so to say) in doctrinal and liturgical matters, but left-wing in political and economical matters!”

    I beg to disagree – vehemently. First of all, the concepts are not unrelated: political leftiness is almost surely part of the road to doctrinal leftness. Using government for social-economic purposes necessarily emphasises the and expands power of the state, leading to a situation where people look more and more to politicians to make their decisions for them rather than their own conscience or even the church. Politicians are fallable, yet left wing politics, with the aim to transform society, wants in essence to believe the people who produce the change are infallable – otherwise they could not be trusted with all that power. As a general rule, and especially on a number of topics that divide left and right today, left-wing politicians favor doctrinarily questionable positions – or ones that are plainly wrong, like abortion. If those people have the governmental power and believe they can recreate society, they are dangerous in the extreme.

    Secondly, and more directly, more influence for the state, which by nature is or tends to be secular , reduces the Church’s influence. A state that wants to control welfare, schooling etcetera crowds out genuine charity and formative opportunities for the faith.

    And last but not least, leftwing politics focus on division of wealth, not creating it. Apart from the fact that compulsory redistribution of wealth is not charity (especially if you vote for someone else to foot the bill) it tends to neglect that we’ll (almost) ALL be better off if we let wealth grow. As an empirical fact, growth is not fostered by the government or redistribution.

    So both for the spiritual and material welfare of the faithful the Church would be well advise to steer clear of left wing politics – which she has mostly done.

  7. Habemus Papam says:

    Phil, the so-called Right encompasses a very wide spectrum. Fascism to libertarianism. There are some who would consider Pope Leo XIIIs great Social Encyclicals to be “leftist”. The Church teaches the truth and should never be viewed as a vehicle for one’s own political views.

  8. Phil says:

    Habemus Papam,

    No disagreement there. You may note that I’ve steered well clear from saying that the church should be right-wing. It should neither be used for one’s political agenda, nor be beholden to one.

    Still, I see far greater dangers on the left of the political spectrum than on the right (at least within the boundaries of the current political discours in Europe or the States), especially since both certain encyclicals and Bible verses could be easily (mis)interpreted as being leftist.

    In a nutshell: without moral people, any political system will be insufficient and ultimately fail. Yet government-centered societies produce poverty and spiritual repression as a side-effect, and in more extreme cases even feed on it. While in a free-market society, deviating from the model because on feels morally obliged to do so, is not a matter for the government, but for yourself alone, making it a potentially considerably more fruitful way to organize a society. Economic liberty and spiritual liberty are not unrelated. Hence my urge to voice my disagreement with Masone.

  9. Habemus Papam says:

    Phil, undeniably the greatest threat to the Church in modern times came from the Left. And arguably we are in crisis now due to a “survival strategy” taken by Rome in the 1960s; a form of compromise with Communist systems for the forseeable future. (Not knowing then how quickly the Soviet Union would collapse). Its just that free-market economics are not Catholic in origin and can/have been used as a “survival of the fittest” or “weakest to the wall” mentality. There is a real danger of the Church being misunderstood here if the free-market is given Her blessing, which of course would not be unconditional! Catholic social teaching is concerned with the Common Good, not individualistic “Choice”.

  10. TA1275 says:

    The pope’s latest encyclical, Spe Salvi, cautions against much of the spirit of what leftist political regimes are doing. I refer especially to paragraphs 16-23 under the heading: The transformation of Christian faith-hope in the modern age.

  11. Chironomo says:

    “Masone said “That’s the best: a pope who is right-wing (so to say) in doctrinal and liturgical matters, but left-wing in political and economical matters!”

    Ok… I see what you’re trying to say, but I have to point out that this is a statement that seems to be coming from a “leftist” perspective. The implication of what you’re saying is that “the right” (whether you mean Republican, or more generally Conservative)wouldn’t be concerned about poverty or hunger in the world. Those of us who would call themselves conservative have a very real concern for both issues, differing only in how we think they should be addressed. Political liberals are not the sole defenders of the poor and hungry, although they might wish we would all think so! As for the issue of being “left-wing” in economic matters… we are all well aware of the “great strides” that socialism and communism have made in reducing poverty, hunger and suffering in the world…

  12. TA1275 says:

    He also cautions against the excesses of capitalism.

    I think it is safe to say from reading Centessimus Annus and Rerum Novarum that the church endorses a humane market economy. These documents seem to hold private property and the free exchange of goods as essential components of a free society. Individuals and organizations within the markets are called upon, however, to respect the value of the human person as inestimably greater than any material good.

  13. Habemus Papam says:

    Leo XIII was the first Pope to come to terms with a changed world, I would say. The collapse of the Old Regime and the rise of Democracy and Socialism. He was concerned for the lives of workers in industrialised societies and their right to a just wage. And the right to property and profit. Essentially the Common Good.