Friday, July 17, 2009

Caritas in Veritate, Charity in Truth, Link Page

Mostly for my convenience, here's a list of links to posts about Caritas in Veritate: And, posts with some of my opinions about Caritas in Veritate: I started reading the latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, Charity in Truth, about 10 days ago. The letter is addressed "to the Bishops Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, the Lay Faithful, and All People of Good Will, on Integral Human Development, in Charity and Truth" - and I figure that I fit in that list in two or three places.

I see that I got the English translation of its title wrong in my first two posts - Caritas is a sort of love, but it's better translated as Charity. I'll let the titles of those posts stand, though.

Caritas in Veritate 'Obviously' Validates Liberals, Conservatives

At the sound bite level, Caritas in Veritate, Charity in Truth, 'obviously' supports liberal and conservative views. The trick is to keep the quotes short.

Caritas in Veritate, Charity in Truth, has been described as 'blasting capitalism' (CNN).

A still-widely-respected east coast paper proclaimed "Pope Urges Forming New World Economic Order to Work for the 'Common Good' " (The New York Times)

In both cases, the articles contained brief quotes from Charity in Truth, and came to conclusions which may or may not be more imaginative than accurate.

There is something of the liberal ethic in Caritas in Veritate. Benedict XVI discusses "...the interconnection between the impetus towards the unification of humanity and the Christian ideal of a single family of peoples in solidarity and fraternity...." And doesn't, like a good Frank Burns cartoon conservative, shrink away from the idea of a world government with horror.

So, 'obviously' Caritas in Veritate is for the unification of humanity, and therefore is liberal?

The next instance of the word "family," after that "unification" business, says: "...Being out of work or dependent on public or private assistance for a prolonged period undermines the freedom and creativity of the person and his family and social relationships, causing great psychological and spiritual suffering...."

So, 'obviously,' Caritas in Veritate is against Welfare, and therefore is conservative?

Wrong on both counts.

Caritas in Veritate is an expression of Catholic thought. Yes, there are bits and pieces here and there which support one facet or another of both Western conservative and Western liberal thought.

In my view, there are many liberals who are not particularly stupid, and the same can be said for conservatives. It would be a bit surprising if two major schools of thought in Western civilization failed to line up with reality on all points.

Being Catholic in America: Seriously Counter-Cultural

I grew up in the American culture, but recognize that there is more to the world than conservatives and liberals, capitalists and communists, plutocratic oppressors and the oppressed masses.

I've discussed how it's 'quite clear' that my views are conservative - or liberal - if I take topics like pre-, extra-, and non-marital sex or the death penalty in isolation. (November 3, 2008)

What I did not make clear then was that my views are neither 'moderate' in the American political sense, nor are they the result of a sort of cafeteria approach to beliefs. I am continuing to learn more about my Catholic faith: and have found it necessary to uproot dearly-held beliefs from time to time. (June 8, 2009)

I rather hope that I won't have to do cognitive remodeling like that after reading Caritas in Veritate - but if I have to revise assumptions I've become comfortable with, so be it.

The way I see it, if everything goes right I'll be spending more of my life in God's kingdom, than in the United States of America - so I'd better get used to the culture there.

Studying Caritas in Veritate, Charity in Truth, a Section or so At a Time

As I wrote before:
"...I want to understand this letter from the Holy See: and from the looks of things, it'll be a whole lot safer to read the document itself, instead of looking at what someone else thinks it should say.

I figure that, if I read a section or two a day, and write a sort of report on what I've read, I'll keep more of what 'Caritas in Veritate' says in my head. So, this post and others like it are in large part my effort to read and understand the encyclical. But, you're welcome to come along for the ride....
" (July 8, 2009)
There are 79 sections. I've read two so far: and it's been over a week since I read any. This may take a while to finish.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.