Monday, April 23, 2012

"Deeds Without Knowledge are Blind"

"...Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 30)
Benedict XVI started the paragraph before the one I'm going through today by saying that religious freedom is important to development:
"There is another aspect of modern life that is very closely connected to development: the denial of the right to religious freedom...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 29)
As I've said before, Vatican documents are generally anything but terse, and the English translation of "Caritas in Veritate" is no exception:
"In this context, the theme of integral human development takes on an even broader range of meanings: the correlation between its multiple elements requires a commitment to foster the interaction of the different levels of human knowledge in order to promote the authentic development of peoples...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 30)

Simplistic? Vague? No, Catholic

I think part of the explanation for at least one person calling "Caritas in Veritate" "purposefully vague" is that Benedict XVI's document doesn't take a 'firm stand.'

On economic matters, the Pope doesn't take the side of the 'oppressed proletariat' against 'capitalistic plutocrats.' On the other hand, Benedict XVI doesn't say we should let international corporations do anything they want.

Some things really are simple, like 'love God, love your neighbor.' (Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-31) Applying that simple set of principles to everyday life has been anything but simple.

Another reason that the Catholic Church may seem 'vague' is that it is literally a "catholic" outfit. We're καθολικός, universal. When the Vatican publishes something that's meant for all Catholics, it's not likely to be tailored specifically for any one culture. Some Catholics are Americans, but most aren't.

I'm okay with that, and that's another topic.

Science and Silliness

When it comes to science and religion, there are some odd ideas oozing through Western thought:
  • Science
    • Will solve all our problems
    • Will kill us all
    • Is a Satanic plot
  • Religion
    • Kills people
    • Bitterly opposes
      • The unalloyed benefits of science
      • Satanic science
      • Anything new
    • Is a psychiatric condition
Those are over-simplified examples of extreme views: but my guess is that you've run into something like one of them. In diluted form, I hope.

Science and Human Development

I've been fascinated with the sciences since childhood, and still try to keep up with what folks are discovering about God's creation. I also think that science, by itself, is a useful tool. But not a useful guide. That's a belief I didn't have to modify very much when I became a Catholic:
"...Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. There is always a need to push further ahead: this is what is required by charity in truth[76]...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 30)
There's more, about wisdom and seasoning knowledge with the salt of charity. I think this is a pretty good summary:
"...Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 30) [emphasis mine]

More posts about "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth)
"Caritas in Veritate"

Related posts:

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

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.