Tag Archives: charity

Populorum Progressio, 45 years later Pope Paul’s admonition remains true

Paul pp VI.jpgToday is the 45th anniversary of Populorum Progression (On the Development of Peoples) the 5th encyclical of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The 18,000 word letter deals with the socioeconomic issues of world sick building upon Blessed John XXIII’s Mater et Magistra

Populorum Progressio was long accorded as the humanist manifesto because it examines and urges a tailored response of the educated and wealthier nations toward those who live in poverty (subhuman standards). 
The Pope questions many things among them the ownership of land that is not used for the good of people in need, of unbriddled capitalism, the regulation of markets, foreign aid to nations, the development of internal programs to aid citizens rather than exporting natural resources to other nations and the right of governments to develop performing lands for the good of others. Pope Paul urges some controversial things: higher taxes for the rich, the expansion of aid programs, higher prices for products from third world nations, a just wage for workers, and the establishment of just interest rates for monies loaned. Freedom, charity, justice, and peace are given to all by God.

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We have a common, irreducible destiny…in God: let’s live like it

New Year greetings are exchanged between the Holy
Father and the authorities of the City of Rome, the Region of Lazio, and the
Province of Rome. On one level this meeting is a formality, because it is. But
there is a deeper issue at hand: collaborate with others to build up the
Kingdom even when your partner is perhaps secular. As Saint John Bosco did, as
well as countless other good educators, if you want to influence others, then
get to know the other person. Rome’s ecclesial leaders aren’t always on the
same page as the civil leaders, but absenting oneself from the other is no way
to advance the good life. And the Pope realizes this fact. 

He said on January

“The challenges we are currently facing are numerous and complex, and can
be overcome only if we reinforce our awareness that the destiny of each of us
is linked to that of everyone else. For this reason … acceptance, solidarity
and legality are fundamental values. The present crisis can, then, be an
opportunity for the entire community to verify whether the values upon which
social life is founded have generated a society that is just, fair and united,
or whether it is necessary to undertake a profound rethink in order to
rediscover values which … not only favor economic recovery, but which are
also attentive to promoting the integral good of human beings.”

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Bertone recalls the Church’s particular vocation: being a sign and instrument of God’s love and justice

The other day the Pope’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio
Bertone SDB celebrated Mass for the Vatican’s jurists where he noted “with the
beginning of a new judicial year … we are again invited to reflect upon the
relationship between divine and human justice, so that our consciences may be
illuminated and our actions may, as far as possible, correspond to the divine
will and its plan of love for each individual and for the community of man.” Moreover,
Bertone picked up a current theme of Benedict’s these days, that is, that of
justice, in which he called attention to the specific vocation of the Church to
be “a sign and instrument of God’s love [charity], and of His justice which is always an
expression of His merciful love.”

Catholic priest at the South Pole for Christmas

Steve Rossetti at the South Pole Christmas 2011.jpgFather Steve Rossetti, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse (NY) and a professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, is spending the Christmas holiday at the South Pole. 

How many people do you know who would opt for a holiday at the South Pole where on a good day it is 24 degrees? On a bad day, you could just be stuck there…. Honestly, I dot know many people who would go on this type of adventure. Father Rossetti’s at the South Pole because of friendship, first with God, then with the workers and with himself. Friendship that says I am a part of something greater than myself.
To me, Father Rossetti is giving us an example of what it means to be self-giving, a gesture of true charity which shows Christ’s concern for others. Going to the South Pole is more than a charitable work. It is a way of being, a way of standing in awe at the Divine Majesty. Why is this important to me? Because it reminds me (the act educates me) to the fact of the Incarnation as a given to human history: we are given.
The story is here.

Pope encourages sustained inter-religious dialogue

Every 5 years a bishop is to make a visit to the Eternal City first to pray at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul and secondly to make a report to the Pope (and his curia). The church-term for such a meeting is called the “ad limina” — to the threshold of the apostles, the Church, the heartbeat of our faith. It is not a meeting of checking-in with the CEO, CFO and the COO of the company. For a bishop is not a branch manager. This is a gesture of communion between two people who are in love with Christ and His sacrament, the Church; it is a meeting of one pastor meeting the Supreme Pastor, Christ, through the ministry of the See of Peter. It is a time to verify the good being done and to get feedback about what more needs to be done for the good of the faithful. With Benedict’s age I think the 5-year meeting is now about every 7 years. 

In recent weeks, Benedict has been meeting with Indonesian bishops. Part of his concluding address to the latest group has an encouragement to advocate inter-religious dialogue. As you can tell, Pope Benedict XVI is a pope of dialogue. The relevant paragraph follows:

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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