Tag Archives: Social Doctrine

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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Pope Benedict speaks to journalists: there’s a universal bond of friendship, truth accessible in freedom, truth is dialogic

On the palne ride to Madrid for this year’s World Youth Day, Pope Benedict fielded several questions from journalists. Here are three of the Q&A that I found interesting.

Pope with journalists on plane to Madrid 2011.jpeg

Question: What is the significance of these events in the pastoral “strategy” of the Universal Church in the third millennium?

Answer: Dear friends, greetings! I’m happy to go with you to Spain for this great event. After having personally experienced two WYD, I can only say that it was truly an inspiration that had been given to Pope John Paul II when he created the idea of a large gathering of young people and of the world with the Lord. I would say that these WYD are a signal, a cascade of light; they give visibility to the faith, of God’s presence in the world, and thus foster the courage to be a believer. Believers often feel isolated in this world, almost lost. Here they see that they are not alone, that there is a large network of faith, a great community of believers in the world, that it is nice to live in this universal bond of friendship. And it is thus that I think friendships are born, friendships across the boundaries of different cultures and different countries. It is this birth of a universal network of friendship, which links the world and God, and is an important reality for the future of humanity and for the life of humanity today. Of course, World Youth Day cannot be an isolated incident: it is part of a larger journey, which has been prepared by the way of the Cross which has travelled to different countries already uniting young people in the sign of the Cross and the wonderful sign of the Virgin Mary. And thus it is that the preparation for World Youth Day is much more than the logistics of planning an event which naturally has many technical problems. It is requires an inner preparation, a willingness to join a path that brings us to others so that we can journey together towards God. And then, later, following the establishment of groups of friends, keeping this universal contact opens the borders of cultures, of human and religious differences, and continues a path which then leads to a new arrival point in a new WYD. It seems to me that the World Youth Day should be considered in this sense, as a sign, a part of a great journey, which creates friendships, open borders and demonstrates that is good to be with God, and that God is with us. In this sense, we want to continue with this great idea of Blessed Pope John Paul II. 

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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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