Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Four Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Found (of all places) in the John Allen blogsite of NCR (Not-Catholic, Really):

At the dawn of the 21st century, Weigel argued, there were three proposals for the future with enough clout to have a worldwide impact: the “pragmatic utilitarianism” of Europe and North America, a resurgent Islam, and the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.

“One does not risk a charge of special pleading by suggesting that the course of the twenty-first century and beyond will be determined in no small part by the answer to the question, how will each of these proposals shape the emerging global culture?” Weigel said.

Weigel, who is sometimes identified as a “neo-conservative,” laid out the core elements of Catholic social theory as it has evolved since the 19th century in terms of four principles:

Personalism – Reflection on the just society begins with the human rights of persons, not with the collective.

Common Good – Each person should exercise his or her freedom in ways that benefit the general welfare of society, not just self-aggrandizement.

Subsidiarity – Decision-making in society should be left at the lowest possible level.

Solidarity – Society must be more than contractual, but an expression of mutual participation in a common enterprise. Weigel argues that this principle was the contribution of Pope John Paul II.

This will help you understand the recalcitrance of Catholics (also Conservatives in the Russell Kirk mode) to embrace Libertarian-flavored capitalism. In a phrase, that 'capitalism' is just not right...

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