Friday, January 02, 2015
DIALOGUE WITH WORLD KNOWLEDGE
While the Church has expertise primarily in the field of Philosophy and Theology, her Social Doctrine can be rightfully considered as the composite of the said two properly ecclesiastical sciences plus the acceptable – true, good and relevant – secular knowledge forwarded by different branches of human sciences. It can be wherefore said and affirmed that the Social Doctrine of the Church is the fruit of honest and sincere dialogue among the said sciences in order to know and promote the interest and welfare of man – the love of God, the concern of the Church, the caretaker of nature.
To better find out, attend to and proclaim the over-all truth about man – considering the various and shifting socio-economic as well as socio-political factors plus the continuously emerging ones pursuant to the passage of time and consequent social changes. By means of sound reason, logic and ethics, the Church carefully and diligently looks and adopts, confirms and proclaims the social truths beneficial to man living all over the globe – such as in conjunction with the following realities that have their big and continuous impact on him: Human Existence. Human Life. Human Personhood. Human Nature. Human Dignity, Rights and Obligations. Human Welfare. Human Future. Human Destiny.
The Church is well-aware of the truth that a genuine and profound understanding of man does not come merely from theology without the contribution of many secular branches of knowledge to which theology itself makes repeated reference to. So it is that the attentive and analytic, pro-active and continuous openness and dialogue between theology and human sciences bring about the following agenda – ultimately for the integral good of man: One, a dialogue that continuously updates the knowledge and understanding of man particularly in appreciating and responding to his many needs according to the signs of the times. Two, a constant encounter that brings to fore the renewed and effective ways of promoting and sustaining the requirements of man not only as an individual but also as a member of society. Three, a harmonization of the principles of theology and the findings of human sciences that becomes some kind of a spring board for the Church to formulate her orthodox, relevant and responsive Social Doctrine.
It is the Social Doctrine of the Church that demonstrates her concern with and attention to the welfare of man – as he lives here on earth and later on necessarily moves on to the beyond. As he is still on earth and thus surrounded by earthly realities, it is both necessary and practical to look after, sustain and promote the quality of his social life, i.e., man's good and welfare as he lives in society, being a member thereof from birth to death. Very few indeed are the hermits who leave society behind – for whatever reason – in order to live by themselves, care for themselves, have nothing to do with society and consequently have no need for the Social Doctrine of the Church – considering precisely that they are thus asocial.