Friday, September 02, 2016

SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH



Man, humanity, human promotion.  Dialogue with world knowledge, social justice, reconciliation.  The unity, transcendence, and uniqueness of the human person.  Human freedom, human dignity, human rights.  The rights of persons and nations.  Nature and import of the common good.  The political community, universal destination of goods.  The principle of subsidiarity, participation, and solidarity.  The common good and common growth.

Fundamental values of social life.  Truth, justice, and freedom.  The family as a conjugal covenant, a community of persons and a natural society.  The duties of parents and the rights of children.  The dignity of labor, the right to work,  and to rest from work.  Contracts and obligations.  Just wages and benefits.  The promotion, work, and care for workers.  The prohibition of child labor.  Social security, pension, and insurance.  The rights to form labor unions and to strike.

Globalization.  International financial system.  International community and global economy.  Foundation of political authority.  Right to conscientious objection.  Inflicting punishment.  Democracy.  Political representation and participation.  Right to information.  Priority of civil society.  Principle of subsidiarity.  Collective or common good.  Biotechnology.  Environment.  Failure of peace – War.  Legitimate defense.  Defending peace.  Condemnation of terrorism.  (Cf.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Lib. Ed. Vat., 2004)

Above are some of the expressed secular concerns and ground realities in the down-to-earth world that the Church de officio attends to, speaks about, and promotes according to the demands of justice and truth, the postulates of reason and ethics as well as in the light of faith and morals.  Such social attention and concern are anchored and premised on the fundamental Mandate of Love of Neighbor that the Church has to observe, to teach and affirm, to proclaim, to promote and defend.  This is the horizontal dimension of the Catholic Faith.

Yes.  The Church is likewise formally mandated  and accordingly concerned about the other basic agenda to teach and proclaim – such as the life of the spirit, the reality of angels and demons, the life eternal, the gates of heaven and hell.  The Church cannot but be also very much concerned with the basic Commandment of Love of God in the realm  of the supernatural order.  This is the vertical dimension of the same Catholic Faith.  The Church would betray the pronouncements of her Master if She would but teach and act merely on one of the two dimensions of the said Faith.  The Church may not but be likewise concerned with the hereafter and beyond in accord with the teaching of her True God and True Man Founder.

While the above said spiritual and supernatural apostolic agenda is first and foremost in the mission of the Church, it is however not exclusive precisely because the  Ten Commandments are basically about not only the love of God but also the love of man.  So it is that put the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the Catholic Faith and the Sign of the Cross distinctly come to fore with the vertical symbolizing Love of God and the horizontal representing the Love of Neighbor.  To talk and teach only about the supernatural and the eternal, about heaven and hell, about angels and demons – this can be anything but the Catholic  Faith.