Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Joy of the Gospel - 182

The Church’s teaching on social questions
182. The Church’s teachings concerning contingent situations are subject to new and further developments and can be open to discussion, yet we cannot help but be concrete – without presuming to enter into details – lest the great social principles remain mere generalities which challenge no one. There is a need to draw practical conclusions, so that they “will have greater impact on the complexities of current situations”.[148] The Church’s pastors, taking into account the contributions of the different sciences, have the right to offer opinions on all that affects people’s lives, since the task of evangelization implies and demands the integral promotion of each human being. It is no longer possible to claim that religion should be restricted to the private sphere and that it exists only to prepare souls for heaven. We know that God wants his children to be happy in this world too, even though they are called to fulfilment in eternity, for he has created all things “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17), the enjoyment of everyone. It follows that Christian conversion demands reviewing especially those areas and aspects of life “related to the social order and the pursuit of the common good”.[149]

[148] Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 9.

[149] John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America (22 January 1999), 27: AAS 91 (1999), 762.