Monday, September 24, 2007

The Pope's Sunday Angelus-Pope Talks about Wealth, Profit, Economic Systems and Catholicism

Pope Benedict in VELLETRI Italy yesterday. Lot of pics at the link below

I was not online yesterday to post this but here it is courtesy of the great Folk at the Ratizinger Forum. The Pope makes reference to his homily that I have quickly skimed through and looks great. The homily and a LOT OF GREAT PICS is talked about here and is labeled BENEDICT IN VELLETRI on that thread.

Here is a translation of the Holy Father's words at the noonday Angelus today in Castel Gandolfo.

Dear brothers and sisters!
This morning, I visited the Diocese of Velletri of which I was titular Cardinal for many years. It was a familial encounter which allowed me to relive past moments that were rich in spiritual and pastoral experiences.

During the solemn Eucharistic celebration, commenting on the liturgical texts, I had occasion to reflect on the correct use of earthly resources, a topic which during these past Sundays, the evangelist Luke has called to our attention in various ways. Recounting the parable of a dishonest but rather cunning administrator, Christ taught his disciples what was the best way to use money and material riches, namely, to share these with the poor, thereby earning their friendship in the light of the Kingdom of God.

"Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth," Jesus said, "t fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings (Lk 16,9). Money is not 'dishonest' in itself, but more than anything else, it can enclose man in blind selfishness. Therefore, what is indicated is a sort of 'conversion' of economic goods: instead of using them only for one's own interests, one must also think of the needs of the poor, imitating Christ himself, who, as St. Paul writes, "being rich he became poor that through his poverty we might be rich" (2 Cor 8,9).

It seems like a paradox. Christ did not enrich us through his wealth but through his poverty, that is, with his love which drove him to give us himself. We could open a vast and complex field of reflection on the themes of wealth and poverty, even on a global scale, where two types of economic logic confront each other: the logic of profit and that of the equitable distribution of wealth.

They are not contradictory if their relationship is properly ordered. Catholic social doctrine has always maintained that equitable distribution of wealth should take priority. Of course, profit is legitimate and, in the right measure, is necessary for economic development. John Paul II wrote in the Encyclical Centesimus Annus: "Modern entrepreneurial economy has positive aspects, rooted in the freedom of the individual, which is expressed in the economic sphere as in other fields" (n. 32).

However, he adds, capitalism should not be considered as the only valid model for economic organization (cfr ivi, 35). The crises of hunger and the ecology are growing proof that the logic of profit, if it predominates, increases the disproportionate gap between rich and poor , as well as the ruinous exploitation of the planet. If instead the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails, then it will be possible to correct the course and orient it towards equitable and sustainable development.

May the most Holy Mary, who proclaims in the Magnificat that the Lord "has filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he has sent away empty" (Lk 1,53), aid Christians to use the resources of the earth with evangelical wisdom - that is, with generous solidarity - and inspire those who govern and the economists to far-sighted strategies that favor authentic progress for all peoples.

After the Angelus prayers, he said:
These days in Rome, the first World Meeting of gyspy priests, deacons, and religious, took place, organized by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. I address my most heartfelt greeting to the participants who are gathered in St. Peter's Square. Dear brothers and sisters: May the theme of your convention, "With Christ in the service of the gypsy people", become ever more real in the life of each of you. I pray for this and entrust you to the protection of the Virgin Mary. I also want to remind you that today in Italy, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul starts a campaign against illiteracy, a serious social ill that still affects too many people in various regions of the world. I wish them the best success for their initiative and I take the occasion to address a cordial greeting to the children and youths who have just started the new school year, as well as to their teachers.

In English, he said:
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus. Today’s Gospel reading calls us to be good stewards; people of integrity seeking God’s justice which is fulfilled in love. May your time here at Castel Gandolfo and in Rome deepen your understanding of our faith, and renew in you the desire to lead lives marked by honesty, trust and compassion. Upon you and your families, I invoke God’s abundant blessings of peace and joy!

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