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Subsidiarity, Solidarity, Charity and Justice

August 11, 2009

Hattip: Commonweal

“The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need” (emphasis in original).

“I cannot ‘give’ what is mine to the other, without first giving him what pertains to him in justice…If we love others with charity, then first of all we are just towards them.”

                                                                                                                                        –Pope Benedict, Charity in Truth

For more, read this insightful editorial on solidarity, subsidiarity, charity and justice:

  1. digbydolben permalink
    August 12, 2009 1:18 am

    I responded to one of the right-wing critics of Caritas in Veritate:


    However, I do think we ought to take seriously Mr. Woods’ objection that Benedict XVI failed to take the opportunity to criticize the financial institutions for lacking subsidiarity, and, instead, limited himself to uttering platitudes about the rights of the poor in a globalist economy.

    Also, however, I think Vox Nova readers should take seriously my observation that most American Catholics—of the “right” or the “left”—are, for cultural reasons having to do with overmuch emphasis on individuality, incapable of being anything other than “cafeteria Catholics.”

    Most of you folks here treat every utterance of the Magisterium as if it were an “infallible pronouncement” (which most are not, and REQUIRE the prayerful interpretation of your own individual consciences), or dismiss the statement as being “not within papal purview,” as Mr. Woods does (as if ANY human behaviours, such as economic ones, are free of moral implications!).

  2. digbydolben permalink
    August 12, 2009 7:49 am

    In the above comment, I meant, of course, any papal pronouncement having to do with sexual morality or procreation; there are plenty of people here who are, for instance, unphased by the objections of two recent pontiffs to America’s “wars of choice.”

  3. Clarity permalink
    August 13, 2009 2:07 pm


    I would be more open to your ideas if I didn’t have the creeping impression that you find more fault in the pontiffs’ critique of sexual immorality than in American indifference to papal critiques of recent warfare.

  4. digbydolben permalink
    August 13, 2009 4:50 pm

    What I find most “at fault” in regards to your issue is the persistent American Fundamentalist (Protestant AND Catholic) cruelly moralizing mis-interpretation of the present pontiff’s critique of “sexual immorality.”

    And what I find even more disturbing–beyond what you’re talking about–is the American and Vatican hierarchies’ CONTINUING lack of accountability for their past harbouring and promotion of criminal pedophiles. It’s amazing to me that people who have enabled victimizers of CHILDREN can continue to insist on a ban of adoptions of the least adoptable by people of whatever “sexual orientation” who are willing to extend love and care to children who’d otherwise find no shelter, no support and no comfort.

    I have known such children and such “families”–which the pontiff would call no “families” at all–and I can tell you that there is absolutely no question of “sexual immorality” relating to the quandaries they find themselves in. You should ask one or two of these same-sex couples’ devoted children, as I have, what they think of the denial, by some of your American states, of their “parents'” right to jointly shelter from taxes income saved for their college educations.

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