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TEMA: Are we living by the Principles of the Catholic Church's Social Doctrine?

Are we living by the Principles of the Catholic Church's Social Doctrine? 11 Sep 2018 01:40 #10726

  • José Manuel Palli
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These are difficult, rambunctious times for the Catholic Church in the United States. But they are not the first such times, by any means. When I decided to make Miami my permanent residence about forty years ago, a rejection of Catholicism was still noticeable in the United States, not so much in Miami as in other more conservative parts of the country.

My own personal and inexperienced take –and I am still not an expert on this (nor on anything else)- on this rejection was that a society that treasured individual achievement and self-sufficiency over all else was bound to clash with the Catholic Church’s Social Doctrine that I was familiar with.

And that clash was made even stronger from the Reagan years on, culminating with our tremendous president today, “Don the De-Regulator”, whose zeal when it comes to defending the individual from the State makes Vlad the Impaler, defender of the Faith, seem like a choirboy.

Well, here I am, after close to four decades of living under the influence of individualism, coming back to that very same quandary, at the behest of my good friends the creators and directors of this Participatory Democracy site.

The idea is to engage our English speaking readers in an exploration and discussion of the Catholic Church’s Social Doctrine, by posting the Principles of the Church’s Social Doctrine as they appear in the Compendium authored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the dawn of the twenty first century.

These are permanent principles that constitute the heart of Catholic Social teaching, and as such, they carry a profoundly moral significance, since they refer to the ultimate and organizational foundations of life in society.

We chose to begin with the Principle of the Common Good, though the four principles (the Dignity of the Human Person and the principles of Subsidiarity and Solidarity are the other three) must be appreciated in their unity, interrelatedness and articulation.

And we chose the Principle of Common Good because the existence of something akin to a Common Good is often negated by the devotees of the kind of unbridled individualism preached by the likes of Ayn Rand, many of which –like our muted Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan- are the architects of this present day America that we want to make great again through laying down the principles whereby we are supposed to live.

We do not seek to exclude anybody, but it is pretty obvious that the weight these Principles of the Catholic Church’s Social Doctrine carry for those who are not, at the very least, Christian, is negligible. But what has always mystified me is how so many of my fellow Americans can assert both their Christianity and their enthusiasm for the “philosophy” sponsored by Ms. Rand –an atheist- and Ms. Thatcher (the Iron Lady), who famously claimed “there is no such thing as society” – society is a key factor in and component of the Principle of Common Good, which you can read at:

But I am already past the 500 words I allowed myself for the introduction to this new section on the Participative Democracy site. Now it is up to you to accept our invitation to engage in an open dialogue regarding these Principles and whether they match our present lifestyles. Should we keep "In God We Trust" as our national motto, or should we switch to "Looking Out For Number One"?...
El siguiente usuario dijo gracias: Gerardo E. Martínez-Solanas

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