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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Reminder on Catholic Teaching

Some people, both those who oppose the Catholic Church or are somewhat quarrelous with her teachings, and those who think they can substitute there political agenda for the full scope of her teachings think the church has nothing to say to the problems of the poor or unemployed.

I was reviewing tonight  an Apostolic Letter of Pope Paul VI, Octogesima Adveniens from 1971 which can be found on the Vatican webstie,

"18. With demographic growth, which is particularly pronounced in the young nations, the number of those failing to find work and driven to misery or parasitism will grow in the coming years unless the conscience of man rouses itself and gives rise to a general movement of solidarity through an effective policy of investment and of organization of production and trade, as well as of education. We know the attention given to these problems within international organizations, and it is our lively wish that their members will not delay bringing their actions into line with their declarations."   

He then went on to denounce Malthusian economic reliance on artificial contraception as a subsitute for such action and as an evil afflicting married couples. It is not my purpose within the context of this article to explain or defend the churches teaching on that, but to point to the first matter.  

Catholics, liberal or conservative, in this age of economic uncertainty, have an obligation to apply the churches teaching to the problem of unemployment.  Today workers in both developing and developed nations are suffering from a growing global crisis.  Our first moral obligation in the situation is not to the finacially well off who may be concerned with finacial policies, defcits and taxes, but to the suffering workers and the poor. 

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