Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This Is Not a Statement of Political Conservatism. It Is a Theological-Philosophical Statement

The New York Times’ lead article on A1 of Wednesday, March 25, 2009 read: “The federal government has long had the power to take over and close banks and other deposit-taking institution whose deposits are insured by the government and subject to detailed regulation.

“But the Obama administration and the Fred would extend that authority to insurance companies like A.I.G., investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms and any other kind of financial institution considered ‘systemically’ important. That would let the government for the first time take control of private equity firms like Carlyle or industrial finance giants like GE Capital should they falter.”

In the light of the above, it is important to remember the two fundamental principles of the social doctrine of the Church that derive from Christian anthropology as stated in Gaudium et spes #24:
“Man, the only earthly being God has willed for itself, finds himself by the sincere gift of himself.”

“Persons are the active and responsible subjects of social life.

“Intimately linked to the foundation, which is man’s dignity, are the principle of solidarity and the principle of subsidiarity.

“By virtue of the first, man with his brothers is obliged to contribute to the common good of society at all its levels. Hence the Church’s doctrine is opposed to all the forms of social or political individualism.

“By virtue of the second, neither the state nor any society must ever substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and of intermediate communities at the level on which they can function, nor must they take away the room necessary for their freedom. Hence the Church’s social doctrine is opposed to all forms of collectivism.”

At risk at the present moment is the transcendent value of the human person due to a materialist calculus of success!

[1] Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation,” #72, March 22, 1986.

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