68 Protestant Leaders Applaud Encyclical

Call on All Christians to Respond to "Caritas in Veritate"

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WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's latest encyclical was lauded by 68 Evangelical Protestant community leaders from the United States, Canada, England, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.



In a message released last month, titled "Doing the Truth in Love," a group of university leaders and professors, press editors and presidents of various institutions signed a message to "applaud" the Pope's encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate."

The message called on Christians everywhere to "read, wrestle with, and respond to 'Caritas in Veritate' and its identification of the twin call of love and truth upon our lives as citizens, entrepreneurs, workers and, most fundamentally, as followers of Christ."

It commended the way in which the encyclical "considers economic development in terms of the true trajectory for human flourishing."

The evangelicals echoed the call for "a new vision of development that recognizes the dignity of human life in its fullness, and that includes a concern for life from conception to natural death, for religious liberty, for the alleviation of poverty, and for the care of creation."

They underlined the document's analysis of global affairs that "rejects the oversimplifying polarization of free market and active government solutions."

"Economic institutions," they added, "including markets themselves, must be marked by internal relations of solidarity and trust."

The message affirmed the encyclical's emphasis on "business efforts guided by a mutualist principle that transcends the dichotomy of for-profit and not-for-profit and that instead pursues social ends while covering costs and providing for investment."

Economy of charity

It called on other evangelicals to "rethink who must be included among corporate stakeholders and what the moral significance of investment is."

The evangelicals endorsed "the affirmation that an economy of charity demands space for myriad human communities and institutions, not just for the state and the market, but also families and the many relationships of civil society."

"Ethical globalization," they wrote, "demands of evangelical churches everywhere that we attend to the call to do the truth in love, as we continue to respond to the great commission to 'disciple the nations.'"

They affirmed a shared fear about the "growth of an overweening welfare state, which degrades social and civic pluralism," and agreed that "subsidiarity and solidarity must be held in tandem."

The message voiced a commitment to be, as "Caritas in Veritate" stated, protagonists in the effort for "global solidarity, economic justice, and the common good, as norms that transcend and transform the motives of economic profit and technical progress."

It concluded with a call for "serious dialogue among all Christians and with many others to make these goals practical realities."