Conference to Focus on Church's Social Teaching

Bishop Notes Hope for Mobilization Around World Problems

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ROME, MAY 13, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace will reflect on the Church's social doctrine, especially in the context of modern-day globalization and injustices.

In regard to the results expected from the congress, Bishop Mario Toso, the dicastery's secretary explained, "We hope there will be a new awareness of the importance of the mobilization of all ecclesial communities and the various lay associations and movements in respect to the great problems of the world."

The three-day international congress on the theme "Justice and Globalization: From ‘Mater et Magistra’ to ‘Caritas in Veritate’" will be held in Rome beginning Monday.

The congress, which marks the 50th anniversary of the encyclical "Mater et Magistra," aims to offer solutions to social problems in light of the universal destination of goods and of justice, deepening the task of studying and spreading Church teaching on this topic.

Among the speakers are Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo; and Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and president of Caritas.

In a press conference Thursday, in which Bishop Toso presented the congress along with other topics, he pointed out that the imbalances indicated by "Mater et Magistra" have not been surmounted, and some have been aggravated.

"In addition to the, so to speak, traditional imbalances there are others that are taken up in 'Caritas in Veritate,'" he said, such as those posed by globalization, the ecological question and the defense of life.

Moreover, the prelate said that "Mater et Magistra" did not so much propose a series of recipes as it did a series of interpretative criteria very similar to that elaborated in "Caritas in Veritate," to "analyze and initiate solutions to the new imbalances."

New evangelization

He underlined the importance of becoming aware of the problems in the world so as to "foster a mobilization of the Church and its institutions and serve for a new evangelization of the social" realm.

In other words, the bishop said, it should increase "commitment to formation, to social catechesis, and to support of the social doctrine of the Church in various parts of the world where there is greater need."

He affirmed that both encyclicals "are very clear," so that, "rather than hoping for new ideas, we hope for a development of those seeds already sown by 'Caritas in Veritate,' which already in itself is a seedbed."

Moreover, Bishop Toso noted, "this ensemble of requests must also find, through the scientific approach, a translation into projects."

The congress, he said, is an opportunity to "put into practice the social doctrine of the Church," which "must be experienced by institutions and by the laity."

The first day, the bishop said, will address the subject of the new evangelization of the social realm, of social pastoral ministry and of social doctrine, analyzing the problem of the worldwide common good and of civil, political and ecclesial institutions.

On the second day, the work will be carried out through four groups of reflection divided by geographic locations (American, African, Asian and European areas).

The congress will conclude with a reflection on the fourth part of "Mater et Magistra" on the duty to proclaim, to witness and hence to experience the social doctrine of the Church, especially on the part of the laity and of men of good will.