Prelates: Encyclical Tackles Today's Issues

Bishops Praise "Caritas in Veritate"

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LONDON, JULY 7, 2009 (Zenit.org).- With today's release of Benedict XVI's latest encyclical, prelates from England, Scotland and the United States are commenting on its relevance and importance for modern society.



Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster commented that "Catholics in England and Wales will warmly welcome this encyclical letter, 'Caritas in Veritate,' as a powerful and thorough application of the vision of Christian faith to the complex problems of human development."

He expressed the hope that it will be "widely read," noting that it "deserves and rewards careful study."

The prelate himself affirmed that he looks forward to delving into it "more thoroughly."

This encyclical, he noted, "stands firmly in the line of Catholic social teaching and most especially in the tradition of Christian humanism, expressed so clearly by Pope Paul VI in 'Populorum Progressio.'"

This was also affirmed by Bishop Peter Moran, president of the Scottish bishops' conference Justice and Peace Commission, who noted that the Pope "addresses the principles and the challenges of genuinely human development in a rapidly changing world."

He pointed out that "it is not enough to set up systems and institutions -- there must be a 'free assumption by everyone, in solidarity, of responsibility' for genuine development."

The prelate emphasized a message of the encyclical that "development without values is sterile," and that "works of justice, peace and development are in fact part and parcel of offering love in truth" of "bringing the Gospel message to the world."

Guidance

Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, noted how Benedict XVI brings these Gospel principles to modern society through his encyclical.

In a press release from the conference, the prelate affirmed that this document "provides helpful guidance for finding answers to the social, economic and moral questions of the contemporary world in a search for truth."

The cardinal noted that the encyclical gives "sound reflections on the vocation of human development as well as on the moral principles on which a global economy must be based."

This document "is a call to see the relationship between human and environmental ecologies, and to link charity and truth in the pursuit of justice, the common good and authentic human development," he stated.

Cardinal George affirmed that the Pope emphasizes "the responsibilities and limitations of government and the private market, challenges traditional ideologies of right and left and calls all men and women to think and act anew."

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On ZENIT's Web page:

"Caritas in Veritate": http://zenit.org/article-26386?l=english