Pope Benedict XVI: The Answer to Economic Crisis

Strong Families Teach the Values That Society Needs


VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says a key to solving the economic problem is strengthening the family, since it is in the family that a person leans how to interact in the world of work.


The Pope said this Saturday when he received in audience members of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, which promotes the social doctrine of the Church.


Their meeting this year marked the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus, published 100 years after Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, as well as the 30th anniversary of the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio.


Benedict XVI cited his predecessor in noting how a family teaches the values that society needs.


John Paul II wrote. “By respecting and fostering personal dignity in each and every one as the only basis for value, this free giving takes the form of heartfelt acceptance, encounter and dialogue, disinterested availability, generous service and deep solidarity.


“From this perspective,” Benedict XVI said, “the family passes from being a mere object to being an active subject capable of recalling the ‘human face’ that the world of economy must have.”


He said that the family’s model of love, gratitude and gift can be applied to a universal dimension.


“Commutative justice — ‘give to have’ — and distributive justice — ‘give to owe’ – are not sufficient in social living,” the Pontiff explained. “To have true justice it is necessary to arrive at gratuitousness and solidarity. ‘Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone, and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State. While in the past it was possible to argue that justice had to come first and gratuitousness could follow afterwards, as a complement, today it is clear that without gratuitousness, there can be no justice in the first place.”


There is no “market of gratuitousness” the Pontiff said, citing Caritas in Veritate, and “attitudes of gratuitousness cannot be established by law.” But both market and politics need individuals open to “reciprocal gift.”


So although the Church cannot define how to address the economic crisis, the Holy Father noted, it is the Church’s members who “have the duty to denounce evils, to attest to and to keep alive the values on which the dignity of the person is founded, and to promote those ways of solidarity that foster the common good, so that humanity will become the family of God.”


The Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1993. As a lay foundation, it aims to promote the social doctrine of the Church in professional and business sectors

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5 comments to Pope Benedict XVI: The Answer to Economic Crisis

  • Martha Lantz

    P.S. Just noticed that the hyperlink that was supposed to be in the middle of line six of the message above is missing. Trying again now…with plain text for the URL only:

    the Holy See website

  • Martha Lantz

    Happy Pentecost weekend from San Diego!

    Some friends, relatives and I greatly enjoy all the content on your website. Using group emails, we share your messages and our comments.

    I’m quite interested in talks, homilies and statements given by Pope Benedict and many other “courageous priests.” I ask St. Anthony for a little help,look carefully at your messages and search Google, Google News, and but am unable to find links to transcripts or full texts of some of these fascinating items. So far, today’s search for a “The Answer to Economic Crisis” has been unsuccessful, but will check back every few days. If anybody has suggestions about locating items like this, please make a comment.

  • […] Pope Benedict XVI: The Answer to Economic Crisis […]

  • Saunders Crowe

    I believe what Pope Benedict XVI says about the strong family.We would like to here any thoughts from the Pope about the North American Indian atrocitie’s against American Indian families of North America,from the 20th century.

  • karen lyons

    Love in the family, is definitely the building block, towards dignity for each individual, but when money comes into any situation, dignity is not looked at; in a professional manners! as power seems to dictate, right through the society. Karen Lyons

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