During an in-flight press conference on his way to Mexico last week, Hispanically Speaking News reports that the pope answered a question about the church's varied responses to the great social inequalities in Latin America in this way:
“The Church must of course ask if she does enough for social justice . . . It is a question of conscience which we must always pose ourselves. ... What must the Church do? . . . What must she not do? The Church is not a political power, she is not a party but a moral entity, a moral power. ... The Church’s first concern is to educate minds in both individual and public ethics, thus creating the necessary sense of responsibility. Here perhaps there are some shortcomings.
"In Latin America, as elsewhere, no small number of Catholics show a kind of schizophrenia between individual and public morals. ... We must educate people to overcome this schizophrenia, educate them not only in ... individual morality, but also in public morality. This we must seek to do with the social doctrine of the Church because, of course, such public morality must be a reasonable morality, shared and shareable by nonbelievers. We, of course, in the light of faith can better see many things that are also visible to reason, but it is faith which serves to liberate reason from the false interests that cloud it. Thus we must use social doctrine to create fundamental policy models, and so ... overcome these divisions.”
To learn more about the church's social docrine, read the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church or Kevin Clarke and Joel Schorn's article in VISION: "Catholic Social Teaching: A Guide."
Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.