Catholic teaching brings wisdom to a comprehensive social vision

From Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate (2009):

This means that moral evaluation and scientific research must go hand in hand, and that charity must animate them in a harmonious interdisciplinary whole, marked by unity and distinction. The Church’s social doctrine, which has “an important interdisciplinary dimension,”77 can exercise, in this perspective, a function of extraordinary effectiveness. It allows faith, theology, metaphysics and science to come together in a collaborative effort in the service of humanity. It is here above all that the Church’s social doctrine displays its dimension of wisdom. Paul VI had seen clearly that among the causes of underdevelopment there is a lack of wisdom and reflection, a lack of thinking capable of formulating a guiding synthesis,78 for which “a clear vision of all economic, social, cultural and spiritual aspects”79 is required. The excessive segmentation of knowledge,80 the rejection of metaphysics by the human sciences,81 the difficulties encountered by dialogue between science and theology are damaging not only to the development of knowledge, but also to the development of peoples, because these things make it harder to see the integral good of man in its various dimensions. The “broadening [of] our concept of reason and its application”82 is indispensable if we are to succeed in adequately weighing all the elements involved in the question of development and in the solution of socio-economic problems.

77 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 59: Acta Apostolicæ Sedis [AAS] 83 (1991), 864.
78 Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 40, 85: AAS 59 (1967), 277, 298-299.
79 Ibid., 13: loc. cit., 263-264.
80 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio (14 September 1998), 85: AAS 91 (1999), 72-73.
81 Cf. ibid., 83: loc. cit., 70-71.
82 Benedict XVI, Address at the University of Regensburg, 12 September 2006.

Caritas in Veritate 31

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