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September 04, 2005

Byron, William J. ''Ten building blocks of Catholic Social Teaching''

"How to bring the social portion of the doctrine of the faith to the attention of believers is the challenge the bishops have now put once again before Catholic pastors and educators at every level."

(This explains why we students at Seton Hill are being barraged with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching...)

"Principles, once internalized...prompt activity, impel motion, direct choices."

This document, like Jacko's introduction to CST, influences Catholics' political opinions. The bishops, "by including CST among the essentials of the faith…are affirming the existence of credenda (things to be believed)." The principles they espouse inevitably lead to certain political standpoints. For example, they dictate adherence to Pro-life ideals (Principle of Respect for Human Life) and other conservative views, such as limited government (Principle of Subsidiarity).
This idea about the Principle of Subsidiarity has been argued in past discussions of CST, but it is undeniable that this principle "puts a proper limit on government." This is not to say that it is forcing Republicanism, but it clearly states its belief that, "overactive governments frequently violate [its] principle." It is also ironic that Catholic bishops idealize this principle, when the Catholic hierarchical system has played a very active role in government, both inside the church and out.
Dr. Jerz said to this, "When you consider that CST is written for the whole world, it's easier to see that the Republican/Democrat debates are friendly disagreements, as compared to, say, governments that mount genocidal attacks against ethnic subgroups, governments that support or harbor terrorism, and governments that dictate what religions are legal, whether citizens can leave the country, what jobs women can or cannot hold, or what newspapers are permitted to print."
Once you step back and look at it as a means to achieve global good, it serves it's purpose well. In countries experiencing mass moral degradation, this kind of structure could provide some standard for living. Regardless, CST within the United States affects the balance of liberalism and conservatism.



Posted by DavidDenninger at September 4, 2005 02:39 PM

Comments

"and other conservative views, such as limited government"

I thought limited government was a liberal opinion.


"It is also ironic that Catholic bishops idealize this principle, when the Catholic hierarchical system has played a very active role in government, both inside the church and out."

That's true! I never thought of that. They have had a lot of influence throughout history.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 5, 2005 07:04 PM

The idea of limited government is definitely a conservative viewpoint. They think that there should be some form of government, but that it should not interfere unless absolutely necessary.

Posted by: David Denninger at September 6, 2005 03:10 PM

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