Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Benedict, CST, Labor and the Market

The Pope recently made the statements about labor excerpted below in this clip from ZENIT. MOJ readers may find them relevant to our ongoing discussion of CST and the market and the tensions between CST and economic liberalism. Law profs and lawyers will also recognizae their obvious implications for lawyers struggling between the demands of practice and the Catholic sense of time, the purpose of labor and human flourishing, as Amy Uelmen, Cathy Kaveny and others have explored so eloquently.


Pope Calls for Revaluing Human Side of Work
Sends Message to Young Professionals in Forum

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 30, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In a message sent to young professionals gathered to analyze the world of labor, Benedict XVI appeals for a revived appreciation of the human dimension of work.

The Pope's appeal was sent to participants in the 9th International Youth Forum, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, on the theme "Witnesses of Christ in the Labor World" being held in Rome through Sunday.

Three hundred 20- to 35-year-olds from about 100 nations are participating in this encounter.

The Holy Father points out in his message: "The process of globalization going on in the world has brought on a need for mobility, which obliges many young people to emigrate and live far away from their birthplace and from their families.

"This generates a disquieting sense of insecurity, with indubitable repercussions on the ability not only to imagine and adopt a plan for the future, but also to concretely commit oneself to marriage and to the formation of a family."


"In a context of economic liberalism conditioned by market pressure, by competence and competitiveness," the Pontiff underlined "the need to value the human dimension of labor and to guarantee the dignity of the human person."

"The final reference point of any human activity can be only the individual, created in the image and likeness of God," he added. "Work is part of God's project for the human being" and implies "a participation in his creative and redemptive work."

Benedict XVI continued: "Therefore, every human activity should be a motive and a place of growth for the individual and for society, a development of personal 'talents' that must be valued, a service oriented toward the common good, with a spirit of justice and solidarity.

"For the faithful, moreover, the ultimate finality of labor is the building up of the Kingdom of God."

To face these "complex issues," the Pope proposed Catholic social doctrine as a reference point for the young professionals.

"Today, more than ever, it is urgent and necessary to proclaim the 'Gospel of work,' to live as Christians in the world of labor and to become apostles among workers," the Holy Father asserted. "But to complete this mission one must stay united to Christ with prayer and an intense sacramental life, and with this objective, to value Sunday, the day dedicated to the Lord."

-- Mark


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