Vatican II references and Preparing for Pope Francis

Liberation Theology:

Pope Francis has roots in Argentina that are strongly connected to Liberation theology.  His outlook and actions are reflective of this theology.  This scares western society.  Why?  Catholic/Christian roots have a rich tradition of social responsibility and economic justice.

The most recent defining doctrine for the Catholic Church is Vatican II.  I anticipate Pope Francis will be touching on many of the reflections that I jotted down below as I read over key documents of Vatican II: 

“Let us work to see that created goods are more fittingly distributed among men.”

“The People of God have not been immune from the faults and failings of human affairs — and are, therefore, subject to self-criticism and self-correction.”

“The faithful are called upon to embrace “a vision of a community of faith, hope, and love that answers to their deep and unsatisfied hungers for a truly human, truly meaningful existence.”

“On the other hand, a written record is a dead letter, needing constant interpretation and commentary in succeeding ages.”

“Though there may still be some who yield to the temptation to claim Omni competence for ecclesiastical commentators on the human scene and its contingent social, economic, and political complexities, they cannot appeal to this constitution for for such a pretension.  On the contrary the text tells us something significant about the churches true understanding of its own nature and function, as well as its modesty and humility with which it regards its relation to the world.”

“Or else, weighed down by wretchedness, they are prevented from giving the matter any thought.”  (Materialism)

“…implementation should be given to the right of all men to a human and civic culture favorable to personal dignity and free from any discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, nationality, religious, or social conditions.”  

 “In some places it even results in a decline of social status of the weak and in contempt for the poor.”  (Intensified wealth gap)

“…..payment for labor must be such as to furnish a man with the means to cultivate his own material, social, cultural and spiritual life worthily, and that of his dependents.” (Governing socio-economic life as a whole)

“…basic rights of the human person are counted the right of freely founding labor unions.”

“Feed the man dying of hunger, because if you have not fed him you have killed him.”

“It is not rare for those hired to work……to receive a wage or income unworthy of human beings.”

“Human beings should also be judiciously informed of scientific advances in the exploration of methods by which spouses can be helped in arranging the number of children.” (Ambiguous with regards to birth control)

“In even more sweeping terms, lack of full fidelity to the gospel on the part of Catholics is as an important cause of man’s unhappy condition today.”

The ditch for Catholics is a deep one when entrenched in our own moral failings – yet we attempt to prescribe morality for others.  It is time for serving and interior reflection – not condemnation based on our own sheltered and limited understanding. 

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