Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why the Italics?

May be a little tea-leaves reading here, but I’m musing on why Pope Benedict XVI chose to highlight some parts of his encyclical in italics. Caritas in Veritate has 30,468 words. They’re all important, but the pope signals some phrases for special thought. Below are key italicized sections. Any one of them could be a theme for an address; all seem worth pondering.

… two important truths. The first is that the whole Church, in all her being and acting — when she proclaims, when she celebrates, when she performs works of charity — is engaged in promoting integral human development…. The second truth is that authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension. (11)

Testimony to Christ's charity, through works of justice, peace and development, is part and parcel of evangelization, because Jesus Christ, who loves us, is concerned with the whole person. (15)

Integral human development presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual and of peoples: no structure can guarantee this development over and above human responsibility. (18)

The (economic) crisis thus becomes an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future. (21)

The world's wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities are on the increase. (22)

Yet it should be stressed that progress of a merely economic and technological kind is insufficient ... (23)

... the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity. (25)

It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination. (27)

Openness to life is at the centre of true development. (28)

Human costs always include economic costs and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs. (32)

Without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannot completely fulfil its proper economic function. (35)

Today's international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise. (40)

business management cannot concern itself only with the interests of the proprietors, but must also assume responsibility for all the other stakeholders who contribute to the life of the business: the workers, the clients, the suppliers of various elements of production, the community of reference. (40)

In this way it will be possible to experience and to steer the globalization of humanity in relational terms, in terms of communion and the sharing of goods. (42)

The sharing of reciprocal duties is a more powerful incentive to action than the mere assertion of rights. (43)

Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource. (44)

States are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family (44)

… there is a pressing moral need for renewed solidarity, especially in relationships between developing countries and those that are highly industrialized. (49)

The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa. (51)

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. (51)

when “human ecology” is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits. (51)

In order to protect nature, it is not enough to intervene with economic incentives or deterrents; not even an apposite education is sufficient. These are important steps, but the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. (51)

The development of peoples depends, above all, on recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side. (53)

Reason always stands in need of being purified by faith: this also holds true for political reason, which must not consider itself omnipotent… For its part, religion always needs to be purified by reason in order to show its authentically human face. (56)

the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity (57)

The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need. (58)

Cooperation for development must not be concerned exclusively with the economic dimension: it offers a wonderful opportunity for encounter between cultures and peoples. (59)

In the search for solutions to the current economic crisis, development aid for poor countries must be considered a valid means of creating wealth for all. (60)

In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. (67)

A person's development is compromised, if he claims to be solely responsible for producing what he becomes. (68)

Technology, in this sense, is a response to God's command to till and to keep the land (cf. Gen 2:15) that he has entrusted to humanity, and it must serve to reinforce the covenant between human beings and the environment, a covenant that should mirror God's creative love. (69)

But human freedom is authentic only when it responds to the fascination of technology with decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility. (70)

Development is impossible without upright men and women, without financiers and politicians whose consciences are finely attuned to the requirements of the common good. (71)

Entranced by an exclusive reliance on technology, reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusion of its own omnipotence. Faith without reason risks being cut off from everyday life. (74)

The question of development is closely bound up with our understanding of the human soul, insofar as we often reduce the self to the psyche and confuse the soul's health with emotional well-being. (76)

There cannot be holistic development and universal common good unless people's spiritual and moral welfare is taken into account, considered in their totality as body and soul. (76)

God's love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish. (78)

Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filed love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us. (79)


Hidden One said...

I'd guess that the answer is very simple and the one that you seem to be thinking:

Pope Benedict is simply making it really obvious what the most important parts of his encyclical are to make it harder to misinterpret his fundamental goals for the encyclical.

Watchman said...

Perhaps because he was writing in Italy it appears more Ital-ic.