The Church has never given up saying the word that corresponds to her about the questions of social life. It is a voice addressed to the Christian communities and especially to lay and lay, people, called as the Second Vatican Council reminds us to deal with temporal realities according to God (Lumen Gentium, 31).
Knowing profoundly and knowing how to act and engage in public life is an essential and complicated task. The social doctrine of the Church allows us to judge the changes of our society in the light of faith and Christian sensitivity in such complex matters as political militancy, service to the common good, participation in society and culture, commitment in the world of work and business, action against poverty and marginalization…
This is how the Christian people find help to discern authentically Christian values in the midst of an open and plural society. Knowing how to guide oneself in the middle of that “sea” of options and commitments is a contribution that we can and should receive from the Social Doctrine of the Church. This was how John Paul II recalled it when defining the mission of the Church and the communities in their evangelizing task: “The fundamental role of the Church in all times and particularly in ours – as I recalled in my first programmatic encyclical – it is “to direct the gaze of man, to orient the conscience and experience of all mankind towards the mystery of Christ.
The most fundamental problem that the Social Doctrine of the Church seeks today is of an anthropological nature, to redo the metaphysics of the “humanism” , which means taking that discovery to human relationships, to “the relationship with the other,” in the midst of an individualist culture, unusually neoliberal and uncommitted. To “take care of the other” from this horizon is a task of profound Christian depth, not only social.
Another essential area to assume the social doctrine of the Church is to live education in truth and charity. As Benedict XVI says, we have to face the following question in social questions: what does it mean to “be more”? For this the social doctrine tells us that the truth of development consists in its totality: if it is not of all man and all men, it is not the real development, fundamental challenge before an increasingly globalized society that makes us closer, but no more brothers (let’s look at the reality of the Horn of Africa, of Haiti ..).
The social doctrine of the Church is relevant to implement the logic of the gift in economic and social relations to the logic of the market, the logic of the State, the logic of propaganda and manipulation, we must add, proposes Benedict XVI – another decisive way of reasoning and behaving: the logic of the gift. And to the extent that we do not do so, our world is not going to recover completely as long as we do not change our way of thinking and our way of life, that is, as long as we do not go from the egocentric scheme to a decidedly ethical approach, of generosity.