Monday, May 09, 2011

Urging Encyclical

As the 19th Century closed, its industrial changes affected people in many ways. Workers had few rights; money replaced the customary ways people had been compensated; and the governments and the church seemed far removed from ordinary citizens.

The church position changed dramatically in 1891 with the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, who addressed the "new things" the world was experiencing. Those words in Latin, rerum novarum, began the pope's 120-year-old encyclical, credited with beginning the body of Catholic Social Teaching.

A panel is urging Pope Benedict to author an encyclical in the face of the many new things facing people in the world today, some of which echo concerns in Pope Leo's encyclical.
The efforts in several U.S. states to do away with collective bargaining by state employees and huge demonstrations in Italy and England at the beginning of the year mounted by students who were worried about their ability to find work are examples of insecurity among workers in many parts of the world, the cardinal said.

"Rerum Novarum has won admiration and interest precisely because it lays down basic rules of the social question," Cardinal Turkson said, particularly "how is human dignity ensured in the midst of turmoil?"
Read the entire CNS post here.

No comments: