Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pope Francis’ ‘Joy of the Gospel’ (Proclaimed November 24, 2013)

  The ‘Joy of the Gospel’, Evangelii Gaudium, brings to the whole world the good news - the Gospel.  Pope Francis proclaims the basic message that God loves all of creation, even sinners, and that the Kingdom of God is here on earth in so far as we love God and neighbor.  He cites the message of previous popes of ‘preferential option for the poor.’   In Pope Francis’ personal invitation to the faithful to work for social justice, love of neighbor, he does not use the ‘imperial we’ as did previous popes in similar messages. Paul VI wrote on the same subject in 1975, ‘On Evangelization in the Modern World’ (Evangelii Nuntiandi), and used the ‘imperial we.’  Pope Francis is by definition a monarch, but he has chosen to be a benevolent dictator and hears the cry of the people.

      Evangelii Gaudium boldly explains that Faith is confidence and trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob creator of all - a God that works with people to overcome the evil of an individualistic ‘survival of the fittest’ economic doctrine.  With Jesuit clarity, Pope Francis contrasts the Faith of Jews, Christians and Muslims in the one true God with faith in the ‘invisible hand’ that is supposed to regulate the market place.  Francis states:

   …some people continue to defend the trickle-down theories which   assume that economic growth encouraged by a free market, will   inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the economic system. #54

   As pastor of a church without frontiers, Francis pleads for migrants:

I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of identity, will prove capable of forming a new form of cultural synthesis. #210

In solidarity with the faithful and the poor Francis laments:

I have always been distressed at the lot of those who are victims of various kinds of human trafficking. How I wish all of us would hear God’s cry “Where is your brother?” (Gn. 4:9) Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labor?   #210  
With regard to his own flock, Francis directs with authority:     
We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim Immigrants to our to our countries … #253
   In the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Francis, the first American pope, prays with Faith to Mary, the patroness of the Americas, hoping that his invitation to a new evangelization will be accepted by the faithful.  Francis reminds all of us the story that the campesino and evangelizer, Juan Diego, was comforted and strengthened by Our Lady of Guadalupe.  #286

Thursday, March 13, 2014



shema yisra’el Adonai ’elohenu Adonai ’ehad.  Duet. 6:4                                                           Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one.

   An opinion: elohenu is the God of nature, the philosophers – e.g.  Aristotle’s uncaused cause, Stephen Hawking’s big bang and final crunch.  elohenu  retaliates with anger and requires sacrifice.

   Adonai reveals a presence; Adonai is the Father – Mother of all; Abba of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets.  Adonai supports the struggle for justice; he advocates and acts for the poor. Adonai is truly only one.

     The model, the documents and comments listed are based on notes taken at a seminar in the summer of 2003 given by Dr. Christine Firer Hinze of Fordham University, formerly of Marquette University and recognized expert on the work of labor priest, John Ryan.  (1865-1945)   The seminar was one of many graciously given by Dr. Hinze for interns and other labor associates of the Faith Community for Worker Justice in Milwaukee.  Dr. Hinze also participated in the annual ‘Labor in the Pulpits Program.’  The New Sanctuary Movement of Voces de la Frontera now sponsors the same program, ‘Predicators de Justicia’ for the May 1st Labor Day since the Faith Community for Worker Justice of the Milwaukee Labor Council folded.

   Some additions and deletions were made to Dr. Hinze’s notes.  As the discussion continues, more changes will be made.  Notable points are listed, but it is recognized that such abbreviations do not really represent the richness and complexity of the Encyclicals. October, 2011, revised  March, 2014.


Rerum Novarum, 1891, Pope Leo XIII:  Workers’ right to organize. #36

Program for Social Reconstruction, 1919, U.S. Bishops:  Value international & interdenominational cooperation- also, equal pay for equal work for women, right to a living wage including health care.

Quadragesimo Anno, 1931, Pope Pius XI: Principle of subsidiarity. #80


Social Documents, 194I –1952, of Pope Pius XII. 

 Whitsuntide Message, 1941: Pvt. property has social responsibilities.

 Xmas Message,  Democracy & Peace, 1943:  “Corporate” democracy OK.  Distrust of “masses.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
To the Representatives of the International Union of Catholic Employers  Associations, 1949: Reaffirm Q.A. Nationalization of assets, with limits, to protect common good.                                                                                              
To the International Congress of Social Studies, 1950: Balance of production withconsumption a key issue - free mkt. not the answer.  Workers ancient feudal bonds similar to modern wage slavery.

To the Italian Catholic Association of - Owner Managers, 1952: Principle of Solidarity.                                        
Letter to 39th “Social Week” Dijon, France, 1952:  Free market does not produce distributive justice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Radio Address to Austrian Catholics, 1952: Overcome class struggle by organic coordination of employer & employee.

Exul Familia, 1952: Right to migrate.

Xmas Message, 1952: Unrestricted production is not the answer to unemployment.  Advocates international solidarity.

Letter of Mons. Montini (future Pope Paul V I) to Catholic Social Week in Turin, Italy, 1952: Addresses worker alienation.  Advocates worker, employer solidarity.                                                                                     
Mater et Magistra, 1961, Pope John XXIII: Social duty of private property, Cf. Pius XII. Part 1, 41-43.  Values collective bargaining.  Part 2, 91.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Pacem in Terris, 1963, Pope John XXIII: Dignity of the person is the basis of human rights & duties.  The first Encyclical directed to all men in hope of peace through justice,  part 1, B.  Right to migrate confirmed, part 1, 25.  Right to medical care, Part 1, 11.    

1962 – 1965         Council Fathers with Pope Paul VI

Unitatis Redintegratio. (On Ecumenism),1964: Advocates cooperation with                                   “separated brethren”  on social issues. C. II,12

Lumen Gentium, (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church),1964: The Spirit dwells                           in the people. C. I, 4.   
Gaudium et Spes, (Pastoral Constitution on the Church),1965:  Labor right. to organize               organize & freely elect leaders.  Right  to strike. (vs. fascist Spain & Franco) #68                                                                                                       
Dignitatis Humanae, (Freedom of Conscience) 1965: In all activity man is bound to follow his own conscience. #3  
Nostra Aetate, (Relation to Non Christians),1965:  Although hostilities in past - make    common cause for social justice. #2

Dei Verbum, (Dogmatic Constitution on Devine Revelation), 1965:  God can be known by all through reason.  #1.


Populorum Progressio, (On the Development of Peoples),1967, Paul VI: Neo-colonialism  a concern.   Free trade is fair only if it is subject to the demands of  social justice. Part II, 52–58.                                               
Medellin, Colombia Documents, 1968, Latin American Bishops: Foundation of Liberation Theology – Political and economic structural change advocated.                                                                                              
Octogesimo Adveniens, (Eightieth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, 1971, Paul VI:                 Women have equal rights to participate in cultural, economic and political life.  #13
Puebla, Mexico Documents, 1979, Latin American Bishops: Visiting Pope J.P. II endorses Liberation Theology.

 Laborem  Exercens, (On Work),1981, John Paul II: Proper subject of “work” – man #5 & #6. Solidarity of workers  #8. Labor is prior to capital #12.  Labor Unions indispensable  #20 
Economic Justice for All, 1986, U.S.  R.C. Bishops: Use of sociological data.                                                                              
Solicitudo Rei Socialis,  (On Social Concern). 1987, John Paul II: In Solidarity, overcome structures of sin for true liberation. VII, 46

Centesimus Annus, (One hundredth Anniversary of  Rerum Novarum),1991, John Paul II:  The church values the democratic system in so far as it insures the participation of citizens in making political choices.  Chapter 5, #46.  Roman Catholic Social Teaching pertains to the church’s evangelizing mission and is an essential part of the Christian message…’ C.I, 5.

Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, 2003, U.S. and Mexican Bishops.  Persons have the right to migrate to find work and support themselves and their families.

Caritas in Veritate, (Selfless Love in Truth), 2009, Benedict XVI: Trade union organizations  experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic  utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating power  of labour unions.  Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. Section 25.                                                                                                                              
Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary System in Context of Global Public Authority. 2011, Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, Rome.  
Creation of world public authority to regulate financial markets that  “cause inequities and distortion of capitalist development.”

Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis, November 24, 2013.  “In this context, some people continue to defend the trickle – down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by the free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.  This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the economic system.” C.II, 54