Rev. Robert A. Sirico had two recent appearances on Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show to discuss the new social encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI. His first appearance was prior to the release of the encyclical and he explained how Christians who support the free economy believe that it should not be based on greed. To have a just society, we must have just people. When money becomes the end of a person, and a person’s whole life is directed to that end, Rev. Sirico points out that then a person is destroyed. Finally, he closes with an important message: If we do no understand love then we do not understand ourselves because we are the result of God’s love.
In his second appearance, Rev. Sirico explains why Pope Benedict XVI does not have any intention to declare himself in the middle of a political debate with the release of Caritas in Veritate. The pope does not recommend a political model. Instead, Caritas in Veritate is meant to lay down the principles on how to govern a society. The encyclical accepts the reality and benefits of a market economy but states a market economy does not contain the moral guide that a society needs. Rev. Sirico also asserts that the ambiguities that are in Caritas in Veritate are intentional. Certain principles need an application which requires the virtue of prudence. The pope allows ambiguity because this will foster a debate and from the debate the Church can gain a greater insight from what it is trying to get to and then re-articulate its message. Rev. Sirico reminds us that it is important to understand that the Church’s social teaching is not a dogmatic pronouncement that is not debatable. Instead, it is a dynamic process.