Posts tagged with: pope benedict xvi

CZI LetterOver at Think Christian, I take a look at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and derive a lesson from Jesus’ interaction with the rich young man in Mark 10.

A basic lesson we can take from the decision to organize the initiative as an LLC rather than a traditional non-profit corporation is that pursuing social good is possible in a wide variety of institutional forms. A for-profit incorporation doesn’t preclude a main, or even primary, purpose aimed at social good. Just as non-profit status doesn’t by itself guarantee charitable effectiveness, for-profit incorporation doesn’t by itself indicate egoistic or self-centered goals.

Benedict XVI, in his encyclical letter Caritas in veritate, discussed a hope for “hybrid forms of commercial behaviour to emerge, and hence an attentiveness to ways of civilizing the economy. Charity in truth, in this case, requires that shape and structure be given to those types of economic initiative which, without rejecting profit, aim at a higher goal than the mere logic of the exchange of equivalents, of profit as an end in itself.”

There are, in fact, a wide variety of incorporation options available, including the relatively new L3C, a low-profit form of the LLC. As Zuckerberg puts it, the reason to go with an LLC was that it in their judgment it allows the initiative to “pursue our mission by funding non-profit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates — in each case with the goal of generating a positive impact in areas of great need. Any net profits from investments will also be used to advance this mission.”

Some have intimated that Chan and Zuckerberg are being hypocritical and self-serving, and that all this is about ultimately making Facebook more powerful. But if you read the original letter, you can see quite clearly what their intent is. Forms of the word “investment” occur 7 times in the letter. Words like “give,” “charity,” and “philanthropy” are either absent or understated. It was the reportage surrounding the announcement that interpreted the initiative primarily as traditional charity, philanthropy, or altruism.

The point here is that true service of others doesn’t need to be entirely disinterested, as if investing or even giving requires simple abdication of responsibility. In fact, the traditional understanding of self-interest as selfish interest in the self is flawed. Self-interest is better understood as comprising the interests of the self, which can be quite narrow or quite broad.

All this is not to say that the substance of the initiative itself is praiseworthy or condemnable. We’ll need to see a lot more than the rough sketches and outlines that are apparent thus far to make anything more than provisional judgments about the prudence of various projects. But looking at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative from the perspective of the formal decision to incorporate as an LLC, I think we can find a lesson about creative ways of approaching our attempts to civilize the economy.

The Roman Curia faces more scrutiny after the release of two new books in Italy based on leaked documents from the Vatican that appear to reveal inappropriate use of church funds. France 24 turned to Kishore Jayabalan, director of Istituto Acton in Rome, for his analysis of the situation. Below, we’ve posted a portion of his appearance on France 24; the full panel discussion took up most of a broadcast hour. The full exchange is available on France 24’s website in two parts: Click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.

Blog author: bwalker
Monday, August 10, 2015
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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew receives interfaith environmental honor
Ecumenical Patriarchate

Bartholomew said he was “pleased to learn of the very recent Clean Power Plan of President Obama, which is a significant step in the right direction for the United States of America and which is already approved by the U. N.”

Pope designates Sept. 1 as World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation
Cindy Wooden, National Catholic Reporter

Like their Orthodox brothers and sisters, Catholics formally will mark Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis has decided.The day of prayer, the pope said, will give individuals and communities an opportunity to implore God’s help in protecting creation and an opportunity to ask God’s forgiveness “for sins committed against the world in which we live.”

Should we heed the pope’s climate change message? Yes
Michael E. Kraft, Arizona Daily Sun

Pope Francis argues that markets often fail to bring out the best in us, and he is right about that. Yet moral injunctions alone cannot move societies toward a low-carbon future.

Should we heed the pope’s climate change message? No
Catherine Snow, Arizona Daily Sun

These are challenging times for some faithful Catholics such as me. Because, while I have utmost respect and love for our popular, approachable pontiff, I believe he has been sadly misinformed about climate change, as evidenced in his encyclical on the environment released in June.

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Blog author: bwalker
Thursday, July 30, 2015
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Archbishop, EPA administrator write joint op-ed on climate change
Catholic World News

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago has joined Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy in writing an op-ed article entitled “We have a moral obligation on climate change.” “The fight against climate change isn’t a sprint — it’s a marathon,” they wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times. “But with continued leadership and committed action from the archdiocese, from Chicago, and from congregations and communities across America, we can turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to build a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous future.”

The Pope as Trophy-Chaplain to the Democratic Party
George Weigel, National Review

Moreover, none of these co-signers of the “Dear Colleague” memo inviting signatures on the letter to the pope has lifted a finger to help the Catholic Church in the United States in its battle against the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate in the implementation of Obamacare. Thanks to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, that now puts each of the solons in what one might have imagined, once upon a time, to be the unenviable position of supporting a bullying Obama administration in its efforts to drive the Little Sisters of the Poor out of business. All of the signatories to the “Dear Colleague” have also busily promoted the Democrats’ “War on Women” narrative, which is essentially anti-Catholic. And one may reasonably assume that none of them is going to be of any help in probing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in the body parts of very small people.

Pope Francis Demands “Fully Borne” Cost of Pollution (Carbon Price)To Prevent “Millions Of Premature Deaths”
Dr. Gideon Polya, CounterCurrents

Pope Francis, quoting Pope Benedict XVI, essentially advocates Carbon Pricing in Section 195 of his 2015 encyclical “Laudato si”: “”Yet only when the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations,” can those [economic] actions be considered ethical”

ECM launches Pope’s Encyclical, Tuesday
Prince Henderson, Episcopal Conference of Malawi

The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) will on Tuesday next week launch the Encyclical on climate change as written by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, ECM Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Henry Saindi has confirmed. In a statement released by ECM, the conference comprising the eight dioceses subdivided in the two ecclesiastical provinces of the Archdiocese of Blantyre and the Archdiocese of Lilongwe will launch the Pope’s Encyclical at Capital Hotel starting from 18:00hrs to 21:00hrs.

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Blog author: bwalker
Monday, July 13, 2015
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Excerpts from Pope Francis speech attacking global economic order
Reuters

Pope Francis made a sweeping speech on Thursday during his Latin American tour criticizing the global economic order and asking for forgiveness from indigenous peoples for crimes committed by the Church in the past…. Here are key excerpts from the official English version and translations by Reuters of parts he improvised:

Local interfaith leaders discuss Pope Francis’ encyclical
Arlene Edmonds, The Philadelphia Tribune

The recent session sharing of ideas on how each would individually consume less energy, recycle and nurture the planet. Some mentioned the need to amplify the climate change issue even amid congregations where members were skeptical or too immersed in their day to day problems to consider it. One member suggested that one could ask them to share a simple way they could save energy rather than extend an open invitation to join a time-consuming organization or movement.

Pope Francis apologises for Catholic crimes against indigenous peoples during the colonisation of the Americas
Zachary Davies Boren, The Independent

The affectionate response Francis received was in stark contrast to the furore his predecessor Benedict XVI sparked when he visited the continent in 2007. He said the indigenous people of Latin America had been “silently longing” to become Christians before they were forcefully converted and displaced.

Heading to the beach — with the pope’s encyclical
Effie Caldarola, CatholicPhilly.com

So, as I use clean, hot water in the shower, my thoughts go to all of the people worldwide who suffer poor water quality and shortages. And those most impacted, the pope points out, are the poor. But even those of us who live in areas where spring rains have been plentiful worry about depletion of our precious aquifers. Poor public policy and overuse strain our water supply everywhere. Water, of course, is just one of many areas the pope touches on.

Bishop reflects on the pope’s encyclical
Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Catholic Diocese of Salina

The encyclical is thus a teaching document, not a set of secular policy proposals. Certainly the dialogue with science is essential. Indeed, the scientific consensus on the link between human activity and a negative impact on the environment is strong — clearly as strong as the consensus on the link between cigarettes and cancer. I find it sobering to note, too, that the U.S. military and business community agree that climate change is happening and they’re preparing for it. To ignore the science would be reckless.

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Blog author: bwalker
Friday, June 19, 2015
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Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change unveiled at Vatican – video

‘Laudato Si’,’ an Overview
Zenit News Agency

At the heart of the Pope’s reflections is the question: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” The answers he suggests call for profound changes to political, economic, cultural and social systems, as well as to our individual lifestyles.

Pope Francis Using Twitter to Bring About Global Dialogue He’s Called for on Climate
Zenit News Agency

Being able to promote the encyclical through Twitter is undoubtedly one of the occasions in which it is “right to rejoice in these [technological] advances and to be excited by the immense possibilities which they continue to open up before us, for ‘science and technology are wonderful products of a God-given human creativity'”

President of US Bishops’ Statement on ‘Laudato Si’
Zenit News Agency

Genuine efforts to true dialogue will require sacrifice and the confronting of good faith disagreements, but let us be encouraged that at “the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us…he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward” (245). May we help answer Pope Francis’ call in this encyclical, receiving his message and growing in responsibility towards the common home that God has entrusted to us all.

Carbon week: The church of climatism
Nigel Lawson, Financial Post

How is it that much of the Western world, and Europe in particular, has succumbed to the self-harming collective madness that is the climate change orthodoxy? It is difficult to escape the conclusion that climate change orthodoxy has in effect become a substitute religion, attended by all the intolerant zealotry that has so often marred religion in the past, and in some places still does so today.

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Blog author: bwalker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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Leak of Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change Hints at Tensions in Vatican
Jim Yardley and Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times

Who leaked it and why? Was this the work of frustrated conservatives in the Vatican, as some experts have speculated? Does it portend big fights at a pivotal October meeting in which church officials are expected to grapple with homosexuality and divorce? Or is it just a tempest in a teapot?

Jeb Bush calls out Pope Francis on climate change
Anthony Terrell, MSNBC

“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” Bush said. “And I’d like to see what he says as it relates to climate change and how that connects to these broader, deeper issue before I pass judgment. But I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm.”

Bush is latest Republican to criticize Pope Francis’ climate encyclical
Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Republican presidential candidate is the latest to criticize Pope Francis. Another Catholic GOP hopeful, ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, has said the church should stay focused on “what we’re really good at, theology and morality.”

Pope Francis’ climate change document aimed at hearts, says Genesis’ Sister Elizabeth Oleksak
Anne-Gerard Flynn, MassLive.com

Sister of Providence Elizabeth Oleksak, former director of Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center, believes Pope Francis’ much
anticipated teaching document on climate change will be more pastoral than political.

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