Ps 33[32]: 10). Its aim is also to indicate some ways of putting it into effect. Thus man comes to have a certain affinity with other creatures: he is called to use them, and to be involved with them. The teaching and spreading of her social doctrine are part of the Church's evangelizing mission. With regard to the content and themes once again set forth by the Encyclical, the following should be emphasized: the awareness of the duty of the Church, as "an expert in humanity," "to scrutinize the signs of the times and to interpret them in the light of the Gospel"10; the awareness, equally profound, of her mission of "service," a mission distinct from the function of the State, even when she is concerned with people's concrete situation"11; the reference to the notorious inequalities in the situations of those same people12; the confirmation of the Council's teaching, a faithful echo of the centuries - old tradition of the Church regarding the "universal purpose of goods"13; the appreciation of the culture and the technological civilization which contribute to human liberation,14 without failing to recognize their limits's15; finally, on the specific theme of development, which is precisely the theme of the Encyclical, the insistence on the "most serious duty" incumbent on the more developed nations "to help the developing countries. In the light of these considerations, we easily arrive at a clearer picture of the last twenty years and a better understanding of the conflicts in the northern hemisphere, namely between East and West, as an important cause of the retardation or stagnation of the South. The pace of progress in the developed and developing countries in recent years has differed, and this serves to widen the distances. ters" ( Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, henceforth to be referred to as Sollici-tudo). These are illiteracy, the difficulty or impossibility of obtaining higher education, the inability to share in the building of one's own nation, the various forms of exploitation and of economic, social, political and even religious oppression of the individual and his or her rights, discrimination of every type, especially the exceptionally odious form based on difference of race. In fact, the following chapter of Genesis shows us that the descendants of Cain build "a city," engage in sheep farming, practice the arts (music) and technical skills (metallurgy); while at the same time people began to "call upon the name of the Lord" (cf. It is therefore necessary to single out the moral causes which, with respect to the behavior of individuals considered as responsible persons, interfere in such a way as to slow down the course of development and hinder its full achievement. Before these tragedies of total indigence and need, in which so many of our brothers and sisters are living, it is the Lord Jesus himself who comes to question us (cf. As has already been said, political motives also enter in. Thus one would hope that all those who, to some degree or other, are responsible for ensuring a "more human life" for their fellow human beings, whether or not they are inspired by a religious faith, will become fully aware of the urgent need to change the spiritual attitudes which define each individual's relationship with self, with neighbor, with even the remotest human communities, and with nature itself; and all of this in view of higher values such as the common good or, to quote the felicitous expression of the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the full development "of the whole individual and of all people."66. Consequently, following the example of Pope Paul VI with his Encyclical Populorum Progressio,87 I wish to appeal with simplicity and humility to everyone, to all men and women without exception. 41), John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice, John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, John Paul II Foundation for Research and Treatment, Museum of John Paul II and Primate Wyszyński, Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II, Christian Democrat Organization of America, Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe,, Documents of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, On the twentieth anniversary of the encyclical, Born Karol Józef Wojtyła, 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005, This page was last edited on 16 March 2020, at 00:20. Today, perhaps more than in the past, the intrinsic contradiction of a development limited only to its economic element is seen more clearly. At the time of the twentieth anniversary, the same Commission organized a solemn commemoration in which I myself took part and gave the concluding address.5 And now, also taking into account the replies to the above-mentioned circular letter, I consider it appropriate, at the close of the year 1987, to devote an Encyclical to the theme of Populorum Progressio. It is their task to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice. There is no justification then for despair or pessimism or inertia. (Mt 16:26). Surmounting every type of imperialism and determination to preserve their own hegemony, the stronger and richer nations must have a sense of moral responsibility for the other nations, so that a real international system may be established which will rest on the foundation of the equality of all peoples and on the necessary respect for their legitimate differences. "92 This, in conclusion, is what I ask in the name of all my brothers and sisters, to whom I send a special blessing as a sign of greeting and good wishes. On the international level, that is, the level of relations between States or, in present-day usage, between the different "worlds," there must be complete respect for the identity of each people, with its own historical and cultural characteristics. This mainly negative overview of the actual situation of development in the contemporary world would be incomplete without a mention of the coexistence of positive aspects. The second consideration is based on the realization - which is perhaps more urgent - that natural resources are limited; some are not, as it is said, renewable. In order to characterize better each of these attitudes, one can add the expression: "at any price." Pope John Paul II’s 1987 social encyclical Sollicitudo rei Socialis marks the twentieth anniversary of Populorum Progressio. Unfortunately, from the economic point of view, the developing countries are much more numerous than the developed ones; the multitudes of human beings who lack the goods and services offered by development are much more numerous than those who possess them. Mt 10:40-42; 20:25; Mk 10:42-45; Lk 22:25-27). 9. The goods of this world and the work of our hands-the bread and wine-serve for the coming of the definitive Kingdom, since the Lord, through his Spirit, takes them up into himself in order to offer himself to the Father and to offer us with himself in the renewal of his one Sacrifice, which anticipates God's Kingdom and proclaims its final coming. 7. It is this abnormal situation, the result of a war and of an unacceptably exaggerated concern for security, which deadens the impulse towards united cooperation by all for the common good of the human race, to the detriment especially of peaceful peoples who are impeded from their rightful access to the goods meant for all. Faith, Development and Solidarity Reflections on the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis in Light of the Death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI José Alejandro Amorós, M.Div. There are many millions who are deprived of hope due to the fact that, in many parts of the world, their situation has noticeably worsened. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, we read that Christ is "the first-born of all creation," and that "all things were created through him" and for him (1:15-16). SOLLICITUDO REI SOCIALIS “Social Concern” Pope John Paul II To the Bishops, Priests, Religious Families, sons and daughters of the Church and all people of good will for the twentieth anniversary of Populorum Progressio Blessing Venerable Brothers and dear Sons and Daughters, Health and the Apostolic Blessing! 33. Sollicitudo rei socialis (Latin: The Social Concern) is an encyclical promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 30 December 1987, on the twentieth anniversary of Populorum progressio. Other nations need to reform certain unjust structures, and in particular their political institutions, in order to replace corrupt, dictatorial and authoritarian forms of government by democratic and participatory ones. It is God, in "whose hands are the hearts of the powerful"67 and the hearts of all, who according his own promise and by the power of his Spirit can transform "hearts of stone" into "hearts of flesh" (cf. In other words, we are faced with the absolutizing of human attitudes with all its possible consequences. But the developing nations themselves have the duty to practice solidarity among themselves and with the neediest countries of the world. The Pope did a classical and spirit filling exposure of the social aspect of the Church. "Sollicitudo Rei Socialis is an important but dated document. The denial or the limitation of human rights - as for example the right to religious freedom, the right to share in the building of society, the freedom to organize and to form unions, or to take initiatives in economic matters - do these not impoverish the human person as much as, if not more than, the deprivation of material goods? Faith in Christ the Redeemer, while it illuminates from within the nature of development, also guides us in the task of collaboration. 43. Thus the developing countries, especially the poorest of them, find themselves in a situation of very serious delay. In fact, it often happens that a nation is deprived of its subjectivity, that is to say the "sovereignty" which is its right, in its economic, political-social and in a certain way cultural significance, since in a national community all these dimensions of life are bound together. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis was written in regard to 'Social Concern' for the 20th anniversary of 'PopulorumProgressio'. The economically weaker countries, or those still at subsistence level, must be enabled, with the assistance of other peoples and of the international community, to make a contribution of their own to the common good with their treasures of humanity and culture, which otherwise would be lost for ever. At the same time sin, which is always attempting to trap us and which jeopardizes our human achievements, is conquered and redeemed by the "reconciliation" accomplished by Christ (cf. 47. When individuals and communities do not see a rigorous respect for the moral, cultural and spiritual requirements, based on the dignity of the person and on the proper identity of each community, beginning with the family and religious societies, then all the rest - availability of goods, abundance of technical resources applied to daily life, a certain level of material well-being - will prove unsatisfying and in the end contemptible. 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