Free people contribute to peace and justice by means of a commitment to a common good, and not as pawns used by various powers. Pope Francis speaks of the need for a culture, a hermeneutic if you will, of “encounter.”
220. People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens, not as a mob swayed by the powers that be. Let us not forget that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation”.[USCCB, Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship 13] Yet becoming a people demands something more. It is an ongoing process in which every new generation must take part: a slow and arduous effort calling for a desire for integration and a willingness to achieve this through the growth of a peaceful and multifaceted culture of encounter.
Four principles exist we all can consider:
221. Progress in building a people in peace, justice and fraternity depends on four principles related to constant tensions present in every social reality. These derive from the pillars of the Church’s social doctrine, which serve as “primary and fundamental parameters of reference for interpreting and evaluating social phenomena”.[Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 161] In their light I would now like to set forth these four specific principles which can guide the development of life in society and the building of a people where differences are harmonized within a shared pursuit. I do so out of the conviction that their application can be a genuine path to peace within each nation and in the entire world.
What are those principles? You’ll have to read Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium online. Or wait for the next few posts here.