Fratelli Tutti 161: Short-Term Gains

Modern culture is focused, almost to obsession, on achieving immediate goals and ignoring the difficult and challenging task of addressing complex problems that will require patience, planning, and commitment. 

161. Another sign of the decline of popular leadership is concern for short-term advantage. One meets popular demands for the sake of gaining votes or support, but without advancing in an arduous and constant effort to generate the resources people need to develop and earn a living by their own efforts and creativity.

From his own writings, Pope Francis builds on this:

In this regard, I have made it clear that “I have no intention of proposing an irresponsible populism”. [Evangelii Gaudium 204] Eliminating inequality requires an economic growth that can help to tap each region’s potential and thus guarantee a sustainable equality. [Cf. ibid.] At the same time, it follows that “welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses”. [Ibid., 202]

Illustrating yet again the lack of understanding in the realms of charity and justice. Charity addresses the short-term needs of people who have suffered injustice. That could be feeding a person a meal, giving them shelter, or even a rescue from a natural disaster. The  long-term need can only be addressed by a concern for justice: the political factors that exacerbate hunger or homelessness or racism. 

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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