Fratelli Tutti 163: Liberal Approaches

I’m not sure iof Pope Francis is talking about liberal in terms of modern progressives, or the classical definition of liberal that some conservatives adopt–as if it were some kind of misnomer instead of an evolution of language. That said, there are “The benefits and limits of liberal approaches.”

163. The concept of a “people”, which naturally entails a positive view of community and cultural bonds, is usually rejected by individualistic liberal approaches, which view society as merely the sum of coexisting interests.

This doesn’t sound like church liberals I know who advocate for community on many levels.

One speaks of respect for freedom, but without roots in a shared narrative; in certain contexts, those who defend the rights of the most vulnerable members of society tend to be criticized as populists. The notion of a people is considered an abstract construct, something that does not really exist. But this is to create a needless dichotomy. Neither the notion of “people” nor that of “neighbor” can be considered purely abstract or romantic, in such a way that social organization, science and civic institutions can be rejected or treated with contempt. [A similar point could be made with regard to the biblical category of the Kingdom of God.]

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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