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Monday, 30 March 2015

Knowledge of Divine Things 32 Caritas in Veritate 7

Perhaps the most important lines in this encyclical are found in this paragraph. What is missing among the vast majority of Catholics, including many priests, some bishops, and some cardinals, is the knowledge which is wisdom. Wisdom is not only a gift of the Holy Spirit, but development of the intellect and faith.

I am temporarily abandoning this walk through Benedict's important work simply because so few people are reading these posts. If readers want me to continue, I need feedback as now 7-28 readers per post is the norm--not enough for the work at hand, when I could be concentrating on other things.

I assume most readers are not making the connections with this series and the synod. Without the grounding of the knowledge of divine things, empty platitudes, such as stated recently by a foremost cleric in England, will control the media and thoughts of many people.

These words must not be merely applied to social conditions but to the conditions of society which foster the type of relativism seen in the comments of senior clergymen concerning adultery and remarriage.

Back to the text...

30. In this context, the theme of integral human development takes on an even broader range of meanings: the correlation between its multiple elements requires a commitment to foster the interaction of the different levels of human knowledge in order to promote the authentic development of peoples. Often it is thought that development, or the socio-economic measures that go with it, merely require to be implemented through joint action. This joint action, however, needs to be given direction, because “all social action involves a doctrine”[74]. In view of the complexity of the issues, it is obvious that the various disciplines have to work together through an orderly interdisciplinary exchange. Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within. Knowledge is never purely the work of the intellect. It can certainly be reduced to calculation and experiment, but if it aspires to be wisdom capable of directing man in the light of his first beginnings and his final ends, it must be “seasoned” with the “salt” of charity.

What seems to be forgotten is that this world and the happiness of this world are not the true goal or end of human being.

Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile. Indeed, “the individual who is animated by true charity labours skilfully to discover the causes of misery, to find the means to combat it, to overcome it resolutely”[75]. Faced with the phenomena that lie before us, charity in truth requires first of all that we know and understand, acknowledging and respecting the specific competence of every level of knowledge. Charity is not an added extra, like an appendix to work already concluded in each of the various disciplines: it engages them in dialogue from the very beginning.

Those who settle for compromise miss the core truth that charity must always be accompanied by truth, which is found through wisdom, through knowledge.

The demands of love do not contradict those of reason. Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. There is always a need to push further ahead: this is what is required by charity in truth[76]. Going beyond, however, never means prescinding from the conclusions of reason, nor contradicting its results. Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love.

Intelligence full of love? Where does one see that in the banal statements of too many clerics at the synod, who insist on seeing good in sin, or compromise over grace? What seems like love is really a snobbery of some priests who actually look down on the laity as incapable of holiness. 

The truth is that too many priests, bishops and even cardinals do not believe in holiness for themselves, only earthly comforts and happiness.

To undermine sanctity is to undermine the very reason the Church exists--- which is to help us all become saints. Such is the satanic influence we can plainly see even last week in comments from certain cardinals against those priests who uphold the constant teaching of the Church on marriage.