France’s Minister of Labor, Xavier Darcos, said the new social encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI, “Caritas in Veritate,” has “come at an opportune moment, like a ray of light amidst the dark clouds” and makes the Church’s social teaching shine as a clear response to “ the cynical laws of unregulated economic advantage-taking and interdependence.”
In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, Darcos said the new encyclical by the Pope “proclaims that other ways are possible and necessary. With the Christian message as its source, it points to hope and to innovative solutions.”
Benedict XVI celebrates charity as the “master way of the social doctrine of the Church,” and he is guided by Leo XIII’s “Rerum Novarum” and Paul VI’s “Populorum Progressio,” Darcos continued. “The Pope brings back the foundation of Christianity: love, sharing, and justice, in order to discover the remedy to the selfish tactics of today. He also notes that the Gospel opens a path towards a society based on equality and freedom,” the French minister said.
Noting that the Pope’s analysis is precise and documented, Darcos underscored that in response to the grave economic crisis facing the world, the Church, in the voice of the Holy Father, “proposes another choice: a ‘comprehensive development’ that assures a shared humanistic emancipation.” Because growth is a benefit, Darcos added, globalization is not bad in and of itself, but it must be “subordinated to an ethic.”
He went on to stress that the Pope is asking the world to explore “the path of gift, gratuity and sharing. He condemns the emptiness of blind relativism which deprives men of the sense of their collectivity.”
The Pope “calls for a new alliance between faith and reason, between divine light and human intelligence,” Darcos continued. The crisis should force us to reconsider our ways because while the world’s riches are growing, the disparities continue to increase,” he said.
People need to understand they are part of one human family,” he continued, “which demands that there be a return to values: gift, the rejection of the market as a method of domination, the abandonment of hedonistic consumerism, redistribution and cooperation.”
The French Minister of Labor said it was “rare” for a Pope to have such a deep grasp of reality in analyzing societal ills and proposing the best anti-dotes. “May his message be understood!”