"Respecting, understanding and fulfilling those demands constitute our justice," he said. "It would be useful if we just observed our sense of justice as our ability to fulfill the demands of the relationships in which we stand."
This is in contrast to socialism, he explained, which is an ideology in which private property and private interests are totally placed in the service of government policies.
What the Pope proposes in “Caritas in Veritate,” said Cardinal Turkson, is "achieving the common good without sacrificing personal, private interests, aspirations and desires."
Cardinal Turkson said the Council was also surprised that the Pope’s concept of the “gift,” was perceived in some circles as encouraging government welfare handouts.
In "Caritas in Veritate," Pope Benedict described the concept of “gift” as a way to understand God’s love for men and women in his gift of life and his gift of Jesus.
"Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity," the Pope wrote. "That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion."
Gift, Cardinal Turkson explained, is "a very basic, deep theological expression of God's relation or the motivation for whatever God does in the world, and it's not quite the same as a handout."
"If we ever need to talk about this in a society where the sense of gift is that of a handout ... it doesn't quite express the sense of gift in this regard," he added.
While it is too late to add any explanations to the encyclical, the Council might tailor its language differently in future documents.
"We just realized that probably in the future, when ... this dicastery takes up the task of diffusing, presenting and talking about this it might be necessary to provide a footnote in which some of these expressions can be given an awareness of the different senses of expressions in different cultures and settings,” he said. We thought something like that would be useful and helpful to the readers."
Cardinal Turkson urged American Catholics and government and economic leaders to give a conscientious reading of "Caritas in Veritate."
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The encyclical, he said, invites us "to go back or to remind about the centrality of the human person, his well being, his common good within everything that we do.”
Another important message, Cardinal Turkson said, is that “we must not sacrifice the good of the human person for anything that we aspire after or want to do with technology, business, economics or whatever."
The key to an authentically human vision of development is to consider the full ethical character of the individual in all decisions, he said.
"In details," he concluded, "it may be for food security and shelter for all persons, but at the end of the day we are looking at whether things that we are doing in the world as government, as a Church and all of that help advance the good of the individual person."