Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ahhhhhhhh........ that makes a bit more sense

So I was sittin' and talking about the reading from the Gospel of Luke a week or so back with a group of guys and we were pretty perplexed by the words of Christ. I mean, there were some basic principles in the parable that made sense, but the over all point of it was lost on us. I stumbled across this quote over at Against the Grain. One more reason I find myself walking more and more in step with the Church Universal. This is so punk rock.

From the Pope.....

Telling the Parable of the dishonest but very crafty administrator, Christ teaches his disciples the best way to use money and material riches, that is, to share them with the poor, thus acquiring their friendship, with a view to the Kingdom of Heaven. "Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon," Jesus says, "so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations" (Lk 16: 9).
Money is not "dishonest" in itself, but more than anything else it can close man in a blind egocentrism. It therefore concerns a type of work of "conversion" of economic goods: instead of using them only for self-interest, it is also necessary to think of the needs of the poor, imitating Christ himself, who, as St Paul wrote: "though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich" (II Cor 8: 9). [...]

Catholic social doctrine has always supported that equitable distribution of goods is a priority. Naturally, profit is legitimate and, in just measure, necessary for economic development.

In his Encyclical Centesimus Annus, John Paul II wrote: "The modern business economy has positive aspects. Its basis is human freedom exercised in many other fields" (n. 32). Yet, he adds that capitalism must not be considered as the only valid model of economic organization (cf. ibid., n. 35).

Starvation and ecological emergencies stand to denounce, with increasing evidence, that the logic of profit, if it prevails, increases the disproportion between rich and poor and leads to a ruinous exploitation of the planet.

Instead, when the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails, it is possible to correct the course and direct it towards an equitable, sustainable development.

Not too bad. I would tend to agree that this is a priority. Right now a group of friends and fellow social justice type workers are looking at ways that we can facilitate these principles in a realistic way. Realistic meaning that we can benefit the poor and allow us to make a living doing it. Non-Profit sector? That's where most of us are and have been. Social Entrepreneurship/enterprise? Hmmmmmmm.... interesting possibilities. Any thoughts?

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