Argentine bishop says Church social doctrine "not an ideology"
Bishop Carmelo Giaquinta of Argentina has said that the social doctrine of the Church is "not an ideology", but instead "a light that helps us see clearly the nucleus, which is mankind, of all social problems."
Catholic News Agency reports that Bishop Giaquinta, who is Apostolic Administrator of Resistencia, warned that ideology "always runs the risk of making one particular way of viewing things absolute, of enslaving man".
Church social teaching, on the other hand, is neither a "government program nor a platform for a political party fighting to obtain power".
Rather, the social doctrine of the Church allows for the relativisation of all ideologies, "keeping them within democratic channels."
Bishop Giaquinta called on Catholics to be careful that the Church's social teachings are not twisted for political or partisan gain and that emphasis not be placed on some of them while others are completely ignored. The faithful "should not be fooled into believing there is a 'Catholic' political party," he said.
"The Church grants no such recognition to any political party or public authority," Bishop Giaquinta stated.
He reminded Catholics of the need to study the Church's social teachings in order to be able to apply them in today's society.
"The study of the social teachings presupposes a method, an effort. The worse thing that could happen would be for this Compendium (of the Church's social doctrine) to just collect dust on the library shelves," he said in conclusion.
Argentine bishop: Social doctrine of the Church is not an ideology (Catholic News Agency 15/8/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Amazon)
Dublin's Archbishop on Compendium of Social Doctrine (Catholic Online/Zenit 15/6/05)
Vatican Social Compendium questions "preventive" wars (CathNews 26/10/04)
16 Aug 2005