Thursday 31 October 2013

The vocation to politics

One of the things highlighted by Cardinal Turkson in his lectio magistralis this morning at our Dies Academicus was the vocation of Christians to politics (his whole text is already available online!):
It is noteworthy that all the modern Holy Fathers have, in one way or another, encouraged Catholics to take up their role in politics, to embrace the vocation to politics as a high form of charity. Benedict XVI repeatedly called for the formation of Catholics capable of assuming responsibility in the various areas of society, “especially in politics. This area needs more than ever people who are capable of building a “good life” for the benefit and at the service of all, especially young people. Indeed, Christians, pilgrims bound for Heaven but who already live an anticipation of eternity on earth cannot shirk this commitment.” Pope Francis has also invited the faithful to become interested and participate creatively in politics. [Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/10/31/cardinal_turkson:_to_explore_new_frontiers_of_war_and_peace,_a_good/en1-742387 of the Vatican Radio website]
Politics - and economics - have to form part of all education, and certainly of Christian education and of catechesis.

In this context, it is good to note that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, of which Turkson is the president, released in 2011 a significant document entitled "TOWARDS REFORMING THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AND MONETARY SYSTEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL PUBLIC AUTHORITY." [See http://www.news.va/en/news/full-text-note-on-financial-reform-from-the-pontif]

The 2011 document speaks of the 'real economy', which probably refers to the "production of goods and services," contrasting it with the 'global financial market' which it says has grown much more rapidly than the former, and even with 'shadow markets' which have "no controls and limits."

It calls for the creation of a global public authority and questions the existing exchange systems, saying that the Bretton Woods Agreement has become inadequate.

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