benedictxviEducation for Justice has produced a very useful map or outline of the pope’s recent encyclical. Caritas in Veritate (pdf). See also John Allen’s shorter list of the some of the key points…Pope proposes a Christ humanism

Benedict says the church does not have “technical solutions to offer,” but nonetheless issues a slew of specific recommendations:

  • Resisting a “downsizing” of social security systems;
  • Support for labor unions and the rights of workers in a global economy marked by mobility of labor;
  • Combating hunger “by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems, transport, organization of markets, and in the development and dissemination of agricultural technology”;
  • Enshrining access to steady employment for all as a core economic objective;
  • Protecting the earth’s “state of ecological health”;
  • Seeing “openness to life,” meaning resistance to measures such as abortion and birth control, as not only morally obligatory but a key to long-term economic development;
  • Ensuring that the targets of international aid programs are involved in their design and implementation, and trimming the bureaucracy sometimes associated with those programs;
  • Lowering domestic energy consumption in developed nations, investing in renewable forms of energy, and adopting new more sustainable lifestyles;
  • Curbing an “excessive zeal for protecting knowledge” among affluent nations, “through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care”;
  • Opening up global markets to the products of developing nations, especially in agriculture;
  • Commitment among developed nations to devote a larger share of their gross domestic product to development aid;
  • Greater investment in education;
  • More generous immigration policies, recognizing the economic contributions of migrants, both to their host countries and to their countries of origin by sending money home;
  • Support for micro-finance, consumer cooperatives, and socially responsible forms of business;
  • Reform of the United Nations and international institutions of economics and finance, in order to promote “a true world political authority … with real teeth,” though one informed by the principle of subsidiarity – meaning respect for the liberty of individuals, families, and civil society;
  • Opposition to abuses of biotechnology such as a new eugenics.

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