Sunday, 21 October 2007

Job Security Is Key for Society, Says Pontiff

Pope Affirms That the Family Is Not Just a Catholic Value

Benedict XVI says a lack of job security, which inhibits young people from starting a family, affects the authentic development of society.

The Pope made that affirmation in a message sent to the president of the Italian episcopal conference, Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, on the occasion of the 45th Social Week of Italian Catholics, under way through Sunday.

The Holy Father affirmed that the social week should be "considered and promoted also in the context of international relations. ... Precisely because of the social foundations of human life, the good of each individual is naturally interconnected with the good of all humanity."

The task of laypeople, he said, is "to work for a correct ordering of society ... and to cooperate in the just organization of social life together with all other citizens, each according to their skills and under their own autonomous responsibility."

The Pontiff also mentioned the importance of the family, a topic hotly debated in Italy in recent months. He said that questions involving the "respect for life and the attention that must be given to the needs of the family based on marriage between a man and a woman" are important.

"These are not just 'Catholic' values and principles, but shared human values to be protected and safeguarded, like justice, peace and the defense of creation."

Benedict XVI urged Italian Catholics to respond to the challenge of job security "not by giving up and withdrawing into themselves but, on the contrary, with renewed dynamism, opening themselves trustingly to new relationships and not neglecting any of the energies capable of contributing to cultural and moral growth."

He said that "when lack of job security does not allow young people to build their own family, the authentic and complete development of society is seriously compromised."

The Holy Father concluded his message by turning his attention to the relationship between religion and politics.

He said: "The absolute novelty brought by Jesus is that he opened to way to a freer and more human world, with full respect for the distinction and autonomy that exists between what is of Caesar and what is of God.

"The Church, then, if on the one hand she recognizes she is not a political player, on the other she cannot but concern herself with the good of the entire civil community, in which she lives and operates. To that community she offers her particular contribution, forming the political and business classes in a genuine spirit of truth and honesty, with the aim of searching for the common good and not for individual profit."


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