Unity and Personhood in Economic Social Teaching

Joseph Jablonski, Catholic University Class of 2015, CCAO Economic Justice Intern
September 13, 2012

Joseph Jablonsk

This year, I will be focusing on economic issues concerning the Center for Advocacy and Outreach of the St. Columban Missions on this blog. I will be advocating for economies worldwide as they are affected by policy decisions here in Washington, DC. America, being bountiful with riches, has an important role to play in the economical progress of all people. Participation of the global economy allows America to truly engage in the brotherhood of man, developing deeply the Kingdom of Heaven. There are thus two very important things that I reflect on when I wonder about the Church and her teachings on social justice concerning economics. Firstly is the potential that unity in policymaking that is a result of the many varied but non-contradicting outlooks people have on the economy. In the past I have defended Church teaching concerning the more controversial issues of abortion and marriage. While those issues tend to be moral ultimatums, where one vehemently conflicts or agrees wholeheartedly with the Magesterium, the vague nature of economics allows a thousand different roads to all lead to Christ and his love, for a thousand different situations of millions of different people in all different places. The varied policies of Republicans and Democrats alike both have the goal of trying to increase wealth for the betterment of all Americans and even for the world; thus, government and policymaking gives them the unique opportunity to work together. Secondly, as we are called upon by Christ, we must remember the Human Person in all of his or her dignity. When we read about the markets, the national debt, job numbers, we receive statistics and numbers. However, all financial decisions have a human characteristic: the need for humanity to have food, shelter, clothing, and sustenance. Thus we must recall that we must not only fill the earth but “subdue it.”(Gen 1:28) and thus govern money and not let money govern our humanity. Additionally, if we remember that our economic decisions, whether personal or global, affect those around us, all shall be made with that essential virtue of charity, for, as Paul says, “If I give all I possess to the poor…but have not love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:3)