07 July, 2009

Truth and charity; reason and fraternity

I liked the following two passages from Benedict XVI's new encyclical, and based on the coverage I've seen so far, no one is going to draw attention to them, or to anything remotely resembling them in the document, so I will. First, from section (?) 3,

Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. …It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word "love" is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite.
Second, from section 19,
As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbours, but does not make us brothers. Reason, by itself, is capable of grasping the equality between men and of giving stability to their civic coexistence, but it cannot establish fraternity. This originates in a transcendent vocation from God the Father, who loved us first, teaching us through the Son what fraternal charity is.

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