Feb 26, 2013

The Pope on justice: give him what is his by reason of his being

"Caritas in veritate" - Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI:

First of all, justice. Ubi societas, ibi ius: every society draws up its own system of justice. Charity goes beyond justice, because to love is to give, to offer what is “mine” to the other; but it never lacks justice, which prompts us to give the other what is “his”, what is due to him by reason of his being or his acting. I cannot “give” what is mine to the other, without first giving him what pertains to him in justice. If we love others with charity, then first of all we are just towards them. Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: justice is inseparable from charity[1], and intrinsic to it. Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI's words, “the minimum measure” of it[2], an integral part of the love “in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18), to which Saint John exhorts us.

The Pope has resigned. I will remember him for his writing that justice is giving a person what is due to him/her by reason of his being.

Justice is giving to citizens the citizen-ownership income that is due to them by reason of their being owners of their country.

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