In his general audience of September 9, 2020, Pope Francis catechized the faithful about the nature of the common good. There are three points to note.
First, the Pope used this opportunity to teach us that there is a deep, structural connection between the Church’s teaching about the nature of God, the calling to Christian charity, and the legal and political orders. The facile manner in which many people today pretend that the Church’s message of brotherly love, of living a life of holiness and sacrifice for others, has no connection with what She has perennially taught about law and political order. It is as if some Catholic commentators fear an allergic reaction if they resort to juridical language in teaching the faith, so they prefer exclusively the allegedly more dulcid-sounding tones of merely “pastoral” (i.e. a-political) rhetoric. Pope Francis shows that this is a false alternative. Everything the Church does and teaches, both about politics and about personal virtue, is ordered and connected to the same end.Continue reading