The Malta Independent 11 December 2017, Monday

Archbishop Scicluna appeals for fair distribution of wealth during the Independence Day homily

Thursday, 21 September 2017, 11:28 Last update: about 4 months ago

Archbishop Charles Scicluna appeals for fair distribution of wealth during his Independence Day homily. He said that, "the promotion of the common good is the promotion of social justice."

Scicluna quotes Saint John where "Human society demands that men be guided by justice, respect the rights of others and do their duty. It demands, too, that they be animated by such love as will make them feel the needs of others as their own, and induce them to share their goods with others, and to strive in the world to make all men alike heirs to the noblest of intellectual and spiritual values. Nor is this enough; for human society thrives on freedom, namely, on the use of means which are consistent with the dignity of its individual members, who, being endowed with reason, assume responsibility for their own actions"

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"Men, both as individuals and as intermediate groups, are required to make their own specific contributions to the general welfare. The main consequence of this is that they must harmonize their own interests with the needs of others, and offer their goods and services as their rulers shall direct - assuming, of course, that justice is maintained and the authorities are acting within the limits of their competence. Those who have authority in the State must exercise that authority in a way which is not only morally irreproachable, but also best calculated to ensure or promote the State's welfare.

The attainment of the common good is the sole reason for the existence of civil authorities. In working for the common good, therefore, the authorities must obviously respect its nature, and at the same time adjust their legislation to meet the requirements of the given situation."

Scicluna said that, "among the essential elements of the common good one must certainly include the various characteristics distinctive of each individual people. But these by no means constitute the whole of it. For the common good, since it is intimately bound up with human nature, can never exist fully and completely unless the human person is taken into account at all times. Thus, attention must be paid to the basic nature of the common good and what it is that brings it about.

Archbishop said that, "it is in the nature of the common good that every single citizen has the right to share in it - although in different ways, depending on his tasks, merits and circumstances. Hence every civil authority must strive to promote the common good in the interest of all, without favoring any individual citizen or category of citizen. As Pope Leo XIII insisted: 'The civil power must not be subservient to the advantage of any one individual, or of some few persons; inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all'.

He quoted Pope Francis on the aspect of common good. He said that the common good is 'the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfilment'.

Underlying the principle of the common good is respect for the human person as such, endowed with basic and inalienable rights ordered to his or her integral development. It has also to do with the overall welfare of society and the development of a variety of intermediate groups, applying the principle of subsidiarity. Outstanding among those groups is the family, as the basic cell of society. Finally, the common good calls for social peace, the stability and security provided by a certain order which cannot be achieved without particular concern for distributive justice; whenever this is violated, violence always ensues. Society as a whole, and the state in particular, are obliged to defend and promote the common good.

Attending the Mass at St John's Cathedral were Acting President Dolores Christina, Acting Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Opposition leader Simon Busuttil. Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia also attended and was greeted by the archbishop as he entered the cathedral.

 


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