The Principle of Truth in the Social Teaching of Benedict XVI

Author: Janusz Szulist

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26142/stgd-2018-009

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Abstract

A reference to truth describes human status in temporal life taking into consideration the order intended by God towards creation in the physical and spiritual dimension. The fundamental significance of truth for society, as Benedict XVI suggests, is linked with the human vocation and the desire for the integral development of communities. Thus social truth functions in four spheres. The first one is peace, as truth expresses the idea of peace and knowing truth stimulates communal relations towards the fullness of humanity. Secondly, truth indicates the fundamental meaning of freedom in the world in terms of subjectivity of individuals but also in terms of sovereignty of states. The third area is the execution of power. The people in power shall exercise their mandate relying on principles and values which objectively determine the right priorities of political activity. Finally, the fourth area is the morality of lay people. Politicians as a special group responsible for the common good are obliged to proclaim the “moral truth” in the world. The article offers a critical analysis of the texts of Pope Benedict XVI.

Keywords

Benedict XVI, truth, freedom, personal dignity, love in truth, peace