Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Once more.

So, I'm minding my own business on Twitter when I see a notice for this. Upon immediate reading, my mistranslation antennæ begin to throb like a NASA tuning fork. Something doesn't sit quite right with me. So I click on the link the above Catholic Culture piece has. From there, I go over to the Spanish version and "surprise, surprise, surprise!" it doesn't quite square with the English. (If you speak Spanish, skip the English and just look at that one.)
I then message some of my invaluable fellow travelers, alerting them to this. (In this pontificate, these sorts of things, alas, are "whens" and not "ifs.") The Vatican website is down. It slowly comes back online. Finally the Italian side has the remarks. To get ahead of this as best as possible, I am rushing through my translation.
Clementine Hall
Thursday, October 2, 2014

[Lord] Cardinals, Dear brother bishops and priests, brothers and sisters,

I greet you all with affection and thank Cardinal Peter Turkson for the words with which he has introduced this meeting. Your Plenary [Assembly] coincides with the fifth anniversary of the promulgation of the Encyclical, Caritas in veritate. [By that oh-so-Super-Trad Benedict XVI, not Francis. -J.] This document is fundamental for the evangelization of the social [realm], which offers valuable indications for the presence of Catholics in society, institutions, in the economy, finance and politics. Caritas in veritate has attracted attention to the benefits, but also on the dangers of globalization, when it is not oriented to the good of the people. If globalization has considerably increased the aggregate wealth of the whole and of several individual States, it has also exacerbated the differences between the various social groups, creating inequality, and [even] new forms [This should alert you His Holiness is referring to more than just monetary poverty. -J.] of poverty in those countries considered the most rich.

One of the aspects of today's economic system and the taking advantage of [literally "enjoying the fruits of"] international imbalances in labor costs, which greatly affects [literally "makes a lever of"] billions of people living on less than two dollars a day. Such an imbalance not only fails to respect the dignity of those who fill the need for low-priced labor, but destroys sources of labor in those regions where [the cost of labor] it is more protected [in the sense of "regulated"; literally, "supervised"]. This raises the problem of creating mechanisms for the protection of the right to work, as well as the environment, in the presence of a growing consumerist ideology, that does not demonstrate responsibility toward the city [this is ambiguous, and could mean "financial markets" or "urban" or "manmade environments" or any combination of the above] and Creation [literally, "the created"].

The growth of inequality and poverty [Subtle, but note the Holy Father distinguishes between the two. -J.] are putting at risk inclusive and participatory democracy, which always presupposes an economy and a market that does not exclude [anyone] [This is dealing with the "cronyism" which is the case in Latin America and the 3rd World. -J.] and which are fair. [The matter at hand] is, then, to overcome the structural causes of inequality and poverty. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium I wished to signal three instruments for the social inclusion of the most needy, such as education, access to health care and work for all (cf. #192).

In other words, the state of social rights is not to be dismantled and in particular the fundamental right to work [Emphasis mine. -J.] . This cannot be considered a dependent variable by financial and monetary markets. It is a fundamental good for the respect [of human] dignity (cf. ibid. ), [from] the formation of a family, to the realization of the good of all and [of] peace. Education and work, access to well-being [In this instance, the Pope -- very unusually for him -- uses an English word ("welfare") in the middle of an Italian speech, given that Italian doesn't have a concise word for "well-being." The Spanish translation (correctly, in my view) renders this as "bienestar" which more accurately means "well-being." Also, "welfare" is an Americanism, which the rest of the Anglosphere calls "the dole." I think it's an inelegant Italism for "the pursuit of happiness" but that's just my opinion. -J.] for all (cf. ibid., 205), are key elements for both the development and the just distribution of goods, both for the attainment of social justice, and to societal belonging (cf. ibid., 53) and [to] participate freely and responsibly in political life, understood as managerial activity of the res publica [i.e. "public affairs"]. [Those] worldviews that seek to increase profitability, at the cost of the restriction of the market for employment, create new excluded [persons], do not conform with an economy at the service of man and of the good of all, [or with] an inclusive and participatory democracy.

Another problem arises from persistent imbalances between economic sectors, in compensation, between commercial and speculative [Note what I said here about the dangers of creating wealth without creating value. -J.] banks, between institutions, and global problems: it is necessary to keep alive the concern for the poor and for social justice (cf. gaudium, 201).  It requires, in part, deep reforms that provide for the redistribution [Remember that in romance languages terms referring to "distribution" are to be read in the passive. Keep this in mind for the passage immediately following. -J.] of the wealth produced and the universalization of free markets [Read in correct context, it's obvious that "redistribution" cannot mean in this passage what we normally take it to mean in the USA; redistribution in "our understanding" of it cannot coexist with the universalization of free markets, obviously. -J.] at the service of families, on another part, the redistribution of sovereignty, both in a national and supranational sense. [This is in reference to segments or nations -- such as Argentina -- being beholden to others, for debt reasons. -J.]

Caritas in veritate also urges us to look to current social questions such as environmental issues. In particular, it has stressed the link between environmental ecology and human ecology, between the first [principles] and the ethics of living.

The principles of Caritas in veritate are very current at the moment. A love which is full of truth and is, in fact, the basis on which to build the peace that today is particularly desired and necessary for the good of all. [This] allows you to overcome dangerous fanaticism, conflicts for the control of resources, emigrations of biblical proportions, the persistent plagues of hunger and poverty, human trafficking, injustices, social and economic disparities, and imbalances in the access of collective goods. [Another reference to 3rd world conditions. -J.]

Dear brothers and sisters, the Church is always on a journey, in search of new ways for the announcement of the Gospel even in the social realm. Thank you for your commitment to this field, and commending you to the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I ask you to pray for me and I bless you from my heart.


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