The Pathologies

The Dictatorship of Relativism

Consumerism

The Four Pathologies

Alienation

Environmental Degradation

The Church is “expert on humanity”! Today, we are warned of four major ‘risks and problems’.

Consumerism

A style of life directed towards “having” rather than “being”. (Pope St. John Paul II, 41)

Ecological Degradation

The degradation of both our Natural Environment and Human Environment: “These two dimensions are closely related”. (Pope Francis) 

Alienation

The loss of the “authentic meaning of life”. (Pope St. John Paul II, 41)

Radical Secularism

“The greatest challenge of our time”. (Pope Benedict XVI, 3)
“In the end, nothing less than a threat to genuine human freedom”(Pope Benedict XVI)
The Church not only identifies these key pathologies she points the way out.
This section looks at each of these problems in depth helping prioritize the actions required to implement Catholic social teaching and contribute to our Common Good.

The Four Pathologies

The Church identifies four dangers or major ‘risks and problems’ eating away at the cultural, economic, and political systems and begins to identify how to cure them.

Environmental Degradation

Both our physical and human environment are at risk and the Church insists we ignore neither! “It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development." (Pope Benedict XVI, 51)

Alienation

We are losing the “authentic meaning of life”! When we refuse to transcend ourselves “and to live the experience of self-giving". (Pope St. John Paul II, 41)  when society “is marked by a ‘globalization of indifference’ that makes us…closed in on ourselves.” (Pope Francis, 1)  both the individual and society are alienated.

Consumerism

“The exclusive pursuit of material possessions prevents man's growth as a human being and stands in opposition to his true grandeur.” (Pope St. Paul VI, 19) A person who is concerned solely or primarily with possessing and enjoying – who can no longer subordinate his instincts - cannot be free.

Radical Secularism

“The greatest challenge of our time is secularization” (Pope Benedict XVI, 3)​ Why? Radical secularism holds that there is no such thing as an objective truth. But, “Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 5)

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