Just as happens with other religious creeds, Christianity too presents a clear ethic, summarised synthetically in Jesus Christ’s commandment to: “love God and one’s neighbour” (Mt 22,37-40). In this sense, we may say that Christianity is a religion with a praxis, operative, that does not leave the resolution of human problems to the care of the gods, but which assumes the mandate and the manner in which the Creator has made responsible in relation to the ordering of the created world (Gn 1,28). For this motive, the Church’s mission cannot ignore the whole issue that hides behind concepts such as ‘liberation’, ‘human advancement’, prophetic denouncement’, ‘struggle against injustice, ‘eradication of poverty’, ‘human rights’, ‘confronting every kind of oppression’, ‘defence of the dignity of those on the fringes of society’… Recently, indeed, Pope Francis entitled chapter IV of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium in the following manner: “The social dimension of evangelisation”. It is true that the Church has for two thousand years always concerned itself with the poor and with solidarity and the tasks of human advancement, especially in health and education. But now the perspective is really something different: no longer an attitude of care of the spirit, which determined the purpose of mission in the ‘salvation of souls’ or in the ‘cure of souls’ – with the evident danger of the body-soul dichotomy, and still less one of providing assistance, which sought to succour all those in need in acts of charity but which did not uncover nor interest itself in the structural causes of all injustice and human suffering.
- Social dimension
- Human rights