Pope and president not always in sync

To the Editor:

In his Feb. 12, 2015, editorial, Frank Wessling claimed that “subsidiarity means that everyone contributes as they are able, with the bigger and stronger doing more to ensure that justice prevails.” Oh really? I think the Catechism of the Catholic Church says something somewhat differently about subsidiarity in paragraphs 1883, 1885, 1894 and 2209. Consider the following:
1883. “Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of ‘a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help coordinate its activities with the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.’”
1885. “The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention.”
2209. “Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the Family’s prerogatives or interfere in its life.”
One might also consider these words of Pope Francis from paragraphs 200 and 213 of Evangelii Gaudium:
200. “… [T]he worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care….”
213. “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are the unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent of life among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this….”

Maybe Pope Francis and President Obama aren’t so in sync, after all.

Mary Rourke
Davenport

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