Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Universal Ethic-The Natural Law and the State 1-The Common Good

Chapter IV: The Natural Law and the State

4.1. The Person and the Common Good

83. Approaching the political order of society, we enter into the space regulated by right (It. diritto, Fr. droit). In fact, right appears when multiple persons enter into relations. The entry of the person into society illuminates the essential distinction between the natural law and natural right.

84. The person is at the center of the political and social order because he is an end and not a means. The person is a being that is social by nature, not by choice or in virtue of pure contractual convention. To realize himself, a person has need of an interlacing of relations that he establishes with other persons. He finds himself in the center of a network formed by concentric circles: the family, the environment in which which he lives and works, communities of neighborhoods, the nation, and finally the humanity.(78) The person gets from each of these circles the necessary elements for his proper growth, and at the same time himself contributes to their improvement.

85. Since human beings have the vocation of living in society with others, they have in common a ensemble of goods to pursue and values to defend. This is what is called the “common good.” If the person is an end in himself, society has the end of promoting, consolidating and developing its own common good. The search for the common good agrees with the State’s mobilization of the energies of all of its members. At the first level, the common good can be understood as the ensemble of conditions which must be granted to persons in order to be always more of a human person.(79) To articulate these in their exterior aspects—economy, security, social justice, education, access to the work, the spiritual search, and others—, the common good is always a human good.(80) At a second level, the common good is that which directs the political order and the State itself. The good of all, and of each in particular, this expresses the public dimension of the human good. Society can define itself through the type of common good that it intends to promote. In fact, if one deals with the essential requirements of the common good of any society, the vision of common good evolves within the same society as a function of the conceptions of the person, of justice, and of the role of public power.

(78) Cf. Vatican II, pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, nn. 73-74. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1882, states that "Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man.”

(79) Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Mater et Magistra, n. 65; Vatican II, pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 26 § 1; Declaration Dignitatis humanae
, n. 6.

(80) Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Pacem in terris, n. 55.

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