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 2-Measure of the Political Order

4.2. The Natural Law, Measure of the Political Order

86. Society organized in view of the common good of its members responds to the requirements of the social nature of the person. The natural law appears then like the normative horizon towards which the political order is called to move. It is defined as the ensemble of values that appear as humanizing for a society. When placed in the social and political ambit, values cannot be those of a private, ideological, or confessional nature, but refer back to all citizens. These express not a vague concensus between citizens, but are founded upon the requirements of the citizens' common humanity. So that society correctly meets its proper mission of service to persons, it should promote the realization of their natural inclinations. The person is therefore prior to society, and society is humanizing only if answers to the expectations written in the person insofar as he is a social being.

87. Such natural ordering of society to the service of the person is distinguished, according to the social doctrine of the Church, by four values that are derived from the natural inclinations of the human being, and that design the contours of the common good that society should promote; namely, freedom, truth, justice, and solidarity.(81) These four values correspond to the requirements of an ethical order that conforms to the natural law. If any of these is found to be lacking, the State tends toward anarchy or the reign of the stronger. Freedom is the first condition of the political order that is humanly acceptable. Without the freedom of following one’s conscience, of expressing one’s opinions, and of following one’s projects there is not a human State, since the search for the private good always should articulate itself to the promotion of the common good of the State. Without the search for and the respect of truth, there is no society, but the dictatorship of the strongest. The truth, which is not anyone's property, allows human beings to converge towards a common objective. If the truth does not prevail of itself, the most clever will impose “his own” truth. Without justice, there is not society, but the reign of violence. Justice is the most high good that the State is able to promote. It supposes that one always strain toward what is just, and that right (diritto) is applied with attention to particular cases, because equity (l’equità) is the greatest expression of justice. Finally, it is necessary that society regulate itself in the way of solidarity, assuring mutual help and responsibility for the fortunes of others, and arranging things so that the goods which society disposes may answer to the needs of all.

(81) Cf ibid., n. 37; Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, nn. 192-203.

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