205. I ask God to give us more politicians capable of sincere and effective dialogue aimed at healing the deepest roots – and not simply the appearances – of the evils in our world! Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good. We need to be convinced that charity “is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones)”. I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare. Why not turn to God and ask him to inspire their plans? I am firmly convinced that openness to the transcendent can bring about a new political and economic mindset which would help to break down the wall of separation between the economy and the common good of society.
This proposal assumesthat whites today, who have never owned slaves, are almost universallyagainst racism, and who bear no individual responsibility for slavery,somehow hold a collective responsibility solely by being members of thesame race as the slave owners of the Old South.
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48. If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception. But to whom should she go first? When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, “those who cannot repay you” ( 14:14). There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. Today and always, “the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel”, and the fact that it is freely preached to them is a sign of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish. We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.
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Four-fifths of these areclergymen, professors, persons having offices in the common-law courts, menof letters by trade, such as reviewers and journalists, and other pamphleteers;a class of men, who generally think that they have not attained that rankin society to which their talents entitle them, and imagine that they coulddischarge the important offices of the state with reputation to themselvesand advantage to the public.
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All the proceedings of Knigge in the Masonic schisms show that he was a zealousapostle of cosmo-politism, and that he was continually dealing with peoplein the Lodges who were associated with him in propagating these notions amongthe Brethren; so that we are certain that such conversations were commonin the German Lodges.
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This was not the Society which had appeared formerlyunder that name, and was now extinct; but a set of Alchymists, pretendersto the transmutation of metals and the universal medicine, who; the betterto inveigle their votaries, had mixed with their own tricks a good deal ofthe absurd superstitions of that sect, in order to give a greater air ofmystery to the whole, to protract the time of instruction, and to affordmore room for evasions, by making so many difficult conditions necessaryfor perfecting the grand work, that the unfortunate gull, who had thrownaway his time and his money, might believe that the failure was owing tohis own incapacity or unfitness for being the possessor of the grand secret.
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But there was a great shyness in their communications;and Knigge was making but small progress in his plan, when he met with anotherMason, the Marquis of Constanza, who in an instant converted him, and changedall his measures, by showing him that he (Knigge) was only doing by halveswhat was already accomplished by another Society, which had carried it toits full extent.