Sollicitudo Rei Socialis

Posted: November 26th, 2013





Sollicitudo Rei Socialis

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis is an encyclical letter written to bishops, priest’s religious families and sons and daughters of the society. John Paul II wrote it concerning the encyclical letter Populorum Progressio written by his predecessor.

Part I: Introduction

The first part is a discussion of this encyclical document and its relevance to current society. The encyclical addressed the development of man and society emphasizing on the social side as a cause to underdevelopment. Paul II relates the social development of man having influence on economic development too, and suggests advancing the teachings of the Populorum Progressio.

Part 2: Originality of the Encyclical Populorum Progressio

The second part of the document talks about the originality of the encyclical. He says it is based on other encyclical but emphasizes that it entails on the teachings of the church. It also dwells on the role of the church as a proficient body for teaching humanity. He talks about the main objective of the encyclical not being realized in the current society. The social question is dealt with here, of worldwide dimension. The document was dedicated to the development of people of the world in promoting the social morals of man.

Part 3: Survey of the Contemporary World

In part three, the author first notes that the optimism for development is now minimal compared to the time when the encyclical was published. He elaborates on the poverty facing poor nations. He identifies unemployment, which has major consequences. He also talks about the gap existing between the developed and developing countries. In his view, cultural and social structures’ differences are a contributing factor to economic development since they do not compare well. This brings oppression to the poor nations and injustices. Interdependence of countries is important for development but oppression should be avoided.

Part 4: Authentic Human Development

In part four, the author addresses the need for people to obey God irrespective of their work. He emphasizes on moral facts and the unity of humankind. He goes on to highlight that development has a direct relationship with love. His suggestion is that development should be founded on loving neighbors and other communities. This is in response to rich nations having too much goods hence they waste a lot. He advocates that man should not have absolute control of natural resources as implied in the garden of Aden where man was restricted from one fruit. Biological law and moral laws should be applied.

Part 5: A Theological Reading of Modern Problems

In the fifth chapter, he tries to consider the reasons for the minimal developments from a moral point of view. One reason he mentions is bad political intentions from leaders. He say that most of the reasons slowing growth are political in nature. He says that a world that has been alienated into unbending coalitions of ideas, which hinder good relations and unity are the structures upon which, negative issues lay. He calls them the structures of sin that contribute to underdevelopment.

Part 6: Some Particular Guidelines

In the last part of his conclusion, he says that the church is able to identify barriers to development. He adds that the church cannot have technical solutions to offer to the problem, but instead, its ministries are a guideline. According to him, the church being a humanitarian in its efforts helps people in seeking happiness. The basic social doctrine is the churches’ responsibility according to Paul II. He prompts to say that commencement motivation is important in starting development in the areas in dire need of it. He further says that good international relations have to be there to achieve the goal of developments.

Part 7: Conclusion

In his conclusion, he describes people as persons whose view of enjoying life is liberation from poverty. This impairs their view on the human side of life that is not materialistic. In the current world full of many problems, no material achievement is related to heaven. However, people can pursue them to make their life comfortable without losing moral value.

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