Man must set up a "scale of goals" which includes new economic and social programmes for improving society but which has as its first priority establishment of the Kingdom of God, Pope Paul said at his general audience last week.
He declared: "We need to establish a scale of goals to which man can and should turn. At the top of this scale is 'the kingdom of God and His Justice.' " If this goal was neglected or denied:he said, the scale failed. "It is then no longer known for whom and for what reason man lives," he added.
Other goals and values were sometimes substituted at the top of the scale, the Pope said, These goals "can animate human activity and give it great power and operating capability, but the result lacks what counts even more: true order, wisdom, happiness, peace, and that inestimable gift of compensation for all present deficiencies, the gift of security, of joy in work and in life. That gift is eschatological hope, or the certainty of future life."
The Pope said that the man who made the search for the Kingdom of God his life's priority felt "a detachment and a liberation from temporal goods and a relative devaluation of the worth of riches and of insatiable desires which make rrien egoists, often greedy and cruel, enemies, exploiters and anti-social beings.
Such men also felt a poverty of spirit which "makes us rich and attentive to our needy and suffering brothers, and also predisposes us to those economic and social innovations undertaken to bring better justice and greater brotherhood on earth,"
Despite great progress in many fields, the Pope continued, mankind's need for food, education and fundamental rights had been imperfectly satisfied, "The so-called order resulting from our age's economic and social progress demonstrates an unjust disorder."
The Pope said this disorder had produced in modern man "distrust, to the point of confrontation and revolution, social hatred, expressed even in institutional ways between classes, parties, tribes, 'peoples and civilisations: boredom and cynical disgust over life: ideological indifference — "What do I care?" — scepticism instead of a speculative liberalism, a refined and total form of pessimism, which one would call a lind of suicide of the idealised man, as if Utopia were dangerous and a pack of lies."
The Pope also lamented "the pseudo-intellectual recourse, which is really mad and desperate, to instinctive and immediate pleasure, to egoistic hedonism, together with the recourse to inhuman means for planning and limiting the statistics on human growth."
True renewal of all facets of the world, the Pope said, could only he found in the Gospel of Christ.
Seven years after
nationalisation, Catholic schools in Syria are being restored to the Church. In 1967 the government took over the schools on the grounds that "religious propaganda" in education was forbidden. Melkite Bishop Nijme said in Damascus that the government decisions was proof that the Syrian judicial authorities had courage and a sense of justice.
After the Rev. E. Francis, Anglian Rural Dean of Rochester, Kent, had conducted a senrice of Christian • unity in Aylesford parish church the congregation, both Catholic and Anglican, made a torchlight procession through the village of Aylasford to the Priory where, after a speech of welcome by the Prior, Fr Hugh Clark, and a short prayer, refreshments were given by the Carmelite Brothers in the Pilgrims Hall.