On November 30, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI received a group of bishops from the Episcopal Conference of France at the end of their “ad limina” visit. The Pope said: “The Good News we must announce to mankind in all times and in all languages and cultures, may be summarised in these words: God, creator of mankind, in His son Jesus, has shown us His love for humanity. ‘God is love’ and pursues the happiness of His creation, of all His children. The pastoral constitution ‘Gaudium et spes’ asks key questions on human existence, the meaning of life and death, evil, disease and suffering, all present in our world. It recalls that, in His paternal goodness, God brings answers to all these questions and that Christ founded His Church in order to bring those answers to all mankind. This is the reason why one of the gravest problems of our time is the ignorance of religion on the part of many men and women, also among the Catholic faithful”.
“This is why the new evangelisation, in which the Church is resolutely engaged… assumes such importance”, the Pope continued. “One of the most formidable obstacles to our pastoral mission is ignorance of the content of faith. Indeed, this is a dual form of ignorance: the ignorance of Jesus Christ as a person and ignorance of the sublime nature of His teachings, of their universal and permanent value in the search for the meaning of life and happiness. In the new generations this ignorance produces an inability to understand history or to recognise themselves as heirs to this tradition, which has shaped European life, society, art and culture”.
It is actually the entire Western civilization that is based on the teachings of Christ. Human rights and dignity come from the fact that man is a being created in the image and likeness of God. Giving up these values brings about what we are seeing today: redefining marriage, the destruction of the family, abortion, euthanasia, the human being reduced to being the slave of money.
Faith means confidence, trust; so, it means to trust God, trust the teaching left by Jesus to His Apostles and His Church. If all human beings had faith, the face of the earth would be changed! It would be the fulfilment of the Lord’s prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. God only wishes us to be happy; if His “sublime” teachings were applied, it would be the kingdom of God on earth.
Benedict XVI says it often: faith is not as much the knowledge of a set of rules (to believe in something) as much as to believe in someone: God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is Love. To live one’s faith is to put into practice the twofold commandment of the love of God and neighbour: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12.)
From this love of God and neighbour ensue the Ten Commandments, including the seventh one, which states “Thou shalt not steal,” and also the entire social teaching of the Church, which can be summarized in four principles: the primacy of the human person (see page 14), the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity.
The Social Credit philosophy and financial principles that are taught in MICHAEL are only one way to apply Christian principles in economics. Clifford Hugh Douglas, who invented the Social Credit philosophy, described it as “practical Christianity.” (See article page 38.) Money must become a servant, a means, and not an end, a god. ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money (Luke 16:13.)
This is what more and more African bishops understand, after having attended our weeks of study in Rougemont. Read on page 9 what Bishop Mathieu Madega of Gabon said at the Synod of Bishops in Rome about Social Credit and the Pilgrims of St. Michael, and you will be carried away! Our message is gaining ground more and more in every circle. Yes, there is hope for a better future, with more justice!
The teachings of Christ are sublime, and may seem sometimes difficult to follow for sinners like us. This is why the Church gives as an example saints and blesseds, to tell us that yes, it is possible to follow Christ, and it is precisely the way leading to happiness. There are even young people who become blesseds and saints, like Chiara Luce Badano, who died at the age of 18. (See page 30.) The Church recently proposed as an example Kateri Tekakwitha, North America’s first aboriginal saint, who died at the age of 24.
The world needs saints, the world needs witnesses, people who live their faith. Pope Paul VI wrote in 1975, in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” (n. 41.) So, let us bear witness to our Catholic and Social Credit beliefs!