Some Thoughts on The Common Good, The Catholic Church and The World…

Jean-Luc Marion

“The common good requires that we offer to all what Revelation has given us—and has given us to comprehend. Today, intelligence becomes a duty of charity. It is up to us, to us and to no one else, to transmit the light that we claim to have received—in vessels of clay, yet we really have received it. When a Church dies in a nation, it is never primarily its adversaries’ doing, but that of its members, who lose courage and faith, and thus intelligence.”

“The often antagonistic relation between what the Catholic Church says and the majority opinions of our civil societies does not imply that Catholicism no longer plays any positive role; to the contrary, its contribution lies precisely in the capability it demonstrates of saying the very word that contradicts the predominant opinion head-on and openly, and at the very least renders society the invaluable service of showing that this opinion is not self-evident, that it involves infinitely serious presuppositions and runs the risk of falsification. Even when the world contradicts Catholicism, it still needs it in order to avoid merely proclaiming platitudes. The world might not even become conscious of its innovations and its declines if Catholicism had not been there with enough courage to awaken its bad conscience—for a bad conscience remains still and first of all a conscience. Catholicism can lay claim to such a role, one that is already as remarkable and respectable as many others.”

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