Charity in Truth: The Pope Calls for One World Government

(This is a story that I might have missed had I not read Brenda Bower’s blog.)

On June 29th, Pope Benedict XVI issued an encyclical letter entitled, “CARITAS IN VERITATE,” (latin for “Charity in Truth.”)  In this epistle, the pontiff spells out his views on the global economy, politics, charity, and social justice.  I must confess the document was tedious to read (they say it’s 144 pages but in html who counts pages – it has 79 numbered points.) It would be easy to simply draw conclusions from others who are likely drawing conclusions from others who may or may not have read the document.  But alas I refuse to do that.  In preface of this review, I must say, I found myself agreeing with the Pope’s analysis of the global economy, the condition of those in underdeveloped countries, and his views on social justice.  He seems to have the Christian social perspective however I found myself at odds with his suggestions on how positive change should be achieved.

Apparently, the Pope, like the Obama administration, does not like to see a good crisis go to waste.  He proposes the global economic crisis is “an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future,” (Point 21. Hereafter referred by number only.) His vision includes elements that should make one pause while responding to the shiver running up their spine.  The Pope is clearly troubled by the social conditions in underdeveloped and developing nations.  He sees the extreme poverty, high food prices, exploitation of labor, and how little aggregate populations in these nations have benefited from globalization and it pains him.

Reading the letter my impression is that the Pope must feel there is futility in calling on individual governments around the world to fix their problems, to pass local laws to enhance their quality of life, and mandate laborers to be paid a living wage.  Instead the Pope says “there is urgent need of a true world political authority… such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights.” (67) There is no ambiguity, the Pope is calling for a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT. He goes on to say, “it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums…They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations.”

He assumes such a global government would be fair and charitable.  I have limited personal knowledge about the inner workings of the U.N. but I do have a cousin who headed up an African relief project in the late 1970s.  He was young and naive at the time and tried to efficiently use the funds granted him by the U.N.  When his project was completed he attempted to return the excess funds (amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.)  An astounded administrator of third world origins, instructed him to open a bank account in the Caribbean and deposit the money for use in his retirement years.  I don’t know what he eventually did with the money but he was unable to return it to the U.N.  My point is third world corruption and greed from underdeveloped and developing nations would see a global government as an efficient method to transfer wealth from developed nations – not to their impoverished populations but to the third world elite.

slave-children-indiaLabor Conditions

However, Pope Benedict XVI does make many observations I agree with. His call for freer labor unions (25) is laudable; – not in developed nations but in developing nations. (I heard that gasp, Reed.) In first world nations labor unions, for the most part, serve only to drag corporations down by demanding benefits in excess of productivity generated.  In the third world, employees are abused, paid less than what is required to purchase necessities, and denied the right to ask for more.  No American would submit to these conditions, yet we close our eyes when Indian children are enslaved and workers across the third world are denied basic human rights.  (After all, we wouldn’t want to pay more for that pair of jeans.)

While making his case for the pitiful condition of peoples in exploited nations, the Pontiff touched on an issue near and dear to my heart, the syphoning of jobs and wealth.  He writes, “The global market has stimulated first and foremost, on the part of rich countries, a search for areas in which to outsource production at low cost with a view to reducing the prices of many goods, increasing purchasing power and thus accelerating the rate of development in terms of greater availability of consumer goods for the domestic market.” (25) His point is that as third world nations compete for first world money; workers in those nations pay the price through reduced rights.  These workers do not benefit as Free Trade proponents have suggested they would.  The money benefits the ruling classes and those businesses exploiting the labor.  The point he does not make is that first world nations also suffers as jobs there are lost, the manufacturing base is compromised, and wealth is simply moved from the lower class to the upper.  The benefit to industrialized nations is, of coarse, lower prices but the costs include not only lower wages for the lower classes and higher unemployment, but a smaller aggregate income tax base, (forcing greater taxes on the wealthy and business,) and greater entitlement payouts by first world governments.

Long-term Solutions to Scarcity

He goes on to call for social justice in various areas and much of it I agree with.  He suggests governments take long-term approaches to solving food scarcity, “The problem of food insecurity needs to be addressed within a long-term perspective, eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and promoting the agricultural development of poorer countries. This can be done by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems, transport, organization of markets, and in the development and dissemination of agricultural technology that can make the best use of the human, natural and socio-economic resources that are more readily available at the local level, while guaranteeing their sustainability over the long term as well.” (27)  All great ideas but I believe these are changes local governments, individuals, and businesses should be making, not a mandated redistribution of wealth from a global government.

Cultural Ramifications

One could write a book arguing against a single global government.  But the Pope himself makes a case against it that many liberals might agree with even though he is actually talking about globalization of the economy.  The Pontiff writes, “[the] danger exists, that of cultural levelling and indiscriminate acceptance of types of conduct and life-styles. In this way one loses sight of the profound significance of the culture of different nations, of the traditions of the various peoples, by which the individual defines himself in relation to life’s fundamental questions.” (26)  A single world government would find itself in a constant cultural conflict as the interests of one region or culture would be in direct conflict with the interests or needs of another.  Cultures would compete for dominance as well as resources.  So a cultural leveling would by necessity have to occur.

In the early days of the United States cultures were blended and a uniquely American culture emerged.  Today multiculturalism teaches that we should separate these cultures out, celebrating the uniqueness of our various constituencies.  While it is laudable to accept the differences between cultures no society can exist as united if communities are culturally divided.  Such cultural divides always result in social conflict.

Christian Prophetic Teaching

The Pope is the head of the largest Christian denomination on the planet.  He is obviously an intelligent and compassionate man.  He seems to have a good grasp of the global socio-economic times.  However, I am experiencing an intellectual enigma in trying to understand his call for a global government.  My biggest problem is not as much his extreme globalist view or his socialist leaning, rather it is his apparent ignorance of Christian prophetic teaching.  Perhaps I missed his explanation, but isn’t it a central Christian belief that the Anti-Christ will create and dominate a one-world government in the last days?  So why would the world’s leading Christian suggest we need a global government?  Is he wanting to help fulfill prophecy?  Is he somehow an evil pawn in a grand Satanic plot?  Is he ignorant concerning Christian prophetic teaching?  Or is he not really a true believer?  I throw the questions out, but I have no answer.

In conclusion, the world today is certainly not a perfect place.  The Pope is correct in urging governments to improve the status and conditions for their peoples, but he was completely off-base in calling for a one-world government.  To even entertain the idea of a benevolent, just global government one must suspend all understanding of human nature.  The same evil tendencies of man that created this imperfect world of ours would in turn distort, corrupt, and abuse a government as vast and powerful as a global one would, by necessity, be.

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  1. Thank you. I am referring this post to my readers as you have done so much more research (as you always do!) 🙂 BB

    • Workmangene
    • July 19th, 2009

    I pray that someome would show the Pope that the LORD Jesus Christ called us to the Great Commission of presenting the Gospel of the provision of God’s salvation in the work of Christ Jesus on the Cross, He did not call us to the social gospel. Remember He said “The poor you will have with you always.” The Church is called to care for the poor but not to be encombered in trying to stamp it out. The WORD of God also says if one does not work they should not eat. We cannot stamp out poverty because its roots are in sin. We are called to take care of the children of poverty. This we can do and educate them, but we will never stamp poverty out and we should not transfer our energy and vision from the Gospel of salvation to the gospel of social activisom.

  2. Well put!

    • saabgirl
    • September 21st, 2009

    You have asked the question about Christian prophectic teaching about the Anti-Christ. You may find an answer on the Seventh-Day Adventist website on the anti-christ and the Catholic Church and America. You may well discover that the Pope will be in fact fulfilling bible prophecy.

  3. Saabgirl, Thanks for the tip. It might be suspect to get the Catholic doctrine from the Seventh Day Adventist, but I understand your point. In my in-depth study of religion I’ve found there are thousands of theories on the “end-times.” I will go out on a limb and guess we’re all wrong. Only after everything has come to pass or we ourselves stand before God will we know the complete story. However, it would not surprise me if the major Christian denominations played a role in establishing the framework for the last days.

      • Anne Patterson
      • September 28th, 2009

      Great Article, I tried to read the full “letter” when it first came out but got lost in the sheer amount of words. as far as your reply to saabgirl, you have no idea how right you are. I study the Bible regularly, as one of Jehovah’s witnesses, and it is true we only see the full picture of how a prophecy is fullfilled only after it is fullfilled. I would suggest you check out watchtower.org (the official site of Jehovah’s witnesses) as well in your search for answers on this subject. You are also right about Major Christian Denominations playing a role in framework of last days. In the Bible book of Revelation Babylon the Great symbolizes Christendom. When it comes to seeking answers on how a prophecy will be fulfilled, the Bible is the best place to look.

      • Thanks for the comment. There are sometimes hundreds of views but very few comment. When I observe the religious and political world there is a very wise verse that comes to mind, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” I think I come off being that way but really, I am attempting to simply make a convincing case.

    • last
    • November 16th, 2009

    All I can say, Seek The Lord wholeheartedly and He shall guide you to the truth.

    • Melvyn
    • August 24th, 2010

    Thank you for the review. A group of friends of mine are doing a study on social encyclicals and I agree with you that this document is a tedious read. I recommend the last social encyclical by Pope John Paul II to those looking for a more readable and passionate letter to the world. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html

    Regarding the comments about the one-world-order. I too am doubtful that man without God can build a world of true justice and peace, but I struggle with “shouldn’t we, Christians, try to live this out (with Christ in us) and build this world of Charity in Truth.” I don’t know doing nothing “Or letting 3rd world countries figure this out for themselves is the right answer”. Today, most managers have to deal with moral aspects of globalization. “Is the work that I offshore benefiting my neighbors across the yard and on the other side of the planet?” Its questions like these that the “Social Gospels” attempt to address, albeit with some times too idealistic solutions. The Pope, like all other Christians, is attempting to put the presence of Christ in all we do, Church, home and work. To the question of Anti-Christ and the Catholic Church. My “poor” suspicion is that any large/visible/good institution on earth is a prime target for the Devil to destroy (I relate this to how terrorists feel about America). I support the Pope in that even if the the Church is probably the prime location for the end-times to take root in, it should not stop us from living Christ-like to the full extent we can, local, nationally and globally. One last point regarding the Popes intentions on creating a “global authority” (again I too am pessimistic that such an agency would be void of corruption) – all previous social encyclicals (which the Pope references and builds upon) speaks of the Principals of Subsidiarity, where local authorities have the rights and responsibility to ensure the well being of their own and that higher authorities must respect and protect these rights. I would support any one-world-order that would protect and respect my duties to raise my family to know, love and serve God in this world, so to be perpetually happy with Him in the next.

    • I don’t trust any global authority to be free of corruption and would be hostile to such a government. Corrupting influences would certainly be too great to resist with poor nations rushing to plunder the rich. And while I know the rich have certainly plundered the poor, (via free trade agreements that enslave factory and textile workers), I believe a global redistribution of wealth will ultimately ruin everyone.

      Why? Because without the wealthy nations to demand goods from developing nations, growth and opportunity would end. The plunders of redistribution would be quickly consumed.

      One need look no further than your local lottery winners to see what happens when the ignorant acquire sudden wealth. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx

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