Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love

               5 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5: 1 New International Version NIV)


St. Peter’s Basilica, 30 December 1987 | Peoples and individuals aspire to be free: their search for full development signals their desire to overcome the many obstacles preventing them from enjoying a ‘more human life.’

               The Gospel of Jesus Christ inspires these motives. We find here a new invitation to bear witness together to our common convictions concerning the dignity of man, created by God, redeemed by Christ, made holy by the Spirit, and called upon in this world to live a life in conformity with this dignity.

                I likewise address this appeal to the Jewish people, who share with us the inheritance of Abraham, ‘our father in faith (Romans 4: 11) and the tradition of the Old Testament, as well as to the Muslims who, like us, believe in a just and merciful God. And I extend it to all the followers of the world’s great religions.

               The aspiration to freedom from all forms of slavery is noble and legitimate. It affects the individual and society. The purpose of development considers the intimate connection between the two.


Editor’s note |The Hague, 16 January 2017: Open Letter from Abraham A. van Kempen to Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Dear Madam Chancellor,

Imagine, Madam Chancellor, the Israelis and the Palestinians in full reconciliation, living apart together, within one homeland inside two borderless states, rejoicing freedom of movement and the right of passage, sharing Jerusalem and the region not too different from the BENELUX countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), the forerunners of the open borders of the European Union (EU)? “Can we quietly Cross the Boundary of Life and Find New Meaning in Our Tangled Roots of Our Combined Histories,” a whisper of hope from American poet Dario Robleto?

Destroy Your Enemies By Becoming Friends …

What if the Israelis rediscover themselves and build the Zion of my parents’ dreams, a heaven on earth, a Zion belonging to all of Abraham’s descendants, all of God’s children, the God of all humanity? In this light, they can and will destroy their enemies by becoming friends with all the give and take to make and keep the friendship? In the collective memory of NEVER AGAIN, the Israeli credo so genetically encoded in their collective history and hysteria can be changed from “we will fight to the end if we must…” to “do what’s right” (Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Yair Golan).

Collision Course Against Judaic Conscience …

Read more: Open Letter from Abraham A. van Kempen to Mrs. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, ‘Mr. Netanyahu, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” Philo of Alexandria, Hellenized Jewish Philosopher (20 BCE to 40 CE)


Saint Pope John Paul II | Mere economic development – money – is incapable of setting man free. On the contrary, it will end by enslaving him further. Development that does not include the cultural, transcendent, and religious dimensions of humankind and society – if it does not recognize the existence of such measures and does not endeavor to direct its goals and priorities toward the same –  is even less conducive to authentic liberation.

Human beings are free only when they are entirely themselves, in the fullness of their rights and duties. The same can be said about society as a whole. The freedom with which Christ has set us free (Galatians 5: 1) encourages us to become the servants of all.

Thus the process of development and liberation takes concrete shape in the exercise of solidarity, that is to say, in the love and service of neighbor, especially of the poorest:

               For where truth and love are missing, the process of liberation results in the death of freedom.

The Church has confidence also in humanity. Despite our heritage of sin – sin which each one can perpetrate –  there exist in the human person sufficient qualities and energies, a fundamental ‘goodness’ (Genesis 1: 31). Humankind is the Creator’s image, placed under the redemptive influence of Christ, who ‘united himself in some fashion with every man,’ and because the efficacious action of the Holy Spirit ‘fills the earth’ (Wisdom 1: 7 ).

We are all called, indeed obliged, to face the tremendous challenge of the last decade of the second Millennium. The present dangers threaten everyone:

               A world economic crisis, a war without frontiers, without winners or losers.

               In the face of such a threat, the distinction between wealthy individuals and countries and poor individuals and countries will have little value, except that a greater responsibility rests on those who have more and can do more.

               At stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator.

The very dignity of the human person is the indestructible image of God the Creator, which is identical in each of us. 

               “Father, you have given all peoples one common origin, and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself.

               Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love and the desire to ensure justice for all.

               By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, an end to all division, and a human society built on love and peace.

Excerpted from:

IOANNES PAULUS PP. II, SOLLICITUDO REI SOCIALIS, To the Bishops, Priests, Religious Families, sons and daughters of the Church, and all people of goodwill for the twentieth anniversary of Populorum Progressio, St. Peter’s Basilica, 30 December 1987 (the 10th year of my Pontificate).