Benedict XVI has put out a new encyclical, now available on the Vatican Website. It's an update of the four documents I've linked to previously in this blog as being my basis for economic ethics; and what an update it is. Still doesn't address my basic quibble on illegal immigration, but it does offer a solution in chapter 5 that is more acceptable than the mere "right to migrate for work", for it now includes a "duty to become a productive citizen of the new country".
However, it's chapters 3 and 4 I'd draw your attention to; for here, Pope Benedict XVI actually treads what is new ground for Americans- man's duty to each other limiting rights, and man's duty to protect the environment for the good of the poor and future generations. This is something we don't hear often enough from the pulpit, and I'd certainly like to hear it more often.
For it is these two "new ideas to America" that we have lost in the last 150 years, and that have caused our current meltdown. By concentrating only on our individual rights, and not our duty to our community and others, we've become unbalanced. Because of this, we've built up a trade deficit and level of personal debt that has destroyed this "last of the superpowers" (don't believe that lie- China is following close behind, ready to take over the power vacuum), and we've destroyed our environment to the point that MIT is announcing that global warming will be 4x to 9x worse than anything previously imagined.
It's time to stop thinking of ourselves. Forget independence, it's time for solidarity and subsidarity, if the human race is to survive at all.