The OctogesimaAdveniens is an apostolic letter of Pope Paul VI LXXX published to mark the anniversary of the publication of the encyclical Rerum Novarum on 14 May 1971. Also seeks to expand the Social Doctrine of the Church. It was addressed to Cardinal Maurice Roy, then, the council president for the laity (now the Pontifical Council for the laity) and the Pontifical Commission Justitia et Pax.
In a lengthy introduction, Pope Paul VI stated the intention of the letter is to continue and expand the teaching of social doctrine given by their predecessors after Rerum Novarum. Recognizes the increasing awareness in order to search for greater justice not only among the Christian communities but also worldwide. Also sets out the main cause of social problems: inequality.
However, the Pope reminds us that the situations of the various Catholic communities are so diverse that you can not give specific lines of action but has to discern in each site that is best and act evangelical requirements in each context and to each problematic. Therefore, it is proposed to illuminate the various social problems by complexity and scale are of particular concern.
New social problems
First, the Pope mentions the urbanization that involves the progressive weakening of agrarian societies and the movement of large numbers of people to urban areas resulting in concentrations of people living in situations of marginalization, poverty, etc.. Further distinguished industrial growth (reflecting on how far a man could being enslaved by the objects he makes) and this fact the increase of population in the big metropolis. Urbanization itself poses new kinds of loneliness and other challenges such as the participation, the slums, discrimination and indifference, delinquency, drug addiction, etc.. Paul VI suggested that in these overcrowded industrial cities and re-create social or cultural centers in communities where they live the brotherhood and promote justice.
In relation to the family, the Pope focused his attention on two issues: the youth and women. The first attempt to illuminate their role in these changes and generational conflicts which may arise. For women, Paul VI expected to promote laws that eliminate inequality and discrimination. However, clarifies that it is not equal to deny the distinctions that God has placed between man and woman but an equality that acknowledges the independence and rights of participation in various aspects of life: political, social, cultural and economica.
Continuing is the Pope is reminding workers that all persons are entitled to a job that allows them to develop, to receive a fair wage and to receive help when you are sick or reached old age. Unions are expected to defend such rights not let instrumentalise other political reasons or greed.
The attention of Paul VI goes on to the different situations of discrimination that exist in contemporary societies: racial discrimination or emigrated. Faced with these difficulties Christians have to remember the brotherhood that unites all men.
The Pope believes that population growth will lead to a progressive increase in unemployment but says that forcing Malthusian type solutions that promote abortion or contraception do not respect freedom of couples. Also deals with social media and stresses the positive aspects and responsibility of those who have power over them so that they are bearers of truth and values proposed.
Regarding the environment, the pope affirms that it has become a holding nature and that there is a risk of irreversible damage or Destroy.
fundamental aspirations and ideological currents
Paul VI recognized that growth and progress in various fields is causing a growing aspiration to equality and more active participation. This has become clear in the drafting of new codes of human rights and international agreements had been achieved compromise. However, it also states that there is still much that the laws are set to current needs.
Political society, according to the Pope, tends more and more democratic models, but must be based on a project in relation to the human vocation and their expressions in the same society without imposing any ideology. From there to remember that Catholics can not join ideology opposed to the principles of the Gospel as Marxism or liberalism atheist.