During his pontificate, His Holiness Benedict XVI has placed great emphasis on the role of Christian Love. The encyclical Deus Caritas Est opens with a passage from John’s Gospel: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16). The pope goes on to observe that our love “needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community.” (par 20, Deus Caritas Est).
The Church organizes its loving response to people in many ways – Catholic Charities agencies, pregnancy resource centers, food pantries, outreach to immigrants and to the homeless. All of these ministries are animated by the same spiritual insight, that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
Out of the same loving concern, the Church does not hesitate to enter into the public square and seek the enactment of laws and public policies that will protect the sanctity and dignity of all persons. In Deus Caritas Est the pope observes: “Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew.” (par. 28).