The Vatican’s Palazzo della Cancelleria hosted an award ceremony on Thursday afternoon, which saw two scholars granted the 5th International “Economy and Society” Award.
The event was presided over by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and saw Cardinals Reinhard Marx and Silvano Maria Tomasi offer congratulatory words for the award recipients.
Celebrating Church’s social doctrine
Promoted by the Centesimus Annus Foundation – Pro Pontifice, the “Economy and Society” award celebrates works that make an original contribution to the study and application of the Social Doctrine of the Church, while receiving recognition for doctrinal soundness and comprehensibility to the general public.
This year’s recipients are two Jesuits: Patrick Riordan for his 2017 book “Recovering Common Goods” and Jaime Tatay for her 2018 book “Integral ecology and the Catholic reception of the sustainability challenge: 1891 (Rerum Novarum) – 2015 (Laudato si’).
The two winners split the cash prize of 20,000 Euro.
Supporting young researchers
The Centesimus Annus Foundation also presented two young researchers with scholarships worth 20,000 Euro.
Scholarship recipients were Sofia Horsfall, a student at Rome’s La Sapienza University studying finance and environmental sustainability, and Erminia Florio, a Postdoctoral Fellow at HEC Montreal who is researching the effects of information campaigns on young people’s intention to leave their home nations.
Technology cannot give direction, only options
In his speech at the event, Cardinal Parolin warned against allowing technological progress to overcome critical thinking.
Technology, he said, can help people reason through a problem and help choose between two different paths toward a specific goal. However, technology can in no way help discern the correct goal toward which to work.
The danger, added the Cardinal, is that humanity begins to view everything as indifferent and unimportant, since technology cannot help us figure out which goal to choose.
However, the Church’s Social Doctrine offers an important contribution in deciding our aim in an ethical lens.
Realizing the common good together
Cardinal Parolin said this Doctrine “is basically a way of ‘taking care’ and ‘being with’, more than an enunciation of rules; it is a home.”
Our aim or goal, he added, is “a social order which is not only just but also fraternal.”
“The common good means that which is realized together with the good of others, not against or indifferent to the interests of those others,” said the Cardinal.
He concluded his speech focusing on the principle of reciprocity.
Cardinal Parolin said giving and receiving should not be based on the logic of exchange. Rather, “I give you something so that you can give to me according to what you are able to give.”
“The reception of this principle at a political level,” concluded the Cardinal Secretary of State, “is the guarantee of a harmonious mode of living together which has a future.”