ETHICS IN CRISIS
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
In the Polonia Academy in Czestochowa on 16 May this year there has been held the Third International Symposium of St. Thomas Morus, whose topic was: ‘Ethics in Crisis’. Today it is a very important issue. For, in the life of societies ethics always plays the most important role.
Ethics has multiple and wide dimension but, first of all, it has a personal dimension. Every man is obliged to live morally and according to ethical norms. The principles of Gospel require from a Christian to maintain especially the commandment of love towards God and a neighbour. It is also a matter of abiding to the Decalogue which has a religious character but not only, because it stands of the guard of the social order. How easily it is to forget about the Decalogue in the conditions of influence by various philosophical trends and ideologies! Then a widely-accessible lie comes and the falsehood is introduced into the consciousness of million people...In this way in the life of many nations freedom becomes wantonness. It is backed up by liberal media which have taken over the control over the world and the man, causing the fact that he became the man of moral crisis. So, it is the most right thing of all things to remind of ethical principles which should accompany the man especially in a difficult time for him.
Although it seems that economics, mathematics should implement law and order in the economic and social life, everything without ethics can serve only to temporary interests of particular people. We see how wide areas are influenced by bribery which often makes the economy a mafia sphere. So we must carefully analyse the behaviour of individuals and groups of people, as well as political groups, governments in the ethical respect.
In our country we watch the behaviours of politicians and we notice what is often called arrogance of the authority: somebody wins the election and later he does not respect electors and feels unpunished and he does not want to remember that he was elected by the society. For example, today we are dealing with a situation when, in fact, the whole nation opposes to raising the pension age, we have collected over 2 million of votes for the referendum in this issue but the authority did not allow for it and belittled the vote of the nation. The issue of granting the concession for the Television Trwam on the digital multiplex looks similar- over 2 million of signatures have been collected but the government did not react. The authority does not regard the society, but creates artificial problems in order to distract our attention, not caring about the fact that it bears the responsibility for its action.
At the time of the crisis we should demand transparency, that is, clarity of decisions but not settling matters ‘under the table’, not sweeping inconvenient issues ‘under the carpet’. We owe it to those who are suffering from the results of social inequality and poverty.
We should remember that the state should care about all citizens – it is its role; whereas, it is the state which demands more and more taxes from us, and we often find out about unusually high salaries of some people in Poland and we see that the transparency does not concern many people and many areas of our life. So, what is justice of the country of law based on? Today so much is said about an alleged wealth of the Church; whereas it is necessary to judge the contemporary rich people, magnates of the economic and social life whose money is of ‘unknown origin’.
So, it is good that we notice a problem of ethical principles in the age of crisis. In this respect, today we must look at the whole social life created in the lights of liberalism – a godless movement which is leading our opinions to a completely different direction. We are looking at the reality in the dimension of the Gospel ethics. The Catholic social teaching which has its responsible point of view, can contribute to the balance in the world, but it has to be known, accepted and applied. Then we will maintain peace, social justice, and then people will not die from hunger or suffer from injustice.
St. Thomas Morus died for the sake of these principles: for the sake of justice, honesty and for the Decalogue. Let he be a patron of our public social life, a patron of our politicians prompting that there is responsibility towards the society, but, first of all, towards God.