While Jesus “surely condemns the indifference that even today forces hundreds of millions into death through lack of food, water and medicine,” the Holy Father writes, nevertheless “distributive justice does not render to the human being the totality of his due.” Man seeks for something much more– for salvation– which can only come through Christ and his Church.
The Pope’s annual message takes its title from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans: “The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ.” Pope Benedict begins with some reflections on the meaning of the word “justice.” He notes that the most common definition involves giving every person his due. But a problem arises immediately, he notes: “What man needs most cannot be guaranteed to him by law.”
Efforts to achieve justice through the force of human law cannot succeed, the Pope says. The radical impulse to eliminate all oppressive structures, hoping thereby to bring a just and equal society, is doomed.