Pope John XXIII defined the common good as "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily" (Pacem in Terris # 55). Common good is a term that appears often in the social teaching of the Church and a basic concept.
A priest with a doctorate
in social studies and now working in the labor apostolate
sees the lack of sensitivity for the common good as one of the primary reasons
for the MERS epidemic, contagion and death that resulted from the
epidemic. He writes about the spread of MERS in his column, and gives a
great deal of the blame to seeking efficiency over the common good.
on the spread of the disease, and the name of the hospitals involved
was not made known at the start, and keeping this secret did much to
help the spread of the disease: more concern for private
issues than for the common good.
The desire of the Church
is to work in the area of the common good. He finds the government
retreating in the areas of public health and promoting private health
endeavors. This he also sees as a reason for some of the problems
experienced during the MERS epidemic.
His thoughts come from reflection on creation. God gave the goods of creation to all of
us. We should all benefit: not especially difficult to understand. There are times when a decision made will result in a loss either
materially or in humiliation, but the public
good benefits. The columnist gives blame for the quick development of capitalism
in society where efficiency is everything. Medical care, education, labor, and lodging all become commodities in the market, and those who
are sacrificed for efficiency we do not see.
In conclusion, he wants us to learn a lesson from the MERS
epidemic. More than to maximize efficiency in our society we need to increase our concern in working for the common good, which will promote a more peaceful life for all. Also help us to live according to
the order of creation and the road we Christians are called to follow.