To put Pope Benedict XVI’s recent speech in the broader context of his political thought, let me offer something from his recent encyclical GOD IS LOVE, which should charm Christians and libertarians--not to mention Christian libertarians--alike. I only promised not to say more about last week’s speech for now, but I can’t ignore Rat Choice Theory altogether.
There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbor is indispensable. The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a merely bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person--every person--needs: namely loving, personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need....In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live "by bread alone"...a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.