To commit to speaking of the common good is not enough; we must also commit to live it, not only in the actions and the parishes, but in the whole way we live out our common life as the church. In many places we are living it out – the Bishop of Knaresborough spoke of that. But the common good is not something, as Jim has shown us, that is merely talked about; it is something that is practised.
And yet we live in a society where the concept of the general interest seems to have the greatest force. In economic terms, that basically says that the only people who are worth paying attention to are the ones who are economically active; and you calculate, you measure, so that a gain of Â£100 by a person with Â£10 million is exactly the same, economically, as a loss of Â£100 by a person with Â£120 when they started. That is the general interest.
The common good is different, because it is more than what happens when you add my good and your good together.