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Social Justice: Take Back the Term from the Thieves and Build a New Catholic Action Comments

Some have begun to use the phrase "Social Justice" in a disparaging manner. They want to expose the error committed by some who have stolen the term "Social Justice" to hide a "leftist" political agenda. There are others who use it but reject the existence of objective moral truths meant to govern our life together. However, some words and phrases must be rescued when they are stolen. Social Justice is such a ... Continue Reading

91 - 100 of 198 Comments

  1. Susan
    4 years ago

    To Pete: I think my message was mainly for Tony. The term Catholic should be kept...of course, but the Church should not allow those pro-abortion groups to use the term Catholic. I think that does the most damage to the Church. I also don't think they should have allowed Ted Kennedy to refer to himself as "Catholic" -- he should have been excommunicated, as Pelosi. People who champion abortion and euthanasia and Marxist ideology should not be allowed to use the term Catholic in reference to themselves. Neither should the University of Notre Dame been allowed to give the most radical supporter of abortion a platform when not in a debate forum. It is destroying the Church and making it stand for absolutely nothing. Cultural Marxism is intentionally trying to destroy the family and Christianity--we are in a cultural war and losing. The Truth should win, but we fumble the message and are not getting it out to the youth....we don't educate the people into the goals and methods of the cultural Marxists. We let the media glorify this secular atheism, make fun of Christian beliefs, and don't attack those ideas which will lose if exposed,

    We can learn from the Muslims, I think. They attack every derogatory statement made about them immediately. The Catholic Church is so superior in historical terms and in the promotion of logic, reason and science, there should be no debate to which is the exceptional belief system and it is ridiculous that the Truth is not obvious to everyone. That is only because of the retreat from the public square that the Church did after the non-profit ruling in the 60's. Yes, attack--with ideas and inform the ignorant and we win.

  2. Sara Palen
    4 years ago

    Archbishop Burke just used this term social justice the other day. He gave a great address about the teachings of the Church, with the bishops in communion and how the evil one divides the flock-how sometimes it even effects the bishops-(think of the Winnepeg Statement) The Nazis hijacked the term social justice, socialists and liberation theologists now hijack it. Anything the term would be changed to would also be hijacked. But truth is truth-that which is.( But, of course, that depends on what your definition of "is" is). Deacon Fournier if you could put a link to his speech, it addresses several issues that have been put up on this website lately.

  3. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Susan and all: I just received my latest issue of the "Catalyst," you know, the "Journal of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights." Its president, Bill Donohue, has had an editorial comment here at Catholic Online every now and then. This October issue contained nineteen derogatory comments from a variety of anti-Catholic and/or Catholic-bashing/baiting sources about Pope Benedict's recent trip to England. One in particular caught my eye. Here is what Sinead O'Connor had to say in the 9/5/10 issue of "The Guardian" --- "'Catholic' has become a word associated with negativity, with abuse, with violence, but the essence of Catholicism is beautiful. The fact is, tragically, it's been brought into disrepute by the people running it." // "Benedict is in no position to call himself Christ's representative. The pope should stand down, the Vatican should stand down, not only because of the cover-up, they're incredibly arrogant, they're anti-Christian. They don't have the remotest relationship with God." Don't know how that strikes you but I'm just curious. Do you think that just because the MSM, "liberals," socialists, whoever, are trying to distort the word "Catholic" that we ought to "drop it," and find a new word for the Church that Christ established? Or do you think maybe, instead, we ought to "meet them on the field of battle, theirs or our turf, bloody them, hurl them to the ground, and hold the standard of "Catholic" and "social justice," that is ours, high and victorious. It is not theirs to have. It is ours to claim and hold. Stand firm. Hold the line. Do not retreat. Rather, advance, confident in the Lord, that His light, His truth will prevail. Like Constantine, with the standard of the "Cross" before him, we are "Catholic" AND "social justice" is ours.

  4. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Susan: You get no argument from me. I agree with you. Don't know where you got the idea that I was of the opposite opinion.

  5. Susan
    4 years ago

    To Pete and Tony: Marxist ideology has seeped into all aspects of Christianity which is most obvious in the Liberation churches such as Rev. Wright's. The Pope understands this and he has called it demonic and not Christian. As for the borders...of course he preaches humanity to all people and particularly the poor who are the most marginalized and easily exploited. But he never advocates breaking the laws of a nation when they are just. I have heard the Pope admonish the government of Mexico for treating their poor worse than dogs and creating a system where a man has to separate himself from the family (Pope considers this an evil) to just feed them. The onus should be on Mexico--you advocate ignoring the real evil and problem which is the evil government of Mexico. Attack them, not America when they have been responsible for so much good and giving even illegals the means to feed their poor which is created by corrupt, non-Capitalist societies.
    Economic systems do have an effect on religions and the Pope (and the Church) understands that the American model of government (Capitalism) has been the most efficient government in the history of man which created such a large middle class....first time in the history of the world... and Charity was practiced at an incredible degree by the individuals that lived here because of the freedom that is only possible under Capitalism. This is still unprecedented in the history of man.--the amount of charity and freedom. Although the Church isn't known for her economic understanding, she does recognize that the Marxist system means the end is justified by the means...and--that collectivism is at the expense of the individual--is a direct conflict with Catholic Theology which recognizes God in every individual and worth in even the sick and dying where Marx says it is better to eliminate them for the good of the collective.
    Capitalism is understood as neither good nor evil. It is man that can make it good or evil and even the Founders of America knew that our system of government was designed for a good and religious people. Actually, all governments have to be run by good and just people but we all know that we are born with original sin. We can never be perfect. The Capitalist system is a proven system and a nation that upholds just laws is a good nation. I think it could never be a stretch to say the Pope is in full agreement with the fundamental principles of America because they were based on Natural Law Theory, just as St. Thomas aligned Catholic Theology to Natural Law and logic, reason and science. You both need to understand exactly the fallacious lies inherent in Marxist ideology which is responsible for the death of hundreds of millions. Christianity has been warped by Marxist ideology...the term social justice is one of many examples. You have to understand that governments are not charitable...and it is never charity to force a person to part with their private property to redistribute it. Governments ALWAYS involve FORCE. God is ALWAYS about Free Will and the virtue of charity which can NEVER result from force.

  6. Vaemar
    4 years ago

    The only honest position is toi ban the term "social justice" altogether and revive the good old term "justice,", which means everything "social justice" allegedly means and in addition is clearly understandable. "Social justice" in nothing but a diabolical euphemism for demanding power, clothed in supereficially attractive tones.

  7. Anne
    4 years ago

    The USCCB, or individual State Bishop Conferences are NOT the Magesterium of the Church. - This in itself would be a heresy. For the TRUE TEACHINGS of the Catholic Church on Faith and Morals, its all in one book - the "CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition" first printed in the US in March 2000. All Bishops, Priests, Nuns, Laity must follow the "CCC 2nd Ed". After the CCC, the best web site is the Vatican for accuracy without personal opinions. - - - - - - - -Regarding immigration the CCC states that governments for the sake of the common good have the right to make laws for orderly immigration, immigrants must obey the laws, that public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. The CCC does not address "ILLEGAL" immigration. - - - - - - - - - -
    The current DEBT of the USA - due to government overspending is: $13,593,998,687.00. Our total umemployment for the USA is at 17.5% (including those who have quit looking). - - - - - - - -
    It is public info that In the past the USCCB gave money to ACORN, and had papers on "Global Warming" on their web site. Stick with the CCC 2nd Ed, and the Vatican web site.

  8. Tony
    4 years ago

    In regards to the original topic of the article, the Deacon and Pete are right. There is absolutely no reason to change the term 'social justice.' People believe in different concepts of God, so should we change the term for God as well? Of course not, that's just silly. Social Justice is an integral part of Catholic Social Teaching, and that term should not be changed for any reason. It is a very holy term. I do believe that left-wingers sometimes abuse the term and interpret it to mean things that it does not mean (i.e. abortion), but I also strongly see that right-wingers tend to neglect the entire idea of social justice altogether. Just because silly, lunatic fanatic Glenn Beck does not like the term does not mean that our Church should change it. Nor should Catholics allow themselves to be so influenced by non-Catholic news-commentators, whether left-wing or right-wing. Catholics should go straight to our Church for opinions on the news. Essentially, I believe the term 'social justice' should stay. That is only the second personal opinion I will discuss on here, next to my opinion of what defines a cafeteria Catholic. That being said, this will likely be my last post here for quite a while simply due to lack of time. To those of you, especially non-Catholics, who are not joining in on this conversation but are watching at a distance, make sure you research what the Catholic Church teaches before coming to your own conclusions and before coming to any judgments about Catholics in general. I do not see the viewpoint of the Church as being very accurately represented here for the most part, and so I would urge you to go straight to the source of the Church - whether that be official Vatican documents or the bishops official website (USCCB) - and find out what the Church really teaches. Ironically, the website of our Bishops - or the voice of the Church in this country which we should follow above all things - mentions nothing about deportation, nothing about closing borders, nothing about the necessity of guns, nothing about going to war needlessly... but instead, it tells us to welcome immigrants, to listen to the call of the poor above all things, that health care is a basic human right, and that our country must be one of peace. This is the voice of the Church in our country. As to the rest of you who have been posting here regularly, I wish you all well and I wish you many blessings. Just please make sure that you pray ardently to our Lord and Savior and ask Him to make your beliefs reflect those of His Holy Catholic Church which He gave us in order to guide us. May you all put your Church above your political parties, above nationalistic ties to your country, above your own personal feelings and biases, and above yourselves. Peace be with you, and God Bless.

  9. Tony
    4 years ago

    Hello all, I am most likely going to be posting here less frequently simply because of lack of time, but I would like to make one more post. Thanks Pete, I do make sure that what I say is backed up by the Church, and that's the only reason I say it. I don't have any desire or any reason to spread my own personal philosophy, only that of the Church. My reason for initially posting here was because I saw attitudes among some posters that simply did not represent the attitude of the Church at all. I also see people making their own personal inferences from Catechism quotes that may, in theory, support what they say, but in reality the Church is teaching something differently about the specific situations posters are speaking of (i.e.: the Church tells us that countries have a right, in general, to protect their borders, but at the same time our bishops and the Pope himself advocate for reaching out to immigrants in the case of America). My only goal is to be faithful to the Catholic Church, and to follow whatever teachings our Lord would want me to follow. If anyone was able to change my mind about anything and show me that the Church teaches something contrary to what I thought, then I certainly would change my mind. I don't have any pride, and if I have misunderstood a Church teaching, then so be it, I will change my mind because I believe 100 percent in the authority of our Church. But so far, I believe I have correctly upheld the teachings of our Church. Pete has given me some food for thought and has caused me to do some additional research on certain matters, but no one has convinced me that their own personal agendas are the Church's teaching. I simply see Vance going on some kind of bizarre tirade about the Liberal Establishment, and I see Vance supporting all kinds of things that our Catholic Church has outright condemned, namely the Iraq War. I do not say this out of disrespect Vance, but the truth is your beliefs really do not lay hand in hand with the Church's views in many ways. I see people making assertions about Catechism quotes, but no one is backing up their points with official references to situations in America except for me. Our bishops tell us that health care is a basic right and should be funded by the government in a cost-efficient manner for those who do not have access to health care. No one else has come up with any official Vatican documents to counteract this. Instead, people are simply making their own assertions as to what America should do in the situations of health care, immigration and war, but no one has provided any specific references from the Church that support their views on the specific situation they are making. People are outright ignoring the direction of the Church and assuming that they are interpreting the Catechism correctly, when in fact they are not. I also sense a very right-wing slant here. Yes, it is true that the Church condemns certain aspects of socialism and communism, this is true. At the same time, the Church equally condemns forms of cut-throat capitalism and materialism. Why hasn't anyone mentioned that? It appears to me as if right-wingers run rampant here. The emphasis is entirely on condemning 'leftists,' the 'liberal establishment,' 'socialism,' etc., etc. What about the evils that a purely capitalistic society leads to, such as selfishness, greed and materialism? The Church has condemned such things, but these evils seem to be far off the map of anyone's list of evils here. It appears to me as if the majority of people here simply want to stamp the agenda of America all over the planet, ignore the needs of the poor and the hungry, forget about the needs of anyone who isn't American, forget about the needs of Americans in this country who can't afford health care, etc., etc. There is so much hostility and nation-centric ideas on this board, it is alarming. Where is the Church's historical 'preferential option for the poor' to be found here? Almost nowhere, really. And again, I am not a 'left-winger.' I oppose the left side as much as the 'right' side. I am simply Catholic. Pete, it appears from your posts that you believe the border should be shut down and amnesty should not be granted to anyone. My question to you is where is that found in official Church documents, or where is that being expressed by any Church leader? I do know that you listed Catechism quotes that mentioned that countries have the right to protect their borders, which is of course true, but that is very vague and is simply a guideline. It is obviously true that countries must protect themselves, but the Church also teaches us that all countries have an obligation to the world at large, not just to their own people. So Pete while I understand your concerns, I do not see them as being represented here in the Church. What did Pope Benedict say when he came to the US in 2008? Did he say that we should close our borders? Did he say that we should turn a blind eye to the sufferings of our neighbors? Did he say we need to keep Mexicans out of the country? Did he say any of these things? No, his message was one of peace, tolerance, and understanding, urging people to be sensitive to the needs of people in third world countries. Our views should reflect that of our Pope, who said absolutely nothing that was hostile towards immigrants. The Catechism is obviously not a book to teach specific public policies; it gives a framework from which leaders must work, so the Catechism of course will not specifically say anything about what America should do in regard to its borders. The Catechism lays out the basic framework for us to work from. The Catechism will tell us that countries must protect their own borders, but it will also tell us we must look after the needs of the poor and look at the world as all belonging equally to God, un-separated by man-made borders. So where do we find our answer as Catholics? How do we know to apply the principles of our holy Catechism to specific situations in our particular countries? We know by following our local Church leaders (bishops) and the direction of the Pope. And again, the only voices I hear in the Church speaking about immigration are saying that we must be sensitive to the needs of immigrants, and I see the bishops rigorously opposing the Arizona immigration law, and I hear our Pope come over hear and mention nothing about deporting illegals but only stating that we must be sensitive to the needs of immigrants. So I respectfully ask you Pete, where does your opinions on closing the borders in America come from? I do not see it as something coming from the Catholic Church. In fact, I know it is not something supported by the Church, as I have shown through statements from the bishops and from our Pope. Even if the Pope is not out right stating we shouldn't be closing our border, he certainly is not supporting it. So there is no Church leadership that is urging America to close its borders or to deport illegals anywhere. Thus, I don't see it as a viewpoint that Catholics should take. And the Pope was specifically asked about immigration multiple times when he came here. He knows it's a big issue. He would have spoken out and told America that it should 'deport' illegals and close the border if that's what he believed, but he did not do so. His attitude towards immigrants was one of utter mercy and compassion. As for gun control, I didn't mean for that to become a topic of such discussion, that was simply thrown out there. Sara when I used the term cafeteria Catholic, I was referring to anyone who tends to follow their own political views while ignoring the leadership of our Church, who is here to guide us. Yes, the Church did mention in the document I listed above that it does call for the eventual elimination of guns from private citizens in society. Here's the quote. The bishops "call for effective and courageous action to control handguns, leading to their eventual elimination from our society." It's found on the bishops' official website, here: So what is a cafeteria Catholic? A Catholic who does not follow the leadership of the Church. If you don't follow the leadership of the Church, then in my opinion, you are a cafeteria Catholic because you are picking and choosing what you want to accept from the faith; right-wingers are just as badly cafeteria Catholics as the leftists who support abortion. A Catholic who support abortion is a cafeteria Catholic, just as a Catholic who supports the Iraq War is a cafeteria Catholic. That is my opinion, at least, and it is the only opinion of mine that I will post here. Pete I agree that it's a complicated issue, and bringing a knife to a gun fight is obviously not smart. But there are many factors to this issue. I've researched it quite a bit (on a secular basis), and yes, statistics can be skewed to one side or another. And Sara, yes the Catechism does call for us to protect our families, but it mentions nothing of the necessity of guns. Guns are not the only protection for us. We don't need guns, they are simply objects. Anyway, gun control is not an issue I intended to discuss much in the first place. Vance I agree that movies are overly violent and I agree that there is a lot of trash in Hollywood. However, I strongly disagree with some of your sentiments on immigration. Again, it is immoral for the immigrants who simply want to come here to spread crime and reap benefits of welfare, but earnest immigrants who come here to support their families should be helped. Vance, you mentioned: "We have NO WORK and NO MONEY for incoming foreign nationals." I agree that we are having fewer jobs here, but no money? No money?! What do you mean, no money? We are filthy rich in comparison to the rest of the world. Filthy rich! Yes, we are spending ourselves into deficits, but we seem to have plenty of money. We spent trillions of dollars trying to bale out banks, and even worse, we seemed to have more than enough money to go to war, considering we spent over FIVE HUNDRED BILLION dollars on a totally meaningless and destructive war that was entirely condemned by the Vatican. How can you say that we have no money when our government spends countless billions on war??? Ridiculous. We have plenty of money. We have more money than most of the third world combined. We live like kings. I live in a nice neighborhood, but it's a middle class neighborhood, it's not even an upper class neighborhood. In my neighborhood, people own boats for pleasure, sports cars, spend thousands of dollars on fancy vacations every year. In Africa, people can not afford to eat three meals a day. And you have the nerve to say we have no money? We have more money than we could possibly ever need. We are utterly greedy. Our actions essentially say that we believe we deserve to live better than the rest of the world. As a country, we should all (myself included) be more generous. There is no reason for us to live the way we do when so many others suffer. When there are other people in need, we must help them. "The poor will forgive you the bread that you give them, only by the love that you show them." ~ St. Vincent de Paul. If there are earnest people in South and Latin American countries who can barely support their families where they live, I think we must be open to them coming to our land of wealth as Catholics. This is what the Church teaches. No where in official Catholic teaching (i.e. Catechism, bishops, the Pope) can we find that the Church is urging America to deport illegals who are living here peacefully, to close the border, or any other such nonsense. Rather, we find the contrary. I dare one person to come up with an official Church document (statement of the Pope, statement of the bishops) in which the closing of the border or the deportation of peaceful illegals is urged. I dare one person here to come up with an official Church document saying that health care is not a basic human right. I dare you. But I know you will be unsuccessful, because no such Catholic statements exist. My friends I did not come here to spread my own political agenda. I only posted here because I saw that the Church's teachings were not being respected or upheld. It deeply upsets me to see that so many Catholics are willing to think that their own person beliefs and political agendas are above the teachings and the direction of our Church. We have the Pope and we have the bishops to guide us. They are the voice of the Christ here on earth. Yes, sometimes there are Church leaders who are either corrupt or do not follow the true teachings of the Church, but they are few in far between. The entire USCCB is most certainly not corrupt, and they are most certainly not 'too liberal' as some may say. The USCCB as a whole is very faithful to the Magisterium, and we must follow their direction. It is arrogant to think that you know better than the Magisterium of the Church. I expect that kind of attitude from Protestants, but not from Catholics. If the official teaching authority of the Church is telling us that we should be welcoming to immigrants, then we ought to. It is arrogant to oppose the direction and attitude of the bishops simply because you think you know better. Where have all the Catholics gone in recent years? Many Catholics are now too liberal, but equally as many Catholics are far too right-wing. Need I remind you that there are only Democrats and Republicans in the United States. There are no 'democrats' and no 'republicans' in other countries. Neither party is sanctioned by the Catholic Church, but both are overall condemned because both parties differ in too many ways from Church teaching. The Church is neither right nor left, and the Church is not exclusively American. The Church is universal and timeless. We have no room for liberals or for right-wingers in the Church. What we need are true Catholics, people willing to follow the Church on all issues, putting the Church above their country, above their politics, and above their own personal feelings. Just because something may not be 'infallible' does not mean you can look the other way and dismiss it because you immediately disagree. When the Pope or the bishops teach us something, we must ardently pray over their teachings if we disagree. I for one have prayed ardently over matters of faith and politics, and I find myself entirely aligned with the Church - with the bishops, the Pope, and the teachings found within the Catechism.

  10. Susan
    4 years ago

    Yes, we lost control of the language. (Marxist tactic is to control the language and then you control the message.) I believe the Church has to be more aggressive in getting the message out into the "popular culture" without the filter of the secular media. I am thinking of the Bishop Fulton Sheen example in the 50's. (He cut to the chase so to speak in an understandable and interesting way!) The Catholic Church has the most perfect message and needs to get the truth to the masses. Pop Culture is probably the only way to reach the young people who are the future of the Church. Truth does matter but the presentation is vital for the visually, misguided and book-challenged youth. Glenn Beck's presentations are great and interesting--like his Black Founders series. Facts can be sooo interesting and we could do with no revisionist history through the Post Modern German philosophers lens. Drop the social justice term and get control of the conversation. Don't let the MSM keep defining the Catholic Church and twisting its beliefs. We are in desperate times and freedom is slipping.

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