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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

41 - 50 of 198 Comments

  1. Pam
    4 years ago

    It is my recollection, from what I have read in various sources (e.g., "L'Osservatore Romano," etc., ), that while Pope Benedict deplores the war (what rational person wouldn't) and on occasions when President Bush visited him, cautioned him re. the war, he never "condemned" Pres. Bush's decision. Any "war is hell!" is the best thing one can say about wars. And then, what were/are the innocent suffering under the aggressor or tyrant, or what was/is the risk to the innocent, etc....?

  2. Sara Palen
    4 years ago

    what does "cost effecient" mean for universal health care? Should the government then create an authority to establish comparitive effectiveness? Should we regulate medical treatment based not only on clinical but economic criteria across the board?

  3. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: With regard to a "commercial society," and your other responses, I have to run to catch a plane right now. I'm not able to get to this forum while on this trip; it will have to be a couple of days before I can.

  4. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: Your statement: "I was specifically referring to the Iraq War, which was condemned by the Church and did not even remotely fulfill the criteria of the Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church." I CATEGORICALLY DISAGREE. First, no nation needs a "Nihil Obstat/Imprimatur" or the "blessings of Rome" before going to war. This is where you fundamentally error in virtually everything you've stated in your responses thus far because you seem to think that it must "literally" be stated in a church teaching before an individual or a nation acts. Wrong. The "natural law" is imprinted on the hearts of all men; we instinctively know what is wrong and right. We are not required to pour over every church document, teaching, or catechism before getting on with our lives. Second, I will refer you to CCC 2309 which states, "The evaluation of these conditions (the criteria for a "just war") belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good." In America it is Congress that has the "responsibility for the common good" and is specifically given the power to "declare war" by the Constitution. This they did. Before getting to a "just war" let us define what war is. I accept the definition that war is primarily a state of "armed" conflict between one "state," meaning "nation," and another; that it must be "declared;" and that it can only be declared by the head of a nation, i.e., a person or persons with the authority to do so. In other words, Osama bin Laden cannot declare "war" on the United States. He has, however, directed violent aggression upon this country. This nation is, therefore, rightfully entitled to defend against that aggression. CCC 2309 lists four criteria for a "just war." First, "the damage inflicted... must be lasting, grave, and certain." September 11, 2001 establishes that. Second, "all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective." The very nature of the "enemy" establishes that. Third, "there must be serious prospects of success." The Iraq War says yes to that. In my book, probably not in yours. The War in Afghanistan I'm not so certain about. Fourth, "the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated." Since CCC 2307 says "evils and injustices () accompany all war" one cannot simply default to "war produces evils" and declare any war "unjust." Does an ensuing "political instability" generate a "graver evil?" Possible, but as a means of evaluating this last criteria the Catechism adds that the "power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition." NBC warfare. Which our enemies would not hesitate to use against us. In my book, the Iraq War was "just." In order for you to establish that the Church has "condemned" it you will have to provide evidence that it has determined and "pronounced" that one of the conditions for a "just war" has not been met. It is my belief that Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have expressed "reservations" about the "Iraq War," and that they have ardently felt compelled to address it based on their personal experiences with the horrors they witnessed during WWII. Prove your "condemnation," otherwise, you are merely twisting "Church teachings" and Papal "reservations" to your own preconceived notions. The Church does not "condemn" capitalism, as you repeatedly state, nor has it "condemned" the Iraq War.

  5. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: Your statement: "Being pro-American under right-wing conditions means having absolute disregard for the needs of people in other countries and viewing Americans as being superior to other citizens." Having read "The Imperial Cruise" by James Bradley I would tend to agree with you. I would recommend this book to all for the dangers you highlight. You will think differently about what America was back then (particularly Teddy Roosevelt) after reading it.

  6. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: Your statement: "And in my experience, being pro-American under right-wing conditions means caring first and foremost about American citizens and utterly neglecting the needs of the poor in other countries." And exactly what is your "experience" in this regard?

  7. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: Your question: "Where does our Catechism require us to be Pro-America?" I answer, CCC 2239 "The love and service of "one's country" follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity." You add: "They tend to view America of some kind of favored country by God." In case you missed it in my other answer here's Pope Leo XIII again in his encyclical, "Catholicity in the United States," --- "Nor, perchance, did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic..." I do not think it a reach to see the connection that Pope Leo XIII was making with the Declaration of Independence, to wit, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor." That final line of the Declaration is a very "right-wing" kind of thing to say, I suppose, but, yes, America is favored by God. Over other countries?; don't think so, but let them look to their own. The rest of your questions on South American et al countries and Heaven is in my book just nonsense.

  8. Pam
    4 years ago

    Getting back to Deacon Fournier's Article, in his first sentence he brings one errant trend among "some" Catholics --to speak disparagingly of the term: "Social Justice"--to our attention....Virtues, including civic virtues, are good habits. "Patriotism" and "social justice" are both civic virtues. Still, if we take a virtue to extreme, any one of them can become a vice--a bad habit. I used to think (years and years and years ago) that life is very simple--and in some ways it really is--when, if, as we "become like little children"--with a "sound [old trans.: "single"] eye," as Jesus told us. (Mt 18:3/ Lk 11:34) I would dare to say that the lack of a single--or "sound eye" is at the root of the problems we see everywhere today.

    There seems hardly any area of life where there isn't a major concern related to matters of faith and morals. Sometimes, I wonder these days, when we see even erring Bishops (not to mention priests--and not just in "abuse" cases ...): how can we know where to turn for help in discerning what is "right and just" in our times? Sometimes, the matter is clear (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research)--but other times what is called "prudential judgment" is needed ("just war," is one example). As I write this, I hear EWTN coming on with coverage of this Sunday's Mass of Pope Benedict with the Bishops of the Middle East Rites--whom he invited to the Vatican for a Synod. If we are going to "make it" through the "trials and tribulations" of our times--to use some old-fashioned words--we need to listen to the Pope and the Bishops in union with him.... In fact, we have plenty of "teaching--in matters of faith and morals" available to us--and we need to study them and apply them. The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" (Second Edition--dk green cover) brings it all together for us--drawing from Sacred Scripture, the Councils over all the Centuries, the Fathers of the Church, and the Popes--right up to our time. The writings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI address specifically matters of faith and morals in our times; they draw from the above same perennial inspired sources with the spiritual insight of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised us would be with them today--until the end of time! Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict--all speak of these "times of tension," of concern related to the emergence of new words, "evasive language" that camouflages new idols and a hedonistic human (and shall we not say "inhuman") lifestyle. One of the latest words is "technocracy"--a "mentality" that gives all the attention to the question "how," with little or no attention to the question "why" in regard to the meaning and value of created things and their use. Such that man sees himself as a kind of "god" with near infinite creative potential.

    So, again, let us unite in prayer together--in that Sacred Place, in Church--God's "House of Prayer," but also in our homes, and in our "room..." and wherever we gather together (including here) to share and discuss our concerns.

  9. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: With regard to your question to me regarding the government being capable of providing "universal health care" I'm going to copy into here a response I gave on the other issue of "subsidiarity and the Tea Party" elsewhere on this forum. //// In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville observed that in America, "the entire society seems to have melted into a middle class." The other feature of America that he thought best contributed to that happy state was the relatively small presence of government. Later in the century Pope Leo XIII would write in his encyclical, "Catholicity in the United States" --- "That your Republic is progressing and developing by giant strides is patent to all... For even as your cities, in the course of one century, have made a marvelous increase in wealth and power... the increased riches and resources of your cities are justly attributed to the talents and active industry of the American people... you [Catholic bishops and laity] were enabled to erect unnumbered religious and useful institutions, sacred edifices, schools for the instruction of youth, colleges for the higher branches, homes for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and convents and monasteries... associations for mutual aid, for the relief of the indigent, for the promotion of temperate living, add to all this the many evidences of popular piety." I wonder what Tocqueville and Leo XIII would say of America today? Would they wonder, as I do, that America now ignores the history of the progress that they witnessed, a progress done without "government." Would they be as dumbstruck as we ought to be that American society today not only thinks they are "entitled" to government handouts but that a substantial number of the electorate sees a ponderous "federal" government as the "answer" to almost every question of social order that arises. I think they would be incredulous as to "how did this happen?" Subsidiarity and the "Tea Party?" Happily, I think Leo XIII would concur --- "Nor, perchance, did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seem to be evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church."

  10. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Tony: Wasn't the Sixth question I skipped but the Fifth. Here it is. Were the Vandals who sacked Rome merely "immigrants," because they can be just as easily be seen as sharing the modern quest of just looking for a "better life" as any other group, no?

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