Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Kevin Jones

7/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

NON-NEGOTIABLE: Essential Principals of a Just Society and Human Culture.

Catholic Social Doctrine

Catholic Social Doctrine

Highlights

By Kevin Jones

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

7/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Politics, Catholic, Social Doctrine


Denver, CO (CNS) - Catholic involvement in civic life is necessary to defend human dignity and move society in a positive direction, says the author of a new book on Catholics principles in public life.

"If we want a free, just and virtuous society that upholds the common good and the dignity of all human beings, then we have to be involved in shaping moral social policy. That takes being involved in the political process," Sheila Liaugminas told CNA.

Catholic Team Global - Pope Francis has made our mission simple - 'Prayer and Action'

Liaugminas is the author of the Ignatius Press book "Non-Negotiable: Essential Principles of a Just Society and Humane Culture."

She said that the Catholic tradition, expressed in the U.S. bishops' document "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," holds responsible citizenship to be a political virtue and participation in political life to be "a moral obligation."

"A lot of people don't know that," she said. "'I hate politics!,' people may think. But it is through the political process that a lot of those policies get made that affect the social fabric of our nation."

Liaugminas is a former host of the Chicago television show "YOU," and now hosts the Relevant Radio program "A Closer Look."

Her new book aims to be a reference to explain "what the Church teaches and why" on "the top moral and social issues of the day." She wanted to provide a resource to help dispel confusion and bring people to truth on important "non-negotiable" principles like the right to life, the nature of marriage and religious freedom.

Her book draws on sources like St. John XXIII's encyclical "Pacem in Terris" as well as papal encyclicals and writings from St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. She also incorporates U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops documents like "Living the Gospel of Life."

In addition, Liaugminas references concurring non-Catholic sources like the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the writings of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the founding documents of the United States and the Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln to explain important principles of good societies.

The common thread within these sources is "the dignity of the human person," she explained.

"These things aren't true because the Catholic Church teaches them. The Catholic Church teaches them because they are true," she said, quoting Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.

"There are many things that are not negotiable," Liaugminas acknowledged. "It is not negotiable that we have to take care of the poor."

However, she said that there are also "preeminent issues" that have been taught by the Church, the Popes, and the bishops.

"There is this hierarchy of principles that are required for everything else to be upheld in a free, just and virtuous society," she said.

For example, it is impossible to make a coherent argument to guarantee any other right if the right to life is not upheld as a "preeminent" or "inalienable" right, she said. "It comes from God."

Religious liberty is also vital for Liaugminas.

"If we don't have the right to religious liberty, then we're unable to do these other things like feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, (and) take care of all the needs of the social gospel."

Liaugminas told CNA that contemporary society is conflicted on the nature of its principles.

"A lot of people are confused and unable even to carry on a conversation or a debate any longer. We aren't using the same language, even though we're speaking English, because words have been so distorted to mean other things."

She said that abortion is promoted in the name of "choice," while euthanasia is promoted under the name "compassion," and marriage redefinition is promoted under the name "equality."

"These are all things Americans feel very strongly about. We all want everyone to have equal rights and equality. We have compassion, and freedom, we love liberty and freedom and choice. But these words aren't being used in the correct way."

In Liaugminas' view, this confusion can be addressed by "using words for what they mean" and asking people the right questions.

On a subject like abortion, she advised focusing on common ground agreement on principles like "choice" in order to persuade.

"If it's truly about choice, then the people out there right now who are trying the hardest and working the hardest to give woman a purely true choice are in the pro-life movement," she said.

Their efforts to provide free ultrasounds and pregnancy help centers provide free medical and material needs mean that a woman considering abortion "truly does have a choice."

People also have shared objections to infanticide and late-term abortions that can be logically extended to help them recognize the right to life throughout pregnancy.

Thought-provoking questions like "How is 'mercy killing' mercy?" can also help people re-think assisted suicide, Liaugminas said.

"You engage those words and make people apply critical thinking skills to the words we use, and see whether we can come to a common understanding."

She encouraged Catholics to assume good intentions and show good intentions to others.

Some abortion clinic escort workers, for instance, might be doing what they think is "really the best thing for women."

"Some people who are very angry and hostile at some of these public debates are actually very hurt and very lonely. The core of their anger is fear."

Catholics should "engage with charity," like Pope Francis, in hopes that this engagement will help people to the point where "they'll talk and listen," Liaugminas advised.

"Lead with love, lead with beauty, lead with the embrace of the other person," she said, adding that a recommitment to the spiritual life "helps us to see the face of Christ in everyone we meet and hopefully show them the face of Christ in us."

"Be informed, pray, and then act," she said. "Bring the clarity and the charity and the beauty of Catholic teaching."

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul IIs call for a New Evangelization, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

EXCLUSIVE - America, King of Propaganda: U.S. government spends billions to spew LIES to the American people. And guess what you foolish Americans, Congress made it all perfectly legal without your vote Watch

Image of

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Have we won the ground war in Afghanistan? According to the government reports and the media, we sure have. However, this is not what one whistleblower has said, warning as early as 2012 that the American people are being deceived by the government. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'He deserves what he gets:' Latino youths violently protest Donald Trump in Orange County Watch

Image of Trump protestors broke out in a violent riot during his Orange County rally (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands attended Donald Trump's Orange County rally - then broke out in violent protest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Trump rally in Costa Mesa's Orange County Amphitheater was overflowing with supporters. There were several supporters who couldn't fit ... continue reading


New White House rules leave religious groups open to government abuse Watch

Image of Religious groups question the government's new regulations (Shutterstock).

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

The Obama administration's new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups' protections against government ... continue reading


Bill De Blasio's ongoing investigation scandal fails to stop him from new fundraising efforts Watch

Image of Mayor Bill de Blasio won't talk - but his staff will (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's closest aides have been issued subpoenas to aid the investigation into his shady fundraising strategies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scandal surrounding de Blasio's fundraising has made headlines since 2014, when a leaked ... continue reading


Trump delivers first foreign policy speech, and sounds like a president should! (FULL TEXT) Watch

Image of Donald Trump's first full foreign policy speech sounded relatively presidential, and while short of specifics, was still worth listening to.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump delivered his first full speech on foreign policy and he sounded fairly presidential while doing so. Trump is not a politician by trade, but he may make an excellent president thanks to his extensive business acumen. Trump is on the path to the Republican ... continue reading


The olive branch and the barb: Clinton vs. Trump Watch

Image of Trump and Clinton came out on top (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The race for the presidential nominee has been full of surprises as history-making events, claims of foul play, dirty dealings and controversial statements have cropped up in abundance. Candidates have, at times, been caught up in a tight race, but Tuesday's primary ... continue reading


Trump will be president! Real estate mogul outpacing Romney by whopping 25 percent Watch

Image of Mitt Romney was friendly with Trump when he needed a campaign donation.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump is on track to win both the primary and the election, according to the numbers. He is on a better trajectory than Mitt Romney was in 2008. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, while winning her primary, is losing support. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Desperate Cruz and Kasich agree to stop competing, will focus on Trump Watch

Image of Cruz and Kasich are teaming up to block Trump, but their chances of success are slim.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have teamed up to block Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination. The rivals have agreed to divide upcoming primary states, so they can efficiently spend resources attacking Trump instead of each other. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Public Bathrooms: Private and safe facilities or free-for-alls? Watch

Image of Apparently, gender-confused children can use whichever restroom they want - without adult supervision to ensure the safety of either gender within the confines of a bathroom (David Bro/ZUMA).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Men with bad motives or who live dissolute lifestyles have always been potential sexual threats to women - and now women have been pushed further into their corners as "transgender rights" rise to prominence as the newest notion of the sexual revolution. These rights ... continue reading


'We are in a race against time:' 175 nations sign landmark climate accord Watch

Image of World powers finally agree to make a move to fight climate change (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

World leaders have finally realized the destruction they have been allowing the planet to endure - and the ensuing consequences. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A shocking number of 175 global leaders gathered at the United Nations headquarters to sign the Paris ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 30th, 2016 Image

St. Pius V, Pope
April 30: Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost ... Read More