Catholic Social Teaching AK ey to Catholic Identity

Document Sample
Catholic Social Teaching AK ey to Catholic Identity Powered By Docstoc
					Catholic Social Teaching
A Key to Catholic Identity
The Problem
Far too many Catholics are unfamiliar with the basic
content of Catholic social teaching. More
fundamentally, many Catholics do not adequately
understand that the social mission of the Church is
an essential part of Catholic faith.

This poses a serious challenge for all Catholics, since
it weakens our capacity to be a Church that is true to
the demands of the Gospel. We need to do more to
share the social mission and message of our Church.

Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
U.S. Bishops, 1998
A Key to Catholic Identity
The central message is simple: our faith is
profoundly social. We cannot be called
truly “Catholic” unless we hear and heed
the Church's call to serve those in need and
work for justice
and peace.

     Communities of Salt and Light, U.S. Bishops, 1993
      Vatican II’s Ecclesiology

The Church is a sign and a safeguard
of the dignity of the human person.

A religious organization whose
purpose it is to help bring about the
reign of God in history.

The social mission is “constitutive”
not extra-curricular or optional.
   Justice in the World, 1971 Synod

Action on behalf of justice and
participation in the transformation of
the world fully appear to us as a
constitutive dimension of the
preaching of the Gospel, or, in other
words, of the Church's mission for
the redemption of the human race
and its liberation from every
oppressive situation.
Constitutive Elements of Church

   Scripture         -- hearing the Good News

   Sacraments        -- worship, prayer life, etc.

   Social Mission -- action for social justice
Catholic Social Teaching
   Rooted in the Bible

   Continually developed in Catholic Social

        -- See, judge, act
Biblical themes of justice
   God is active in human history
   Creation
   Covenant relationship
   Community
   Anawim -- "the widows, orphans and aliens”
   The example of Jesus – reign of God, healing

        In biblical faith, the doing of justice
       is the primary expectation of Yahweh.
                                 Walter Brueggeman
Cycle of Baal
                   State of
       Restoration Blessing Become

    Cry out for                   Forget the
    Deliverance                     Poor

     Kill the                        Forget

        Prophets:            Other Gods
        The Poor
Vatican II
This split between the faith which many
profess and their daily lives deserves to be
counted among the more serious errors of
our age.

Long since, the Prophets of the Old
Testament fought vehemently against this
scandal and even more so did Jesus Christ
Himself in the New Testament threaten it with
grave punishments.
Modern Catholic Social Teaching
Modern Catholic Social Teaching

1891   Rerum Novarum                Leo XIII
1931   Quadragesimo Anno            Pius XI
1961   Mother and Teacher           John XXIII
1963   Peace on Earth               John XXIII
1965   Church in the Modern World   Vatican II
1967   The Development of Peoples   Paul VI
1971   A Call to Action             Paul VI
1971   Justice in the World         Synod of Bishops
1979   Redeemer of Humanity         John Paul II
1981   On Human Work                John Paul II
1988   On Social Concern            John Paul II
1991   The One Hundredth Year       John Paul II
1995   The Gospel of Life           John Paul II
      Christian Justice

Our concept of justice must always be
based on the right and authentic
sources such as the message of
revelation and its dynamic theological
    Justice from the Scripture
   Old Testament
    - attitude or virtue that makes one conform to the
    moral norm (Covenant)
    - Job and Sapiential Books - interpersonal
    relations, faithfulness to God
    “There can be no fidelity to God without justice
    towards men; in fact, without the practice of
    justice there can be no true worship,”
    Justice from the Scripture
   New Testament
    - inner rectitude in relation to God.
    - Jesus’ teaching about justice is not the
    legalistic and limited understanding of
    “giving to each person what is his, but
    giving to him what is yours.”
    Justice in the Church’s
 The habit whereby a person renders to each
  one, with a constant and perpetual will, his
  due or right.
 It forbids taking from other what is his.
 It is the firm will to give each person or
  social groups what belongs to him or them.
 It puts order in interpersonal relationships
  and social activities.

Individual                               Individual
             Commutative (Contractual)
         Commutative Justice
   It commands that the exchange of goods
    and services take place according to strict

   It operates in commercial exchange and just
    regulation of process, just compensation of
    work and contracts.
            Distributive Justice
   Refers to the obligations of the community to the

   It demands that those in authority see to it that
    there is equitable distribution of the benefits and
    burdens of community.

   It considers one’s qualifications, resources and
    contribution to the common good.
     Contributive/Legal Justice
   It is concerned with the general good of the
    community and obliges the members of a
    community to comply with the demands of the
    common good.

   It also obliges authorities to formulate and
    promulgate appropriate laws for the resolution of
    any social situation which involves justice.
   This requires the authorities to look into the
    real situation of different groups of people
    in the society and give them their due as
    members of a human community.

   “equitable distribution of the forces that
    mold public opinion”
“Justice will never be fully attained unless
people see in the poor person, who is asking
for help in order to survive, not an
annoyance or a burden, but an opportunity
for showing kindness and a chance for
greater enrichment.” (CA #58)
     Components of Justice
 Sufficient life-goods
 Dignity of the human person
 Participation
 Solidarity
                           Gomez, OP
“If beyond legal rules there is really no
deeper feeling of respect for and service to
others, then even equality before the law
can serve as an alibi for flagrant
discrimination, continued exploitation and
actual contempt.”
Wheel of Social Justice
Major Themes from Catholic Social Teaching
1.    Human dignity
2.    Community
3.    Rights and duties
4.    Option for the poor
5.    Participation
6.    Economic Justice
7.    Stewardship of Creation
8.    Solidarity
9.    Role of Government
10.   Promotion of Peace
1. Human dignity

The person is sacred, made in the image of God.
2. Community / Common Good
   The social nature of the human person

  The fact that human beings are social by
  nature indicates that the betterment of the
  person and the improvement of society
  depend on each other.…humanity by its
  very nature stands completely in need of
  life in society.
                   Vatican II, The Church in the Modern World

  “Every man for himself,” said the elephant
  as he danced among the chickens.
                                 Charles Dickens
3. Rights and duties

      Civil/political

      Economic/social

       Every person has a right to the basic
       material necessities that are required to
       live a decent life.
4. Option for the Poor

 Remember   the “widows, orphans, and

A necessary element of the common
5. Participation

  All people have a right to
  a minimum level of participation
  in the economic, political, and
  cultural life of society.
6. Economic Justice
    The economy must serve people, not the other way
     around. People are more important than things;
     labor is more important than capital.

    All workers have a right to productive work, to
     decent wages, to safe working conditions; and they
     have a right to organize and join unions.

    People have a right to economic initiative and
     private property, but these rights have limits. No
     one is allowed
     to amass excessive wealth when others lack the
     basic necessities of life.
7. Stewardship of Creation
  The goods of the earth are gifts.
  We hold them in trust, as stewards.

  “God destined the earth and all it contains for all
  people and nations so that all created things would
  be shared fairly by all humankind under the
  guidance of justice tempered by charity.”
                          On the Development of Peoples
8. The Virtue of Solidarity

  “It is a firm and persevering
  determination to commit oneself
  to the common good; that is to
  say, to the good of all ...because
  we are all really responsible for

            Pope John Paul II, On Social Concern, 1987
9. Role of Government

 The state has a positive moral function.
  It is an instrument to promote human
  dignity, protect human rights, and build
  the common good

 Subsidiarity
     As small as possible
     As big as necessary
10. Promotion of Peace

    Peace is not just the absence of war

    “If you want peace, work for justice.”
           Pope Paul VI, 1972, World Day of Peace Message
Major Themes from Catholic Social Teaching

1.    Human dignity
2.    Community
3.    Rights and duties
4.    Option for the poor
5.    Participation
6.    Economic Justice
7.    Stewardship of Creation
8.    Solidarity
9.    Role of Government
10.   Promotion of Peace
Christian Social Analysis
       PCP II Art 20 #2

Action  in behalf of justice is to
 be pursued as a sign of
 Christian witnessing to Christ
 and His teachings.
     PCP II decree #134

.the well to do should be
 willing to “tilt the center of
 gravity of the entire
 community in favor of the
         PCP II # 325
 No social transformation is
 genuine and lasting where people
 themselves do not actively
 participate in the process…this
 stems from the nature of human
 dignity and solidarity.
             Pope Paul VI
         Octogesima Adveniens
   “It is up to Christian communities
    to analyze with objectivity the
    situation which is proper to their
    own country, to shed on it the
    light of the Gospel’s unalterable
    words and to draw principles of
    reflection, norms of judgment, and
    directives of actions…”
analyze with objectivity   How will we
the situation?              do those

draw principles of
reflection, norms of
judgment, and
directives of actions?
Christian Social Analysis
               What is it?

   Is a thorough process of identifying an
    event or experience or issue that
    concerns a community, analyzing it and
    understanding it thoroughly especially
    with regard to its causes and finally
    planning, implementing, and evaluating
    an appropriate Christian response.
      How was it developed?
 1800s, Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, used a
  process called the “See-Judge-Act”
 many Christian communities have used
  it in dealing with social issues
 taken on many different forms such as
  Action-Reflection-Action (ARA)
 used by some Basic Christian
  Communities in the Philippines.
                 How was it developed?
   Pastoral Cycle,
    – seeing the situation; reflection in faith; and action
   Pastoral Spiral
    – Bishops’ Institute for Social Action (BISA),
    – Office of Human Development (OHD)
    – Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences
    – an expanded and more dynamic version of
      the Pastoral Cycle.
The process

 This stage is concerned with “seeing” or
  “scrutinizing the signs of the times.”
 It involves more than an academic
  analysis of the situation and necessitates
  an “immersion-exposure” process of
  knowing the reality.
 It answers the following questions:
 What did I …
    –   See
    –   Hear
    –   Smell
    –   Taste
    –   Feel
   What do these observations have to do with
    my life?
           Social analysis
 A scientific observation of the economic
  social, political, cultural, and religious
  situation of any given context.
 It will lead to a more systematic knowledge
  of the reality
 It allows us to look for the ROOT CAUSE
  of the problem by asking WHY.
      Christian reflection
 Both  the reality and its analysis are
  subjected to the light of faith and
  the teachings of the Church
 The general question is: what do
  the Scriptures and the teachings of
  the Church say about the situation?
 Here the dynamic interplay or
  interaction between faith and life
  takes place.
      Christian reflection
 reality may clarify, or even suggest a
  direction for development of through
  the use of the Scripture and the
  social teachings of the Church.
 reflection in faith may result in
  denunciation of the situation.
 basically a process of faith-
       Christian reflection
 Itis also stage where a conscience-
  response is made regarding the
  situation or reality.
 The response could be either an
  affirmation or denunciation.
 A pastoral decision is made either
  to reinforce the positive situation,
  or to purify or change the
 Praxis  is not haphazard.
 It must be orthopraxis and
  requires an adequate planning
  as to how the pastoral decision
  could be implemented
  realistically with the time and
  resources available.
 Brainstorming     for concrete and
  possible actions to be taken.
 Who will do what, when, where,
  and how?
 To fail to plan is to plan to fail!
 Praxis-proper
 Praxis is a transformative
   – communitarian in nature
       should actually pervade the
        whole process of the Pastoral
 Action can refer to a series of
  activities organized and coordinated
  in order to transform the situation

Evaluation   is undertaken at
 two levels
1. level of the action taken
  – Is the action taken with regard
    to the situation effective?
  – Is it transformative of the
  – Does it, for instance, genuinely
    bring the power of the Gospel
    to bear on the situation? .
2. level of process,
   – Is there consistency from stage
     one to stage five?
   – Has the reality and power of the
     Lord’s grace been considered?
   – What has prayer contributed to
     both the process and the action?
               In the end
 The completion of the first Pastoral
  Spiral necessarily results in a new
 Presence of new learning and value,
  deeper realization of the intransigence of
  the situation and of the need for better
  responses shall have emerged.
 newness in the apparently old situation.
 A new Pastoral Spiral can begin.
Read: Human Rights
 1. Death Penalty
 2. Rights of Women
 3. Rights of Children
 4. Rights of Migrant Workers
Implications for Catholic Educators
Catholic schools, religious education and faith
formation programs are vitally important for
sharing the substance and values of the
Catholic social justice heritage.

Just as the social teaching of the Church is
integral to Catholic faith, the social justice
dimensions of teaching are integral to Catholic
education and catechesis. They are an
essential part of Catholic identity and formation.
      Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
      U.S. Bishops, 1998
“Seven Commandments” for Integrating
Catholic Social Teaching into Our Faith

1.   Rooted in prayer and worship.
2.   Integrate, don’t isolate.
3.   Content counts – study the documents.
4.   Competency really counts.
5.   Charity (social service) is not enough.
6.   Thou shalt see, judge, act.
7.   Thou shalt have fun!
Make sure the teaching
is rooted in prayer and worship.
Cultivate a spirituality that is not just private,
but also public and social.

    Catholicism does not call us to abandon
    the world, but to help shape it.
    This does not mean leaving worldly tasks and
    responsibilities, but transforming them.

    Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice
    U.S. Bishops, November, 1998
Integrate, don’t isolate
The commitment to human life and dignity, to
human rights and solidarity is a calling every
Catholic must share. It is not a vocation for a few,
but a challenge for every Catholic educator.

The values of the Church's social teaching must not
be treated as tangential or optional. They must be a
core part of teaching and formation.
Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, U.S. Bishops, 1998
Content counts
Study the documents.
There is a universal need to be
more explicit in teaching the
principles of Catholic social
thought and helping people apply
and act on those principles.

Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
U.S. Bishops, 1998
Competency really counts

We strongly urge Catholic to create
additional resources and programs that
will address the lack of familiarity with
Catholic social teaching among many….
Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
U.S. Bishops, 1998
Charity (social service)
is not enough.

There is a need for Catholic educational and
catechetical programs not only to continue
offering direct service experiences, but also to
offer opportunities to work for change in the
policies and structures that cause injustice.
       Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
       U.S. Bishops, 1998
Thou shalt See, Judge, Act

     See the facts; know the reality

     Use social analysis and moral values to
      make judgments about the facts

     Plan a realistic and effective strategy
      for action
Thou shalt have fun

No one likes a grim do-gooder!

Salt and Light for the World

 “You’re supposed to be the leaven in the
       loaf, not part of the lump.”
              Separation of Church and State

Common Good                       Society


Public Order
  • Public Peace          State
  • Basic Rights
  • Public Morality

Shared By: