Social Justice

"Do you understand what I just
did for you?"  John 13:12



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Ruby Wilson




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Social Justice - Educate

I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is about.

Instead, I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I have heard from my Father.

John 15:15


Social Justice

Social Justice


Bishop Ketteler of Mainz († 1877) [was a pioneer in the just structuring of society]; concrete needs were met by a growing number of groups, associations, leagues, federations and, in particular, by the new religious orders founded in the 19th century to combat poverty, disease, and the need for better education. In 1891, the papal magisterium intervened with the Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII.


This was followed in 1931 by Pius XI's Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno. In 1961, Blessed John XXIII published the Encyclical Mater et Magistra,


while Paul VI, in the Encyclical Populorum Progressio (1967) and in the Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (1971), insistently addressed the social problem, which had meanwhile become especially acute in Latin America. My great predecessor John Paul II left us a trilogy of social Encyclicals: Laborem Exercens (1981), Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987) and finally Centesimus Annus (1991). Faced with new situations and issues, Catholic social teaching thus gradually developed, and has now found a comprehensive presentation in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church published in 2004 by the Pontifical Council Iustitia et Pax. ... In today's complex situation, not least because of the growth of a globalized economy, the Church's social doctrine has become a set of fundamental guidelines offering approaches that are valid even beyond the confines of the Church: in the face of ongoing development these guidelines need to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live.  Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (27)


Catholic Social Teaching

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty. The intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

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A Homily by Deacon Nuzzo, 3/24/2019

(speaking directly to Catholic Social Teaching, esp. the Life and Dignity of the Human Person)


God’s Mercy


          When are we judged?  And if necessary, when are we punished?  They’re important questions because the answers tell us a lot about the God we worship. 


A God who strikes down the living because they’re sinners is impatient, stern and almost unforgiving.  A God who gives us to our last breath to repent and make amends is a God of mercy and love. 


          The crowds in the gospel believe that God strikes down the living.  They believed that the tragedies, hardships, and the bad luck of life are punishments from God.  It’s why whenever Jesus comes across a blind man someone asks, “Master, who sinned this man of his parents?”  Today, Jesus pushes back against that notion.


He uses two events.  Roman atrocities, a building collapse.   The crowd insist that the victims were sinners.  Jesus tells them no they’re not sinners they’re just victims. 


God is not in the business of doling out corporal punishment.  His business is love and mercy.  When we fall into the trap of believing that the hardships of life are punishments from God we begin to close the door on God’s mercy.  We begin to forget that imperfect people can love God and are loved by God. 


The depth of God’s mercy is found in His willingness to forgive.  God is more concerned with where we’re going than where we have been.  Lent’s message of repentance is a call to follow Jesus today and tomorrow. It’s a call to open our lives to the Good News.  It’s a call to become a disciple, an agent of Christ, working for God.  


We worship a God of mercy and love.  When we work to bring that mercy and love into the world we don’t have to fear judgment because we’ll be granted eternal life.  A life brought by an innocent, sinless man who died unjustly on a cross.







Laudato Si, Pope Francis, June 2015

Statement, 56th General Conference of the IAEA, Holy See, September 2012

Statement, First Preparatory Committee to the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT, Holy See, May 2012

The Church and the Rights of Workers:  A Timeline. December 2012

Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of global public authority. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, October 2011

The Challenge of Peace. USCCB,  May 1983