Justice/ Peace/ Integrity of Creation

 

All of the major faith groups in the world have consistently taught respect for all human life.  As the Dalai Lama XIV stated “We should have a clear realization of the oneness of all humanity.”

Most major religions would also promote responsibility for the protection of our earth and environment.

In the Jewish Scriptures we hear the voice of the prophet crying out to “act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)  Jesus, in the Christian Scriptures continued the call for love and justice when he said that there are two commandments: Love of God and love of neighbor.  From the time of Jesus to our present age courageous individuals have given their lives, fortunes, time and energy in ministering to and with the earth community.

 

The Catholic Church, though by no means the only major religion, has lent its  voice, advocacy, finances and personnel especially to promoting a more just and loving world.  From the works of mercy to the writings of Popes and others throughout the centuries the Catholic Church has spoken out on many issues.  The 1965 document coming from the Second Vatican  Council, Church in the Modern World #1, eloquently spoke of the “joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the persons of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.  Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.” 

 

Today, the Catholic Church has taken this call coming from the Second Vatican Council and outlined seven principles of Catholic social teaching which enunciate the call of the followers of Christ in this present age.

7 Principles of Catholic Social Teaching 

 

  • The Dignity of the Human Person

  • Call to Community and the Common Goodhttp://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4962505176383824&w=125&h=177&c=7&rs=1&pid=1.7
  • Rights and Responsibilities of all Peoples
  • The Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work
  • Solidarity-we are one human family
  • Our Care of God’s Creation

 

Today one in every six United States citizens lives in poverty, one in five children lives in poverty.

One in seven citizens in the United States is “food insecure.” Our United States Congress has recently cut anti-hunger programs as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Meals on Wheels for seniors.  There is still no fair immigration reform policy in place in the United States.

 

Pope Francis has launched a worldwide movement to respond to the needs of the poor and vulnerable by praying and acting to end hunger.  December 10th has been designated as a day of prayer.  It will begin at noon local time in Tonga and will continue around the world.  To learn more about this upcoming event go to:  www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.

 

In upcoming articles we will dig deeper into each of the Catholic Social Teaching principles.  Indeed the hopes, griefs, anxieties and joys of our sisters and brothers on this earth are also those of the followers of Christ.

                                                                                                              Ann Kasparek