It’s Day 317!!
JUSTICE AND SOLIDARITY AMONG NATIONS
Paragraph 2437 says, “On the international level, inequality of resources and economic capability is such that it creates a real ‘gap’ between nations. On the one side there are nations possessing and developing the means of growth and, on the other, those accumulating debts.”
So what is the relationship between nations?
What is the international or economic global relationship amongst countries?
We will look at that today, particularly with an eye to justice
We are looking at the principles and virtues by which we should be looking at living in a world where we are interconnected
Some countries are strong
Some countries are weak
Sometimes the strong countries don’t necessarily make the right decisions
Sometimes the weak countries don’t necessarily have the right leaders
We are all broken
How do we approach this brokenness on an international level?
Justice and solidarity
Can I give a country what they are due?
Can I see others as my brothers and sisters in humanity?
So there we have it!!
We recognize complex issues
There is a real inequality between nations
On one side, nations that possess and develop the means of growth
On the other side, those accumulating debts
What do we do?
Paragraph 2438 says, “Various causes of a religious, political, economic, and financial nature today give ‘the social question a worldwide dimension’ There must be solidarity among nations which are already politically interdependent. It is even more essential when it is a question of dismantling the ‘perverse mechanisms’ that impede the development of the less advanced countries. In place of abusive if not usurious financial systems, iniquitous commercial relations among nations, and the arms race, there must be substituted a common effort to mobilize resources toward objectives of moral, cultural, and economic development, ‘redefining the priorities and hierarchies of values.”
If I am the steward of many resources and I have an abundance, and I meet and encounter people who do not have an abundance, then it is my responsibility as a Christian to do what I can to actually help them
To do what I can to actually help does not mean I give all of my stuff away
So rich nations have a grave moral responsibility towards those which are unable to ensure the means of development by themselves
That is a duty of solidarity
We need to see in other people our brother and sister
This is a duty of charity
This is a duty of justice if the prosperity of the rich nations has come from the resources that have not been paid for fairly
Paragraph 2440 says, “Direct aid is an appropriate response to immediate, extraordinary needs caused by natural catastrophes, epidemics, and the like. But it does not suffice to repair the grave damage resulting from destitution or to provide a lasting solution to a country’s needs. It is also necessary to reform international economic and financial institutions so that they will better promote equitable relationships with less advanced countries. The efforts of poor countries working for growth and liberation must be supported. This doctrine must be applied especially in the area of agricultural labor. Peasants, especially in the Third World, form the overwhelming majority of the poor.”
Is it the role of those countries who are providing aid to be the ones who reform the international and economic financial institutions?
Is it the role of the wealthier nation to come in and redefine what that particular poorer nation what they believe in or what their values are?
The Church does not advocate this
Direct aid is an appropriate response that does not take care of the underlying wounds
There is underlying reform that needs to happen
We are driven by the love and reality of God
The true God is a God of justice
Paragraph 2441 says, “An increased sense of God and increased self-awareness are fundamental to any full development of human society. This development multiplies material goods and puts them at the service of the person and his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the transcendent.”
When we approach economic disparity, it is driven by the awareness of God, love of GOd, and love of our neighbor
Paragraph 2442 says, “It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete forms. It should always have the common good in view and be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the role of the laity ‘to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice.’”
There are Pastors of the Church who are willing to wade into political discourse and that is completely fine
The Pastors should be able to teach what we are talking about right now
But when it comes to those intervening directly in the structuring and organization of social life, that task falls to the lay faithful
We should always have the common good in view
We should always be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church
The Church does not belong to any political party because we recognize there are good things and bad things
There are strengths and weaknesses in every political party
There is no political party that is, strictly speaking, Catholic
There probably could not be
In order to be political, you need to advance policies
The Church only proposes principles
That is a big difference
Catholics can disagree in many ways on policies provided that we are in agreement on principles
Scripture says very very clearly that God loves those who are poor and those who mourn
There is a special care for widows, orphans, and those who are vulnerable
We have to have the heart of God
God loves the poor
We have to pray for that kind of heart, the heart of God
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT…