“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink …. As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me”
“The life and words of Jesus and the teaching of his Church call us to serve those in need and to work actively for social and economic justice.
Human rights are the minimum conditions for life in community. In Catholic teaching, human rights include not only civil and political rights but also economic rights. As Pope John XXIII declared, “all people have a right to life, food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, education, and employment.” This means that when people are without a chance to earn a living, and must go hungry and homeless, they are being denied basic rights. Society must ensure that these rights are protected. In this way, we will ensure that the minimum conditions of economic justice are met for all our sisters and brothers.” (Quoted from Economic Justice for All, Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy; U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1986)
Concern for the poor has always characterized Oblate life. Social and economic justice is integral to Oblate spirituality. Recognizing when people are poor because of injustice, as opposed to other factors, Oblates evangelize by working to overcome this injustice.
Economic justice concerns include:
- US Faith-Based Community Organizing
- International Debt
- International Trade
- Millennium Development Goals
- World Bank/IMF
Papal Teachings on Economic Justice:
A new resource is available. New Hampshire attorney Brian T. McDonough has compiled the Papal Teachings on Economic Justice – a valuable and thorough compendium of the subject. It was created as a tribute to James Malley, SJ, in whose honor Boston College Law School created the James Malley, SJ, Award For Extraordinary Service. You can download the PDF from the CMSM website.