Social Justice

A Medieval Remedy for Modernity’s Ills

Show me a Catholic not troubled by the circumstances of these days, and I will show you a Catholic asleep. Society’s woes rock his soul, but the historic perils facing Holy Church do so even more. Not only from outside her walls, but more frighteningly, from within. How are we to keep our spirits from [...]

The True and False Meaning of “Social Justice”

American universities used to be a place where difficult ideas were encountered and built in biases challenged. The universities, an inspiration from the Catholic Church, were the home of diverse ideas that were meant to inspire wisdom in students in addition to the learning of practical skills that would help build the economic strength that [...]

The Misguided Compassion of Social Justice Catholics

There are many reasons for the downfall of our urban public schools, but beyond the undeniable corruption of those sucking the system dry for financial gain, the greatest destruction to our schools, and more importantly to the individual children in those schools, is the misguided and dishonest compassion of Social Justice. Before going further, a [...]

What “Social Justice” Really Means

For much of my academic life, I considered the terms, “values,” “rights,” and “social justice,” to have equivocal meanings. When these terms were used without clarification, they disrupted any fair social order. Each of the phrases had two or more meanings that usually meant the direct opposite of each other. Conversations and legislation in which [...]

Can a Catholic be a Collectivist?

Should Catholics today work, as a matter of conscience, toward ever broader bureaucratic responsibility for human well-being in general? That result seems to follow from current ways of thinking. “Love thy neighbor” implies an ethic of mutual assistance. The democratic view that we act through government, together with the industrial approach to getting things done [...]

How Catholics Can Avoid Cooperating with Evil in Public Life

In a recent column, I suggested that the most important thing for Catholics to do politically is to present, argue for, and act on the Catholic understanding of human life. We are defined by our faith, which has to do with an understanding of God, man, and the world, and our goal as Catholics is [...]

Tardy Reflections on the Election

A great many things might have changed the results in November. Hurricane Sandy might have headed into the Atlantic instead of the Atlantic states. Or moods might have shifted, so that memes like “the war against women” might have flopped rather than flown. Still, there’s no explaining away what happened, and the re-election of Barack [...]

Catholics in the Tank for Obama

During a campaign event in 2011, a feminist stopped Barack Obama in mid-speech to ask him if he supported free contraceptives. Obama replied: "Darn tootin'!" According to Obama's secularist philosophy, this invented right to free contraceptives trumps the First Amendment's right to religious freedom. If religious employers object to financing the sex lives of their [...]

G. K. Chesterton on the LCWR: The Geriatric Hippie Nuns Meet Their Match

There was a great deal wrong with the world in 1905, so much so that G. K. Chesterton felt compelled to write a collection of essays titled aptly enough What’s Wrong With the World? Fans of Chesterton who have the good fortune to peruse this volume will likely experience repeated bouts of déjà vu as [...]

Social Justice and Catholic Higher Education

It seems to be in vogue to write about one’s alma mater these days. CatholicVote.org blogger Lauren Hoedeman recently defended the University of Notre Dame by calling on those who discount the school’s Catholicity to reconsider their assertions. In a similar fashion, First Things junior fellow and Georgetown University alum Matthew Cantirino lamented that even though he was proud to attend [...]

Social Justice Priorities: Life and Religious Liberty

At this critical moment in history, there are two social justice priorities for the Catholic Church in the United States: the defense of life at all stages and in all conditions, and the defense of religious freedom for all. During this Fortnight for Freedom, in which the U.S. bishops are calling all Catholics to pray [...]

Social Justice and the “Redistribution of Wealth”

Rev. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute takes Washington Post columnist Anthony Stevens-Arroyo to task for a piece he wrote about Catholic Social Teaching. Stevens-Arroyo argues that "since the world economy has been so badly distorted by those seeking advantage of one class over the other, Catholic social justice demands a redistribution of wealth." Rev. [...]

Can “Social Justice” Be Saved?

Over at Catholic.org, my friend Deacon Keith Fournier makes the argument that Catholics need to "take back" the phrase "social justice" in its true meaning.  His argument is a continuation of an exchange we shared at the Catholic Leadership Conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago.  Deacon Fournier was in the midst of making the [...]

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