Saturday, September 10, 2011
Interest in a Sane and Compassionate Society
The divisions that exist among Christians concerning theology, discipline, and liturgy are easier to understand than the division between those who do not separate God from creation and those who do, as if concern for society and its members, along with the social structures we have made, is an affront to God and should not be our concern.
The Korean Church has realized that the understanding of our Catholics on what the teachings of Jesus should mean in our daily lives was deficient. For many there was no understanding of the Social Gospel. The Catholic Times gives us a brief summary of the present situation and of the efforts being made to bring more understanding of the Christian life to more people.
In 1994, after the first meeting of the Asian Laity meeting in Korea, the Seoul diocese began a school specifically for teaching the Social Gospel. Now in its 16th year, there have been 72 programs and 3110 graduates who have been sent out into society. Such organized programs that have been sponsored by a diocese and have lasted this long are not easily found in the world of Catholicism.
The success of the programs has influenced other dioceses to start their own Social Gospel Schools, and Social Gospel teachings have been incorporated in educational programs before Confirmation.
Since 2006, the programs for teaching the Social Gospel have spread into many dioceses of the country. Though the leaders in the Church agree that much has been done, our Christians are far from seeing the crucial importance of Christ's teachings for achieving a humane society. It is hoped that the spread of the Social Gospel Schools will provide the needed impetus to give more of our Catholics a mature understanding of our present society and what a sane and compassionate society, in comparison, would look like.