Saturday, August 20, 2011

Call for Social Justice and the Common Good

Call for Social Justice, a group of concerned Catholics, was formed to make us more aware of Catholic social principles and to help put them into practice in society. What we read in the papers, they say, is just the tip of the iceberg; what is out of sight--the lack of concern of many of our representatives for the common good--nobody seems to care to bring to light; Call for Social Justice intends to change this oversight. Though its history is short, it has already done much. Important as it is to work within the Church, the group stresses that it is also necessary to get these social principles accepted by society.

To change society is no easy task but to change ourselves, they believe, is not that difficult.  When we change, our community changes, and eventually our society changes. But it has to start with ourselves.

The editorial in the Peace Weekly reports that Call for Social Justice has given awards to three members of the Assembly for their work in advancing the common good. They  were selected for the awards for being on the side of the  poor and alienated.

The editorial stresses that, theoretically, all members of the Assembly, since they are representatives of the people, should have the accomplishments to receive the award. Whether we are rich or poor, capable or incapable, "we are today witnessing," states Gaudium and Spes # 26. "an extension of the role of the common good, the sum total of social conditions that allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily." This common good should be understood as being on the same level as our human dignity.

Members of the National Assembly have the duty to help all our people find their fulfillment. However, in many cases, the members are more interested in their political party and vested interests than in helping the powerless, who all too often are demoralized, feeling their concerns are being overlooked. And the reason, the editorial suggests, is the failure to consider the common good.
Catholics should not only be critical of the faults of our Assembly members but be quick to praise those working for justice, in order to encourage and promote what they are trying to do.