Question number 11: Remembering the facts of history and seeing the behavior of some of the religious people in our society there is a great deal of doubt about their qualifications to speak to society. Before they fault our politics is it not necessary to put their own house in order?
That is right. The Church has to continually repent and reform herself. One of the areas that she needs to repent is the failure to be on the side of the poor and work for justice. The Catechism tells us: "Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance" (Catechism of the Church #1435). Penance and change is connected with the working for justice and the protection of the rights of others and this includes the enduring of suffering in the pursuit.
When we are sick we go to the doctor, but not all doctors are free from disease. If we wanted to received treatment only from doctors that had no health problems many of our hospitals would have to close their doors. We likewise are wounded healers, but we go out to others to help in the healing of others. The speaking out about justice is the same. If I have to be completely just, and of noble character before I am allowed to speak out, the voice for justice will remain silent.
The Church has to continually examine herself and repent in the carrying of the cross. The Church has done many wrong things in its history. One of the greatest faults is to have failed to reject the temptations of power and itself becoming a power force, and siding with those in power. We have not always been on the side of the poor and often ignored the poor and the oppressed of society. We have to be with the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, prisoners, if we want to meet Jesus (Matt 25:31). It is not only to be with these who are hurting but to find the reasons for this situation and allow the light of the Gospel to shine on what we see, and proclaim the justice of God.
In Conclusion it is well to remember one of our great fallacies is the either-or way of looking at life instead of the both-and approach. Some would read the answers to the questions and wonder what happened to spiritually and the practice of the virtues. This is not denied, but rather taken for granted, the prerequisite to be God's efficient tool for justice. In Korea, many think the work for justice in the Gospel message has been overlooked. We have heard often that the Catholics who come into the Church are looking for peace of mind. With this kind of thinking we know that our mission to work for justice has not made a lasting impression on the Christians.