Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Working for Distributive Justice

Last Christmas, Fr. James Sinnott, died, a Maryknoll Priest, who helped make known to the world the tragedy surrounding the legalized murder of eight members of the People's Revolutionary Party, that never existed. The government of Park Chung-hee expelled him. He couldn't forget Korea, and with the arrival of democracy, returned.  A diocesan priest from Pusan, writing in the View from the Ark, in the Catholic Times, reminds his readers of the gift that Fr. Sinnott gave to our society.

Another Maryknoller, Fr. Michael Bransfield, also left us quietly. While on the island of Kang Hoa Fr. Mike  in 1968, helped the young workers in a textile factory on the island, working in difficult conditions, to unionize. His efforts were strongly opposed, and he suffered much during this period. This was the occasion for the Bishops of Korea to publish a statement on the plight of the workers which was the beginning of the Church's formal concern for  laborers. The article wants us to remember the work of these two priests.  

Bishop Ji-Hak-sun, was the person that left us the gift of the priests' Justice and Peace Committee which continues the work for human rights and democratization; he did much before his death, to make Catholicism a religion that has won the respect of many of the citizens. 

However, says the priest, in 1997 at the end of the 20th century with the IMF we had something we had  never experienced before, the beginning of the Neoliberalism period. During the last part of the 20th century it was a fight for democracy, in the 21st century a fight for distributive justice.    

We have those who have left us a gift with their mission and zeal in 20th century but what are we in the 21st century going to leave behind for our world and our descendants? Magnificent buildings that we are leaving behind is not the answer. The problem with having enough to eat is an issue with which we need to respond, and not something we can dismiss. Social justice and economic justice are two wheels of the same cart,

Let us look at the Scriptures with new eyes. We have a new way of looking upon our society. We have to see our society in the way God looks on the society. We have to have a different theology, a new spirituality. Are we not called to accept freely a life of detachment--poverty- that will be the key to meeting the heartless and selfish capitalism that we see around us? This is the key to prevent our human existence from being trampled. 

He concludes, they are working to incorporate a new type of spirituality in their Theology Research Center, and in the lay organizations in the diocese.     Spirituality is not for the exclusive use of the religious and clerics but for all. This, he says, will be our gift to those who follow us.                                                                             

No comments:

Post a Comment