Saturday, July 18, 2020

Social Justice And Religion

In the Catholic Times a one time journalist who is still teaching reviews his religious life and gives us some thoughts to consider as Christians. Namely that even if we are in the same family we don't all think the same. And this is the same for those who belong to the same family of faith.

Even if you look at the members of the long-standing Catholic press conference. The same beliefs and vocation are the same, but the results of those beliefs are slightly and at times greatly different. There may be several causes. The religious background of the family, the environment of growth and education, the ideological orientation of the media in which they belong….

Many of the members of the Catholic Press Association have taken religious education classes in seminaries and many were members of old Catholic families. He suspects this is true of other religious movements. They not only learned about the Bible and the liturgical and sacramental life but from the trends in each diocese and parishes from which they belong.
"This being the case Who am I?" The writer wants to ask and gives us his answer. In his family tree, on both sides of the family, it is difficult to find any Catholics or Protestants.  Even in his wife's family, it is the same, one does not find persons who believed in Jesus. Most of them were descendants of strong Confucianists or Buddhists. So, when he was hanging out with journalists, he was like a bean among the barley.

In 1995, when 43 years old, during a year of training at the University of Cleveland in the United States, a local Christian brought him to the cathedral. Surprised, shortly after he began attending a 6-month catechumen class and was baptized.

Before he went to America, he was exhausted both in body and mind. As the head of the labor union of a newspaper company, it was very difficult to fully agree with the labor-management negotiations following the struggle to reinstate five fellow journalists who were dismissed. The persecution and betrayal he experienced through the process brought about a change in the way he saw the world and others.
Baptism was a turning point in his life. After he returned home, he was very devout.  He attended the 'Faith School' hosted by the Journalists Association, where he first became acquainted with the 'Social Doctrine' of the church. Lectures on social doctrine were decisive in identifying and shaping his faith. 
The liturgical and sacramental life is present but the social doctrine taught him that the liturgy and sacraments are not all that make up the religious life and he can realize the evangelical values and ​​offer up the Mass in all the areas of life.
The tasks associated with the social doctrine were also similar to those in journalism his professional calling. As the Gospel shows, it is "the duty of just social action," to fight in the name of justice for the common good when social, economic, and political structures contradict the message of the gospel.

Suddenly, his eyes lit up. Working as an editorial board member, he piled up social doctrine books in his office and studied. Also, at the meeting, when the editorial committee members proposed a thesis topic and had a discussion, explanations were based on the logic of social doctrine studied in advance. In this way, the thesis and direction of the newspaper on various social issues such as 'opposition to the death penalty' and 'life ethics' were made clear.

He found that few of the members of the parish knew about the social doctrine. Even though there are many educational programs in the parish, he doesn't see any social catechism classes. Even among members of the journalist society, he has heard  'red-education' referring to social doctrine.

In his view, such persons' common focus in the religious life is the liturgy and sacraments: praying for 'health and happiness of family and the development of the country', and diligently doing acts of charity. These people are referred to as 'zealous believers'.  ( He doesn't know why they are labeled zealous persons as if they are following the traditional authentic Christianity)

These people have something in common in that, they try to restrain others from talking about the signs of the times and the problems of the community with 'don't talk politics'.

"Am I a more zealous believer?" No, he is not ready to say that. He just knows that Jesus is with him and leading him in his daily circumstances.

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