Social Justice

Back in June, I posted on the division between progressive Catholics and orthodox Catholics on the social justice teaching of the Church. I related an experience that I had while working for a parish. The pastor had asked me to talk to the Peace and Justice committee about combining their group with the Pro life committee.

Well…let’s just say that all peace and tolerance evaporated from the room.


“The reason: it was a very divided Parish. In one corner were the Pro-life Orthodox parishioners, and in the other were the Peace and Justice Progressive Catholics. Both camps were very misguided. And they were at war.

For Catholics, however, it should never be one or the other. To be pro life includes all of the Social Teachings of the Church. We are called to take care of the least amongst us.

At the same time we do have to remember that the life issues are foundational to all of the other human issues. We cannot have peace and justice unless the sanctity of human life is defended.

It is not a liberal versus conservative issue. It is not an orthodox versus progressive issue. It is about Jesus Christ and what is true, and good and beautiful.”

My favorite deacon called me a little while ago from a meeting were the guest speaker is a single issue Peace and Justice guy on steroids.  No mention of the life issues or the dignity of the human person. No mention of Planned Parent Hood. But Walmart is evil. Yada. Yada. Yada.

Perhaps the after lunch session will improve. Good thing that my deacon has low blood pressure. Usually. It is probably on the rise. Anyway I suspect that he is no greener, but he is seeing red.  He asked me to pray for him.

Maybe this will cheer him up.  The Pope has said that there is an Urgent Need To Educate Laity In Church Social Doctrine.”


The Holy Father stresses the urgent need “for commitment to educating Catholic laity in Church social doctrine”.

Lay Catholics “must undertake to promote the correct ordering of social life, while respecting the legitimate autonomy of worldly institutions”.

“A profound understanding of the social doctrine of the Church is of fundamental importance, in harmony with all her theological heritage and strongly rooted in affirming the transcendent dignity of man, in defending human life from conception to natural death and in religious freedom. … It is necessary to prepare lay people capable of dedicating themselves to the common good, especially in complex environments such as the world of politics”.

We are so blessed to have such a holy and intelligent pope.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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