Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
October 19, 2008
We Are Responsible for the Rights of Others
Over the past few weeks we have seen that, as Catholic Christians, we must be responsible citizens. This means that we must take our voting obligation seriously. We must make an effort to know our candidates, both on the local, the state and national levels. Having a good president is very important but there are many aspects of the political system that are not controlled on the federal level. Every elected position has its ramifications.
This week we will take a few minutes to look at the area that is concerned with the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. We will also take some time to discuss the idea of Solidarity with others. Both of these areas fall under the gospel challenge of working toward Justice for all.
As we saw last week, the church has always been an advocate for the poor and the most vulnerable. This concept has its roots in the Gospel message as well as in the Hebrew Scriptures. There is nothing new about the advocating for the poor. As time has progressed, economic Justice has become more and more deeply rooted in the political scheme of things.
The USCCB tells us that economic justice calls for decent work at fair, living wages, opportunities for legal status for immigrant workers, and the opportunity for all people to work together for the common good through their work, ownership, enterprise, investment, participation in unions, and other forms of economic activity.
We probably do not often see the connection between such notions as unions or giving someone a living wage and that of Gospel values. We often disconnect these concepts. We see work and unions and other economic activity as purely political. This is not at all true. If we have not seen these ideas as related to our Christian faith in the past, we must make the effort to revisit the connecting thread.
Closely allied to economic justice is the idea of Solidarity with the human family. Again we are told by the US Catholic bishops that we are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Our Catholic commitment to solidarity requires that we pursue justice, eliminate racism, end human trafficking, protect human rights, seek peace, and avoid the use of force except as a necessary last resort.
All of the above listed are important areas of concern for Catholics. We do not have the option to be in solidarity with others or to love others. Christ told us that we must be concerned for the good of others. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself .
Which of the political candidates will help us to live our Christian faith? We must look at the whole picture. Perhaps we can take the time to pray about this during the next few weeks.
Lorette P. Nault