Five pieces related to Catholic Social Teaching from around the Web that are worth your time:
This speech was delivered to the National Right to Life Committee in 2008, but it’s a powerful read this time of year, as we approach the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Powerful passage: “We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until all the elderly who have run life’s course are protected against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person—of every human person.”
Among policies the coalition supports: 1. Requiring every person who buys a gun to have passed a criminal background check. 2. Prohibiting ownership of high capacity weapons and ammunition magazines by civilians. 3. Making gun trafficking a federal crime.
The coalition sent a letter to Congress yesterday, signed by a number of Catholic organizations.
Powerful passage: “In light of the tragedy in Newtown – and in Aurora, Tucson, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Oak Creek, and so many more – we know that no more time can be wasted. Gun violence is taking an unacceptable toll on our society, in mass killings and in the constant day-to-day of senseless death. While we continue to pray for the families and friends of those who died, we must also support our prayers with action.”
The first in a new monthly series of columns on Catholic social teaching, this is an introduction to CST with some great takeaway lines for even the most well-steeped in the tradition.
Powerful passage: “Catholic social teaching gives us a very different way of looking at the world, different priorities for how we live our lives, different questions as we look at public issues. We are to measure our lives not by what we have, but how we care for others. We are called to place the protection of human life and dignity, the pursuit of justice and peace, and the defense of family and religious freedom at the center of public life. We are challenged to examine policies, budgets and priorities from the “bottom up,” putting the poor and vulnerable first. Our teaching calls us to defend the defenseless, beginning with unborn children who have no voice but our voices.”
S. Helen is the church’s leading voice in opposition to capital punishment, and she is encouraged by recent drops in the percentage of Catholics who support the death penalty.
Powerful passage: “What better focus for the Year of Faith than continued dialogue about the dignity of all life, even of those found guilty of committing terrible crimes? We are called to restorative justice and compassion, not retributive, eye-for-an-eye vengeance. On a controversial issue like the death penalty, we hope and strive for understanding and enlightenment. But even more, we pray for the grace St. Bonaventure calls us to desire. He wrote, ‘Ask for…not light, but the fire that totally inflames and carries us into God.'”
Marking MLK’s birthday (yesterday) and MLK Day (this coming Monday), Fr. Dear compiled some of King’s beautiful prayers. King’s vocation as pastor and preacher is sometimes forgotten, and his faith-filled writings continue to inspire.
Powerful passage: “God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus. Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors. And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn. Amen.”