• TheEpic95

    I dont know, Mark, I dont know. What is it combox Catholics think they are doing when promoting the pro life cause if not pursuing justice for the absolute least in our society? Thats what social justice is, but it aplies to all who face injustice, not just the children. That childrens lives is more urgent an issue oftentimes, thats undersandable. Bitterness that there could be other people out there who need a hand is NOT undersandable.

  • Dan C

    The poor are radioactive, both among Catholics who want the cheapest way to care for the poor as possible and the rest of society who can barely manage interest or time.

  • Regina F.

    The first large prolife event I attended in the seventies included speakers Malcolm Muggeridge and civil rights activist/comedian Dick Gregory. That is to say, we started with greater diversity. I believe it was the civil rights types who ditched the prolife movement, aligning themselves with the left. Abortion was a non-negotiable tenet of the new feminism and that was that. The heavy hand of government in pushing abortion (and now, euthanasia) has also caused some prolifers to tilt right. Many Catholica have a more balanced view, seeing the prolife issues as integral to social justice, however, they often have been marginalized.

  • vox borealis

    The problem is that the term “social justice” has been poisoned through abuse. The great vast majority of conservative Catholics I know, myself included, want to help the poor, see abortion as fundamentally an issue of justice, etc, etc. etc.. We are simply suspicious of the term social justice inasmuch as it has been used for my entire life, which is: an infinitely malleable term that can be used to downplay any sense of personal morality and responsibility, especially in areas of sexual ethics, while employed often in support of dubious political causes. And just as the strawman combox conservatives in Mark Shea’s only babble on about Fox News talking points, so too “Social Justice Catholics”, in my experience, prattle on predictably with democrat party talking points.

    • http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com PNP, OP

      Exactly right. A younger generation of friars recoils at the phrase “social justice” for no other reason than that it has been used as the rhetorical needle through which leftist social engineering ideology has been injected into the Church. These same friars work with the poor in ways traditionally associated with Catholic charities. . .IOW, there is no lack of eagerness on their part to carry out the Church’s social justice agenda. . .they just want nothing to do with what passes for Peace & Social Justice in professional Catholic circles these days.

      Fr. Philip Neri, OP

    • Stu

      Indeed. Too often the “Social Justice Catholics” invoke the term to justify their support for women’s ordination, homosexuality, etc while always wanting to introduce wackiness to the Liturgy. Yes, I can still fault so-called “conservative Catholics” for simply dismissing Social Justice because of the abuse because they haven’t done their homework but to solve this challenge we need to take Catholic Social Teaching back from fringe.

      I think Jason Hall is attempting to do just that.

      • Dave Pawlak

        Have we gotten to the point of being called “Cultural Marxists” if we mention the Corporal Works of Mercy (the traditional term for “social justice”)?

        Was St. James a proto-Cultural Marxist for Chapter 2 and 5:1-6?

        Was St. Matthew likewise for attributing to Our Lord 25: 31-45?

        • Dave Pawlak


          My apologies. I meant my post to stand on its own, not as a reply to you. I wholeheartedly agree with you, just to let you know.

          • Stu

            No worries.

            I apologize for my lack of punctuation.

      • http://www.acceptingabundance.com Stacy Trasancos

        “I think Jason Hall is attempting to do just that.”

        He is indeed.

        Thank you Mark for the link.

  • http://peace Puck

    Maybe because “social justice” as a term has been mis-used – and not so much by the right as by the Left – but then you wouldn’t know anything about that. It’s called charity – and it isn’t replaced by government mandate – in fact it is usrped by government mandate – as well as any other personal initiative that might actually lead to social bonding.

    • ivan_the_mad

      The term is likely not as abused by the right because the right has taken to ignoring it because “the Church doesn’t know anything about economics” or dismissing it as prudential judgement because “that encyclical was written over a century ago, and times were different”.

      “it would serve us well to examine a term that Pope Pius formally introduced into the Church’s social doctrine”

      Whatever is that d-word at the end of the quote?

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    If the lefties are calling you a fascist or the righties are calling you a socialist, there’s a good chance you’re doing something right. Especially if they’re both doing it at the same time.

  • http://soulsagabooks.blogspot.com/ Brian Niemeier

    Social justice is nothing more or less than a virtue; not a political football.

  • Stu

    Interestingly, as someone that many here would classify as a traditional Catholic, I have found that at my parish (staffed by the FSSP), I get great traction in talking about Catholic Social Teaching properly understood when I simply bring up its origins in older Papal Encyclicals.

    • Dave Pawlak

      Stu: You did mention in a previous discussion thread that your parish had an active social outreach. It’s simply the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy being put into action, which is what Catholic social teaching is all about. I think that putting it back into more traditional terminology may help reclaim “social justice” from those who wish to use it to nefarious ends.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Social justice is far more than the works of mercy.

        1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.

        The Catechism has a section providing an overview of social justice (1928-1948), and one providing an overview of the social doctrine (2419-2425). Those are just two of the many relevant sections (see CotCC ToC for more). The teaching covers many things, such as the just wage and the legitimate exercise of public authority to regulate the market.

        • Dave Pawlak

          You are correct, and I stand corrected. Still, in a parish setting, I would contend that the Works of Mercy are the best ways to implement social justice.

          • ivan_the_mad

            I certainly wouldn’t want to discourage you from that commendable effort.