Justice in the World ignored by current bishops Signs 10


You can’t have faith without justice, so why has the 40th anniversary of this significant church statement, signed by almost every Catholic bishop around the globe, not been celebrated and lifted up at this time in our history when we desperately need to inspire the Catholic community and all people of goodwill to seek ways to address the root causes of poverty, oppression and ecological devastation.”

 So writes the Jesuit Forum letter of April/May 2012 signed by staffer Anne Marie Jackson

Bravo for the Jesuits and the 87 year old dynamo Bill Ryan sj for daring to state the obvious:

The 40th anniversary of the influential 1971 Roman Synod document Justice in the World passed by in silence in the official Church both at the Canadian and Vatican levels. That raised some worried eyebrows, because anniversaries of an important encyclical or statement are very often used by the Vatican to re-emphasize the teaching that was the point of the document.

Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.”

You simply can not have faith without justice—the point being that the JP ll bishops by their silence do not believe this.Their limited focus is basically internal and obsessed  by pelvic orthodoxy. This is also the reason the Vatican is going after the nuns who were able to read the signs much more clearly because of their own marginalization in the Catholic Church.

It is all about “the signs of the times”—and this crop of bishops have seen the signs pass them by—the cry of women, the cry of the earth and the cry of deep ecumenism—viz.  that the Catholic Church can not possibly contain the totality of God, that there are salvific elements in all Christian communions.

The signs were abundant in the 60s and 70s—many Catholics were attuned to them. We recall nuns and priests marching in Selma, Alabama in solidarity with Dr.King’s movement.With their presence and with the accompaniment of millions of the baptized they stated the obvious: God expressed Godself when walking  for inclusion and against racism, for marching for peace in the Vietnam years instead of cheering “My country right or wrong”.

Rabbi Heschel seen above challenged the inward looking synagogue to join God in the fray.They asked him how he felt after Selma: “I felt like my legs were praying…” They were.

Today we see few bishops defending unemployed workers, supporting the environmental movement, risking their mitres to reject the sinful exclusion of women from receiving all seven sacraments. The result sadly is another “sign of the time” depressed  Catholics simply walking away and distancing themselves from a disengaged “leadership.”

Good for the Jesuits for pointing out the embarrassing silence around the 40th anniversary of Justice in the World.


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