Social Justice: Exercising the institutional path – the political path – of charity, thus ensuring the common good. Every Christian is called to live his or her faith this way.
What are the responsibilities of being Catholic?
Pope Benedict tells us that the Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility:
- Proclaiming the word of God
- Celebrating the sacraments
- Exercising the ministry of charity
These duties … are inseparable. (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 2005)
What does the Church mean by “ministry of charity;” charitable work?
Pope Benedict explains that the ministry of charity is:
- “Striving to secure a common good [not a self-interest or individual good] that addresses the real needs of our neighbors. The more we do this, the more we love our neighbors.”
- “Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI's words, ‘the minimum measure’ of it. To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity.” (Caritas in Veritate, 2009, #6)
Every Christian is called to live his or her faith by exercising the institutional path – the political path – of charity, thus ensuring the common good through justice. THIS IS SOCIAL JUSTICE.
- “Every Christian is called to practice this charity. This is the institutional path – we might also call it the political path – of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbor directly….” (Caritas in Veritate, #7)