Dives in Misericordiae 12a: Is Justice Enough?

Divine_Mercy_Sanctuary_in_Vilnius4Section 12 opens with the question: Is Justice Enough?

It is not difficult to see that in the modern world the sense of justice has been reawakening on a vast scale; and without doubt this emphasizes that which goes against justice in relationships between individuals, social groups and “classes,” between individual peoples and states, and finally between whole political systems, indeed between what are called “worlds.” This deep and varied trend, at the basis of which the contemporary human conscience has placed justice, gives proof of the ethical character of the tensions and struggles pervading the world.

I would certainly say that part of the counterculture of the 60’s was a rebellion with ethical undercurrents. In the years before and after this encyclical, we’ve certainly seen justice movements of all sorts in various nations. Some have been successful beyond imagining. Others have stalled in the face of brutality.

I think we Christians do well to look beneath the surface of movements about which we might even hold skepticism. There is an undeniable ethical strain in the striving for LGBT rights. Can we see it? And if we are blinded to it, how can we be confident others will see our own aspirations to freedom?

Dives in Misericordia, the second encyclical of Pope John Paul II, is available online here, and is copyright © 1980 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Dives in Misericordiae 12a: Is Justice Enough?

  1. FrMichael says:

    “There is an undeniable ethical strain in the striving for LGBT rights.” There is? I don’t see it and I live near the heart of the beast. I just see a small agitating group and a larger set of enablers upset that God and the majority of the human race thinks their sexual behavior repugnant and will keep battering social institutions such as the Catholic Church that will not accept same-sex sexual activity as normal.

    • Todd says:

      Perhaps you could relocate from the beast (and I don’t mean the physical California) and dwell among real human beings for a change. Your words indicate little difference from people who have chosen, for example, to resent all clergy because of sex abuse, all Catholics because of their idolatry, all persons of the opposite sex, political party, or whatever because of some reason. Who was it that said that if your only tool is a hammer, you’ll look upon everything and everyone as a nail?

      I don’t find your view of sin and how we deal with it to be within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy. I think you try hard. Perhaps too hard. But I suspect you’re missing some key piece of godliness and virtue.

    • Liam says:

      (I will refrain from a smart-ass reply, Father. I only say that to alert you to the fact that you’ve given something of a smart-ass comment that is not entirely worthy of you.)

      To put it simply: I have witnessed gay folk in lives of tremendous self-giving in spite of being strangers to the law. Are gay folk all paragons of such self-giving? No. Gay folk are sinners, like we all are. But I will testify to the pattern of the Cross in the lives I’ve seen, over and over again, a pattern not in *spite* of their sexual orientation but flowing fruitfully out of it. It betrays to the truth to say: God is not there.

      That’s all I have to say.

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