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