Aparecida 384: Charity and Justice

Spirit is both taken for granted in the church and denigrated. Sometimes by the same people.

When the Aparecida bishops speak of a “gospel spirit,” what do they mean?

384. Being disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ so that our peoples may have life in Him, leads us to assume in a gospel spirit and from the perspective of the Kingdom, the crucial tasks that contribute to the enhancement of every human being, and to work together with other citizens and institutions for the sake of humanity.

We can agree that the work of the Kingdom of God is not a work exclusively done by Christians. There’s a dangerous thought.

Merciful love toward all those whose life is violated in any of its dimensions, as indeed the Lord demonstrates in all his deeds of mercy, requires that we provide aid to meet urgent needs, while working with other bodies or institutions to develop more just structures nationally and internationally.

Basic Christianity here. Urgent needs are addressed by charity. Structures out of kilter with the Gospel are addressed by justice. Christians work for both charity and justice. At one time or another our attention and labor might be drawn to one over the other. But a continual emphasis on one to the exception of the other is like running with one leg. Maybe one can get places, but it sure doesn’t look like running.

Structures must be created to firmly establish a social, economic, and political order without inequity, and with opportunities for all. New structures must likewise be created to promote a genuine human coexistence, prevent arrogant domination by some, and facilitate constructive dialogue for the necessary social consensus.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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