Last week in preparation for my parish’s celebration of a Mass for the Progress of Peoples, I looked at that encyclical letter of Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio.
I spent a little more time with it since, a brief scanning of its headings and references. Given the state of unrest in the world, and the emergence of new threads of protests, and the revelation of gross injustice (not only in my own country) I thought it might be worthwhile to see what popes have had to say about the concerns of social justice where the peoples of the world are concerned.
Social justice hasn’t really been an area of study for me. Its advocates aren’t always at home in my areas of specialty, liturgy and the arts. And likewise, many of my colleagues are skeptical of social justice, and not just those with racist or sexist threads in their lives.
I noticed Pope Paul VI referenced Gaudium et Spes rather heavily. The two documents are separated in publication by about sixteen months. I suppose a Paul VI scholar would have a helpful comment on that. I’m not planning to get deep into people. I’m more interested in looking at the document and seeing how it might apply to the situation fifty-four years after its promulgation.
Any initial thoughts?