The Office of Social Justice

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Office of Social Justice

The Unified Old Catholic Church is dedicated to the rights of every person, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, or sexual orientation.

UOCC strives to support all programs that work towards the goal of Social Justice that are compatible with Church Policy and Doctrine.  If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Social Justice using the form below.

 

Welcome to the Unified Old Catholic Church Social Justice page.

The Unified Old Catholic Church is dedicated to the rights of every person, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, or sexual orientation.

UOCC strives to support all programs that work towards the goal of Social Justice that are compatible with Church Policy and Doctrine.  If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Social Justice at peregrinuslxix@aol.com, or call Father Glenn Glorioso at 571 314 4758.

Mission & Vision

Mission Statement for Office of Social Justice

The  Unified Old Catholic Church is committed to Social Justice in all forms. The Office of Social Justice stands ready to assist individuals and groups who find themselves persecuted and discriminated against. Christ compels the Church to act on His behalf to care for the least, lost and forgotten and we as His Church can do no less.

What are the social justice issues to which this mission statement is addressing?

Justice, Thomas Aquinas remarks, is of its very nature social since it is defined by egalitarian relations towards others.  I will list the major social justice issues as fivefold, corresponding to the five major areas in which egalitarian relations towards others are repressed or denied.

There is the unjust distribution of goods and services whereby a relative minority of wealthy groups and ruling classes use their power and influence to perpetuate macroeconomic and political structures which exploit the labor and lives of the vast majority of the planet’s populations. The issue of social justice here is the eradication of exploitive and oppressive structures of class oppression (classism). We must all strive to work on correcting this injustice by creating a world where we view all as equal, and ensure that all are given an opportunity to prosper in every sense of the meaning.

There is the deep and widespread oppression of women, along with the elderly and children dependent upon women, in all patriarchical societies around the globe whereby women and their dependents are dehumanized and depersonalized by the androcentric fears and aggressions of males (sexism). We must embrace women the same as we do men, we must care for our elderly, and cherish them for the gift of being the caretakers they were while we were growing up.  We must embrace and cherish the children as they are the future of this world.  It is up to us to teach them good stewardship, and to ensure that they grow up and realize that they are the future.  They will be the ones to take the reigns and to lead the fight for equality, and justice for all things great and small.

There is the repression of millions of humans belonging to races and ethnic groups other than those races or ethnic groups dominant in societies (racism, ethnocentrism, antisemitism directed against Jews and/or Arabs).  To make this happen we must first acknowledge that the problem still exists, and that it will most likely exist for quite sometime.  This will not be something that with the wave of a magical wand, will disappear overnight.  We must accept that racism is not just one directional, but that it can manifest itself in reverse discrimination, as well as self-discrimination in the sense that one populace may even go so far as to discriminate against their own kind.  A cannibalism if you will.  We must strive to show that we, as a church, are all accepting, non-judgemental, and practice what we preach.  We must be out in the forefront, and not just saying, but doing and leading the way with our actions, not words.

There is the unjust exploitation of physical, chemical, biological, and zoological nature, the ecology in which human nature is embedded, by industrial and technocratic production processes of “megamachines” (L. Mumford) polluting and destroying environment after environment. We must work harder at being the good stewards of this wonderful planet and all its ecosystems.  We must strive to protect not only human life, but all life!  From the smallest of the cells, to the largest of organisms, we are collectively one, and it is our purpose to protect what the Good Lord has gifted to us.

Finally, there is the injustice of an ever-expanding and necrophilic militarism as violent uses of power and force whereby nonegalitarian relationships are defended, whether internally through various forms of police and surveillance force, or externally through massive military and espionage forces. Since World War II, when War Departments all over the globe became Defense Departments, this militarism has reached its apotheosis in the nuclear arms race. A recent comparative study of worldwide military and social spending indicated how at present 1.3 million dollars per minute on average are spent for military purposes; during the same minute 30 children die for lack of food or simple vaccines (PASSÉ). Concretely, during the next hour, an average of $78 million will be spent for military purposes while some 1,800 children will die for lack of food or elementary vaccinations.   War is inevitable, just by the nature of humans.  We must do what we can, within our means, to ensure that we spread the love, not the hate.  We must do what we can, to change what we can, and to ensure that those who are underserved, under represented, are protected, are given a chance.  We must strive to give all a chance to be happy, to be cared for, to be given a “fair shake” in life.  How many of us have gone to bed hungry?  How many of us have slept on a dirt floor?  How many of us have seen our entire neighborhood decimated?  How many of us have been the victim of a war?  How many of us have been deathly ill and suffered because there was no medicine to heal us?  How many of us have been persecuted for our beliefs, our religion, our views?  I have news for you all.  WE ALL HAVE!!!  If one of us on this planet has, we as one, have all been victimized.  To say we have not is to bury our heads in the sand, and pretend that the world we live in is perfect.

I believe these are central social justice issues which any theology must address if it is to mediate responsibly the significance and value of its religious tradition to the social and cultural matrices of our contemporary world. A common basic element in all five of these forms of social injustice is domination by which egalitarian relations towards others are denied and oppressed.

Christian theologies have sometimes been highly introspective examinations of debates going on “intramurally” among and within various ecclesial and theological traditions. A conceptualistic narcissism has not been absent from such intramural debates about who has the better concepts of God, Christ, Salvation, Sacraments, etc.  Liberation theologies have arisen as intellectual and religious responses to very concrete struggles for justice and love on the part of those committed to overcoming the dehumanizations and depersonalizations resulting from classism, sexism, racism, technocentrism, and militarism. As intellectual and religious responses to such massive human failures, liberation theologies have continuously challenged concepts of God, Christ, Salvation, Sacraments, etc. which are judged inadequate or false relative to the values of liberating us from the systemic injustices destroying so many billions of human lives and the very environment in which we live.

Modernity has dead-ended in the World Wars, the Holocaust, the countless genocides, the exploitation of Third-World countries, the increasing pollution of the earth’s environment, and the terrible spectre of nuclear omnicide. “Progress through technology” sounds like the empty gong of a clanging funeral bell. Our modern and enlightened 20th century has witnessed the slaughter of more human beings by their fellows than any other. I ask you to recollect in some dark phantasm the millions upon millions of dead and broken men, women, children, animals which the wars and oppressions of the last eighty-three years have sacrificed on the altar of modern ideologies of progress. Through the shadows of such a ghastly phantasm listen to the words of Joseph Priestly, a clergyman, chemist, and liberal reformer, writing on the glories of modern technology from his vantage of the eighteenth century:

Men [sic] . . . will grow daily more happy and more able to communicate happiness to others. Thus whatever was the beginning of this modern world, the end will be glorious and paradisiacal beyond what our imagination can now conceive. (WPSP 198)

I know for a fact, we can not change the world as a whole, but by changing our small piece of it, in collaboration with one another, spread out over the vastness of this planet, we can as a whole, begin to plant the seeds of change.  We CAN effect change.  As clergy, we are looked upon to bring faith and hope to the masses.  We are looked to for spiritual guidance, for moral guidance, for ethical guidance.  Believe it or not, the collar is a Super Hero Cape of sorts.  It is our symbol of power.  Yes, it is not meant to be a “power” but it draws attention, and even in this day and age, respect.  It is our soapbox, our invitation to speak openly where others are oppressed.  Have you as a clergy member honestly done all you can to fulfill your mission to be a good steward?  Have you done all you could to serve?  Remember, we are servants of not only God, but all of God’s creatures, great and small.  Have you loved your enemy as you have your friend?  Have you prayed for not just those who have asked for it, but those who have not?  Have you taken care of your piece of the world?  Have you spoken up for those who cant speak for themselves?  Have you defended the defensless?  Have you shielded the persecuted in thought as well as in deed?  Have you been a person of action and not just in word?

I call upon each and every one of you to take up the torch.  Be the shining beacon of hope for those who have lost their hope.  Be the flame that draws those who have given up on faith.

Without hope there is no faith, without faith there is no hope, and without either, there is no life.

We must, and I mean must begin our struggle to ensure justice, equality, and reform so that all are cared for, that there is no more suffering, and that life has meaning for everyone and everything.

It is refreshing to see the Roman Catholic Church finally moving towards practicing what it preaches.  We as the THE UNIFIED OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH must ensure that we continue to be that Church which promotes our all inclusive, non-judgemental attitude, but not to become too focused on any one mission and diversify our causes.  We must begin our ministries for the LGBT community, for the welfare of our elderly, for the welfare of our children, for animal welfare, for Peace and not War, for the stewardship of our planet.  I have taken up the mission of Prison Ministry, amongst a few others.  Help me to help others, take up a ministry, and share with us your ministry, your experiences, your wisdom.

Go In Peace my Brothers and Sisters.  Let us practice what we preach, and show by our actions what “Love” is, and the immense power that it holds!

Pax et Bonum

Rev. Fr. Glenn Glorioso, IOFM

Franciscan Friar

Director of Social Justice

Catechism of the Catholic Church

SOCIAL JUSTICE

1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.

 

1.      RESPECT FOR THE HUMAN PERSON

 

1929 Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. The person represents the ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him:

What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.35

1930 Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy.36 If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church’s role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims.

1931 Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that “everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as ‘another self,’ above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity.”37 No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in every man a “neighbor,” a brother.

1932 The duty of making oneself a neighbor to others and actively serving them becomes even more urgent when it involves the disadvantaged, in whatever area this may be. “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”38

1933 This same duty extends to those who think or act differently from us. The teaching of Christ goes so far as to require the forgiveness of offenses. He extends the commandment of love, which is that of the New Law, to all enemies.39 Liberation in the spirit of the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one’s enemy as a person, but not with hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.

 

1.      EQUALITY AND DIFFERENCES AMONG MEN

 

1934 Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.

1935 The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:

Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.40

1936 On coming into the world, man is not equipped with everything he needs for developing his bodily and spiritual life. He needs others. Differences appear tied to age, physical abilities, intellectual or moral aptitudes, the benefits derived from social commerce, and the distribution of wealth.41 The “talents” are not distributed equally.42

1937 These differences belong to God’s plan, who wills that each receive what he needs from others, and that those endowed with particular “talents” share the benefits with those who need them. These differences encourage and often oblige persons to practice generosity, kindness, and sharing of goods; they foster the mutual enrichment of cultures:

I distribute the virtues quite diversely; I do not give all of them to each person, but some to one, some to others. . . . I shall give principally charity to one; justice to another; humility to this one, a living faith to that one. . . . And so I have given many gifts and graces, both spiritual and temporal, with such diversity that I have not given everything to one single person, so that you may be constrained to practice charity towards one another. . . . I have willed that one should need another and that all should be my ministers in distributing the graces and gifts they have received from me.43

1938 There exist also sinful inequalities that affect millions of men and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel:

Their equal dignity as persons demands that we strive for fairer and more humane conditions. Excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples of the one human race is a source of scandal and militates against social justice, equity, human dignity, as well as social and international peace.44

III. HUMAN SOLIDARITY

1939 The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of “friendship” or “social charity,” is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood.45

An error, “today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity.”46

1940 Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the effort for a more just social order where tensions are better able to be reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation.

1941 Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.

1942 The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well. And so throughout the centuries has the Lord’s saying been verified: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well”:47

For two thousand years this sentiment has lived and endured in the soul of the Church, impelling souls then and now to the heroic charity of monastic farmers, liberators of slaves, healers of the sick, and messengers of faith, civilization, and science to all generations and all peoples for the sake of creating the social conditions capable of offering to everyone possible a life worthy of man and of a Christian.48

IN BRIEF

1943 Society ensures social justice by providing the conditions that allow associations and individuals to obtain their due.

1944 Respect for the human person considers the other “another self.” It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic of the person.

1945 The equality of men concerns their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it.

1946 The differences among persons belong to God’s plan, who wills that we should need one another. These differences should encourage charity.

1947 The equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities. It gives urgency to the elimination of sinful inequalities.

1948 Solidarity is an eminently Christian virtue. It practices the sharing of spiritual goods even more than material ones.

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