Justice And Peace Our Faith In Action Pdf

justice and peace our faith in action pdf

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It is impossible to begin this lecture without again expressing my deep appreciation to the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament for bestowing upon me and the civil rights movement in the United States such a great honor. Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meaning can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.

The New Evangelization calls all followers of Christ to be formed in the faith, celebrate the faith, and be witnesses to the ends of the earth, proclaiming the Good News to all people everywhere, starting with those in our own Church. The work of the Church is to bring all people into relationship with God, and also to transform and sanctify the society in which we live U. Thus, "the Church teaches that social justice is an integral part of evangelization, a constitutive dimension of preaching the Gospel, and an essential part of the Church's mission" U.

Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture. More toggle menu. Critical discussions are underway within the Catholic Church, encouraged by Pope Francis, that suggest the Catholic Church is considering a major change in endorsing Nonviolence and Just Peace.

Our Mission

It is impossible to begin this lecture without again expressing my deep appreciation to the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament for bestowing upon me and the civil rights movement in the United States such a great honor. Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meaning can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. Such is the moment I am presently experiencing.

I experience this high and joyous moment not for myself alone but for those devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice and who in the process have acquired a new estimate of their own human worth.

Many of them are young and cultured. Others are middle aged and middle class. The majority are poor and untutored. But they are all united in the quiet conviction that it is better to suffer in dignity than to accept segregation in humiliation.

These are the real heroes of the freedom struggle: they are the noble people for whom I accept the Nobel Peace Prize. This evening I would like to use this lofty and historic platform to discuss what appears to me to be the most pressing problem confronting mankind today. Modern man has brought this whole world to an awe-inspiring threshold of the future.

He has reached new and astonishing peaks of scientific success. He has produced machines that think and instruments that peer into the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space.

He has built gigantic bridges to span the seas and gargantuan buildings to kiss the skies. His airplanes and spaceships have dwarfed distance, placed time in chains, and carved highways through the stratosphere. Yet, in spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing.

There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.

Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external.

We have allowed the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live. This is the serious predicament, the deep and haunting problem confronting modern man. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. Each of these problems, while appearing to be separate and isolated, is inextricably bound to the other.

I refer to racial injustice, poverty, and war. The first problem that I would like to mention is racial injustice. The struggle to eliminate the evil of racial injustice constitutes one of the major struggles of our time.

In one sense the civil rights movement in the United States is a special American phenomenon which must be understood in the light of American history and dealt with in terms of the American situation. But on another and more important level, what is happening in the United States today is a relatively small part of a world development. The great masses of people are determined to end the exploitation of their races and land.

They are awake and moving toward their goal like a tidal wave. You can hear them rumbling in every village street, on the docks, in the houses, among the students, in the churches, and at political meetings. That period, the era of colonialism, is at an end. East is meeting West. The earth is being redistributed. These developments should not surprise any student of history. Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.

The present struggle in the United States is a later chapter in the same unfolding story. Something within has reminded the Negro of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist , and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers in Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice.

Fortunately, some significant strides have been made in the struggle to end the long night of racial injustice. We have seen the magnificent drama of independence unfold in Asia and Africa. Just thirty years ago there were only three independent nations in the whole of Africa. But today thirty-five African nations have risen from colonial bondage.

In the United States we have witnessed the gradual demise of the system of racial segregation. The Court decreed that separate facilities are inherently unequal and that to segregate a child on the basis of race is to deny that child equal protection of the law. This decision came as a beacon light of hope to millions of disinherited people. Then came that glowing day a few months ago when a strong Civil Rights Bill became the law of our land 7.

This bill, which was first recommended and promoted by President Kennedy, was passed because of the overwhelming support and perseverance of millions of Americans, Negro and white. It came as a bright interlude in the long and sometimes turbulent struggle for civil rights: the beginning of a second emancipation proclamation providing a comprehensive legal basis for equality of opportunity. Since the passage of this bill we have seen some encouraging and surprising signs of compliance.

I am happy to report that, by and large, communities all over the southern part of the United States are obeying the Civil Rights Law and showing remarkable good sense in the process. Another indication that progress is being made was found in the recent presidential election in the United States. The American people revealed great maturity by overwhelmingly rejecting a presidential candidate who had become identified with extremism, racism, and retrogression 8. The voters of our nation rendered a telling blow to the radical right 9.

They defeated those elements in our society which seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path. Let me not leave you with a false impression. The problem is far from solved. We still have a long, long way to go before the dream of freedom is a reality for the Negro in the United States.

To put it figuratively in biblical language, we have left the dusty soils of Egypt and crossed a Red Sea whose waters had for years been hardened by a long and piercing winter of massive resistance. But before we reach the majestic shores of the Promised Land, there is a frustrating and bewildering wilderness ahead. We must still face prodigious hilltops of opposition and gigantic mountains of resistance.

But with patient and firm determination we will press on until every valley of despair is exalted to new peaks of hope, until every mountain of pride and irrationality is made low by the leveling process of humility and compassion; until the rough places of injustice are transformed into a smooth plane of equality of opportunity; and until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.

What the main sections of the civil rights movement in the United States are saying is that the demand for dignity, equality, jobs, and citizenship will not be abandoned or diluted or postponed. If that means resistance and conflict we shall not flinch. We shall not be cowed. We are no longer afraid. The word that symbolizes the spirit and the outward form of our encounter is nonviolence , and it is doubtless that factor which made it seem appropriate to award a peace prize to one identified with struggle.

Broadly speaking, nonviolence in the civil rights struggle has meant not relying on arms and weapons of struggle. It has meant noncooperation with customs and laws which are institutional aspects of a regime of discrimination and enslavement. It has meant direct participation of masses in protest, rather than reliance on indirect methods which frequently do not involve masses in action at all.

Nonviolence has also meant that my people in the agonizing struggles of recent years have taken suffering upon themselves instead of inflicting it on others. It has meant, as I said, that we are no longer afraid and cowed. But in some substantial degree it has meant that we do not want to instill fear in others or into the society of which we are a part. The movement does not seek to liberate Negroes at the expense of the humiliation and enslavement of whites.

It seeks no victory over anyone. It seeks to liberate American society and to share in the self-liberation of all the people.

Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.

It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.

It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. In a real sense nonviolence seeks to redeem the spiritual and moral lag that I spoke of earlier as the chief dilemma of modern man.

It seeks to secure moral ends through moral means. Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. I believe in this method because I think it is the only way to reestablish a broken community.

On Justice and Peace – Syria – September

We are inspired by the Gospels, by the teachings of the Catholic Church and by the hopes of people living in poverty. We encourage everyone to respond to humanitarian disasters, to promote integral human development and to advocate on the causes of poverty and violence. We animate Catholic communities and all people of good will in solidarity with the suffering of their brothers and sisters around the world. Caritas responds practically to humanitarian crises such as natural disasters, conflict and the effects of climate change. We save lives, relieve suffering and help rebuild livelihoods and communities in the longer-term.

At the dawn of the Third Millennium b. The significance of this document c. At the service of the full truth about man d. In the sign of solidarity, respect and love. God's gratuitous presence b.

The Catholic Church Moves Towards Nonviolence? Just Peace Just War In Dialogue

The publication and resources found here help explain and answer questions about Mission Support and tell the story of those gifts in action. Your new website features content from this annual publication in a modern, dynamic format, mixing video and visual elements with stories to take you further into the work of Mission Support. Where does it go? This video shares how your congregational offerings support the ministries of the ELCA and the church around the world. The event is a collaboration with Abbey Arts and emphasizes distraction-free reflection in a noisy world.

Stories of Faith in Action

Formatted for Printing. Justice and peace, in many different parts of the world, are lost dreams rather than a lived experience. One look at any of the many countries of the Middle East, at least in the last fifty years or so, one realizes that justice and peace have been absent concepts for the majority of people. And the last four years for many Arab countries are examples shouting the lack of peace and justice.

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