Vox Clamantis: Why Social Justice?

In this second introductory video to Vox Clamantis, the Preaching Friars reflect on why social justice is important for Catholics and answer some common objections.  Some people find themselves skeptical of the term social justice and its implications in the Church.  Consider, for example, Glenn Beck's well-known invective against "social justice" or those Catholics who misinterpret or lack a full view of the Church's (and the Pope's) understanding of the the relationship between salvation and justice.

 

A favorite quote of the twentieth century Irish Dominican, Fr. Vincent McNabb, O.P., was from Pope Leo XIII speaking on social matters at the end of the nineteenth century in his encyclical Rerum Novarum:

"Every minister of holy religion must bring to the struggle the full energy of his 'mind' and all his powers of endurance" (Rerum Novarum, no. 63).

 

Since Leo XIII's encyclical, the popes have been regularly publishing works on the importance of social matters in the modern world.  Dominicans have long worked within this tradition, since the first sermon of Fray Antonio de Montesinos on the Island of Hispaniola in December of 1511.  Social Justice, properly understood, is not a code word, and it is not a distraction from eternal salvation--it is essential.  

 

"Take away from me your noisy songs;

The melodies of your harps, I will not listen to them.

Rather let justice surge like waters, and righteousness like an unfailing stream."

Amos 5:23-24