Understand the Distinction
1999 is the Year of Justice and Charity
As we start 1999, the year of Justice and Charity, let us all review the important difference between these two things. Here is a splendid chart from the Office of Social Justice that helps to keep the terms clear.
Charity ..... Social Service Justice ..... Social Change Scriptural Reference:
Good Samaritan Story
The Gospel story does not attempt to survey the causes of highway banditry. The Samaritan provides temporary and immediate relief.
Moses does not ask for food and medicine for the Jewish slave-labor force. He challenges the institutional system.
Message: "Let My People Go."
Private, individual acts Public, collective actions Responds to immediate need Responds to long-term need Provides direct service:
food, clothing, shelter
Promotes social change in institutions Requires repeated actions Resolves structural injustice Directed at the effects of injustice: symptoms Directed at the root causes of social injustice
Homeless shelters, food shelves, clothing drives, emergency services Legislative advocacy, changing corporate policies or practices, congregation-based community organizing.
"Charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into account ... Let no one attempt with small gifts of charity to exempt themselves from the great duties imposed by justice."
Pope John XXIII, Peace on Earth, 1963.
Thanks to the Office of Social Justice of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
What is your opinion? Anything missing? Tell The Progress Report:
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