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Social Justice Group


The Social Justice Group is a Parish based  organisation of parishioners  interested  in learning about and implementing Catholic Social  Teaching.  It is open to all parishioners.

Catholic social teaching proposes that human reason, combined with insights drawn from scripture, can provide a valid interpretation of the social order can animate that order with authentic values and can provide guidelines for action.

MISSION STATEMENT & GOALS

Our Mission  is to undertake  activities  to make  better known Catholic Social  Teaching  and  provide information about  Catholic organisations involved  in Social  Justice   activities  and suggest ways  the Parish might  be involved  in Social  Justice activities.

Our goals  are to:

  • discuss relevant parts of documents produced by the Australian Catholic Social Justice
  • liaise with  the  Catholic Social Justice Commission of our Archdiocese
  • advertise  monthly on the Parish Notice Board that month's information from the Social Justice Diary                   
  • help celebrate  Social Justice  Sunday  in September each year             
  • encourage  our Parish schools  to make known Catholic Social Teaching. 

CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

Catholic Social Teaching covers all spheres of life - the economic, political, personal and spiritual.  It has God given human dignity at its centre.  It is a guide to the work of many Catholic organisations.

A very simplified list of the principles of the Church’s social doctrine is as follows:-

The Common Good stems from the dignity, unity and equality of all people and because the goods of the world are meant for all. 

We can only live life in all its fullness when we are in relationship with others through community;

The Universal Destination of Goods is based on our belief that God destined the earth and all it contains for all peoples so that all created things would be shared fairly under the guidance of justice tempered by charity;

The Preferential Option for the Poor indicates that the poor, the marginalized and in all cases of those, whose living conditions interfere with their proper growth, should be the focus of particular concern;

The Principle of Solidarity proclaims that the human person is social by nature. We should commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the good of all in our human family;

The Principle of Subsidiarity is that national governments should not perform functions which can be better provided for at lower levels, such as local communities or the family. This safeguards personal initiative and creativity.

The Principle of Participation is that human beings, in their work for a better society, need to take an active role in the development   of socio-economic, political and cultural life.
(Note there is a "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" authorized by the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace - Australian Edition published in 2004 which gives much more complete details)

AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANISATIONS

(a) Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

The national body is the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.  It is the social justice and human rights agency of the Catholic Church in Australia.

It produces  a monthly  electronic  Briefing  and  many  print publications , including  the Australian  Catholic Bishops' annual justice  statement which is issued prior to  Social Justice Sunday which  occurs in late September each year.   It also produces a quarterly newsletter, Justice Trends" which addresses current Australian and world political issues.  It also publishes in hard back form the Australian Catholic Social Justice Series:  There are
over 75 titles in this series.  It also publishes from time to time Position Papers and Discussion Guides to address critical social justice issues as well as other leaflets.

The Monthly Electronic Briefing consists of several pages of highlights with indications of how to access the full Briefing on line.   The highlights include  include an article from the Secretariat, an  indication of Current Issues /Resources, details of ACSJC  publications and  Social Justice events including National and ACT events.

Each year it  publishes the Social Justice Diary which  includes for each month a  calendar  of relevant events  and brief descriptions  of several  of the major events for that  month.  Each month these are placed on the Notice Board of the Foyer in our Church. Sometimes significant extracts are stapled   to the Parish Compact for the
first Sunday of that month

(b)   Catholic Social Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn.

Members of this body are appointed by our Archbishop. They meet on the first Thursday of each month. Representatives of Parish Social Groups are invited to advise the Commission of their activities and to send representatives to these meetings. The Commission discusses social justice issues and organises events for the Archdiocese to take action on issues.

(c)   Other Catholic Social Justice Organisations.

As well  as  each   Archdiocese/Diocese  having  an equivalent  of the ACT Commission ,  other  Catholic organisations  make  Catholic Social Teachings  an important part of their activities.  For example, Caritas 
produces an Educational Toolkit for use in Catholic Schools.  Such organisations can be accessed online.

HOW DOES OUR  SOCIAL JUSTICE  GROUP  OPERATE
Our Social Justice Group  meets monthly  in the Library  on the first  Sunday  of the month after  the  conclusion of the 10am Mass.  New members are welcome.

Please come along and see how we operate.

NOTE:  

Many Catholic Social Justice Teachings   apply to the treatment that should apply to refugees and asylum seekers.  The result is that there is close cooperation  between  Catholic bodies  which  deal  with  asylum seekers  and refugees and  bodies  that  relate  to  social justice.   

An example is the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee  Office (ARMCO)  which  issues  documents and press releases   on behalf of  the  Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and these  often  refer to how Catholic Social  Justice teachings relate  to such issues.    Within our parish, there is close cooperation between our Social Justice Group   and our Refugee Resettlement Committee.  Some parishioners are members of both bodies.