Our Mission to Work for Justice
One of the nine priorities of the Archdiocese is “That a deep awareness of and commitment to social justice and social welfare be characteristic of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese.”
This priority recognises that the Church’s social teaching consistently stresses that working for justice is an essential part of the Church’s mission:
“Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.”
Justice in the World
World Synod of Bishops, 1971.
While many themes and principles have been identified in Catholic Social Teaching, the following four principles have been consistently affirmed in the teaching of the Church for more than a century:
The Dignity of the Human Person
The human person is created in the image and likeness of God. This gives the person a dignity with inalienable rights and responsibilities. It affirms the sanctity of human life.
The Common Good
The human person is inherently social. A person’s dignity and rights are realised and fulfilled within community. Each person has a responsibility to contribute to the good of all. The rights of each person in society are balanced against the rights of others in seeking the common good. In striking this balance, the needs of the weakest and most vulnerable in the community have the highest priority. While a person has a right to private property, this right is not absolute. The Earth and all its goods are meant for the good of all and must be used wisely for the common good.
Governments have a moral responsibility to promote and protect human dignity and human rights and to foster the common good. The principle of subsidiarity holds that the functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately. When the needs in question cannot adequately be met at the lower level, then it is not only necessary, but essential that higher levels of government intervene.
We are members of one human family. We are responsible for the welfare of our sisters and brothers whatever their nationality, race, religion, culture or economic status. We have a responsibility to stand with those who face disadvantage, injustice and oppression in the pursuit of justice locally and globally.
If you would like to find out more about Catholic Social Teaching and what the Church is doing to promote social justice, go to the websites of the Archdiocesan Justice & Peace Commission http://www.uq.net.au/cjpc/ and the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council http://www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au/
The Everyday Mission Team of the Faith & Life Vicariate provides support to parishes and deaneries to establish and support local social justice groups and to help Catholics to work for justice in their daily lives. If you would like to find out more about this service, please contact:
Mission Development Officer
Phone: (07) 3336 9173
Fax: (07) 3336 9177
Mobile: 0409 265 476