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“A Call to Action” Outlined

I. Universal Appeal-

All children of God, especially Christians are called to take heed.

“From all sides there rises a yearning for more justice and a desire for a

better guaranteed peace in mutual respect among individuals and peoples.”

1. Diversity of situations-

a. Throughout the world Christians are in varying states of power and

respect and that is understood in issuing this call.

b. It is difficult to offer a unified message to the whole Christian world

but through the Holy Spirit and the Church we can recognize injustices and

problems in our world.

2. Specific message of the Church-

a. Amid the disturbances and uncertainties of the present hour, the Church

has a specific message to proclaim and a support to give to men in their

efforts to take in hand and give direction to their future. The social issue

is a worldwide question.

b. The Synod has chosen to study these worldwide issues in order to inform

the Holy See.

3. Extent of present-day changes-

a. There exist new problems and to a greater extant, but if God wills it

we can solve them.

II. New Social Problems-

1. Urbanization-

a. Rapid and sprawling urbanization hurt society and its structure. We

can become claves to what we produce and allow humanity to become numbers.

Urbanization is a threat and an issue to be dealt with seriously.

2. Christians in the City-

a. The urban environment has created a new challenge, a new nameless,

hopeless class forgotten by many. Cities instead of fostering fraternity

promote indifference and racism. Misery is hidden behind many facades.

b. Christians are called to this new urban responsibility to preach the

gospel and make these sinful places into the Jerusalem’s of old.

3. Youth-

a. The young are the root of society and must be given every advantage

possible.

4. The role of women-

a. The equal rights of woman must be protected through out the world,

their economic, social, and political status must be guaranteed.

5. Workers-

a. Everyman has the right to work, and the sanctity of labor must be

protected. The rights of labor unions must also be protected but they are

not absolute.

6. Victims of Changes-

a. The Church directs her attention to those new “poor”-the handicapped

and the maladjusted, the old, different groups of those on the fringe of

society with a want to help them; defend their place and dignity in a society

worsened by competition and the attraction of success.

7. Discrimination-

a. Within this nation of men and for men discrimination of any kind is

especially heinous, and destructive and is a real issue all must face.

8. Right to emigrate-

a. Some should be guaranteed the right to travel to lands were they could

find work and justice. The ability to escape tyranny should be prided.

9. Right to work-

a. A feeling of inability to solve this problem leads to a fatalism,

leading to a degradation of human life, such as forced abortions, etcetera.

International attention is being given to these issues but it is a dangerous

tight rope of power and justice.

b. It is a great blessing that we advance as fast as we have

technologically and societal, but we must be ever vigilant of problems we

will face in the future or we will not be able to solve them peacefully.

10. Media of social communication-

a. Consequently the media is called to perform their own positive function

for the common good by encouraging every constructive expression and aiding

with their newfound power and influence.

11. The Environment-

a. This issue is a planet wide concern and we have only recently come to

realize the enormity of our situation and all Christians are called to

support and protect the environment.

III. Fundamental Aspirations and Currents of Ideas-

“While scientific and technological progress continues to overturn man’s

surroundings, his patterns of knowledge, work, consumption and relationships,

two aspirations persistently make themselves felt in these new contexts, and

they grow stronger to the extent that he becomes better informed and better

educated: the aspiration to equality and the aspiration to participation, two

forms of man’s dignity and freedom.”

1. Advantages and limitations of juridical recognition-

a. Legislation is necessary, but it is not sufficient for setting up true

relationships of justice and equity. Love is the key to human dignity and no

amount of legislation can improve upon that.

2. The political society-

a. Christians are called to democratic political service and aiding in

education to further the democratic ideals.

b. Politics are an activity not an ideology and no group has the right to

force the “truth” upon another, the truth will find its own way.

3. Ideologies and human liberty-

a. No Christian can adhere to the Marxist ideal because of its violent

past and rampant materialistic regime. Solidarity should be a product not a

goal of society. We must not forget ideology is second to God, and that

Christians must first focus him.

4. Historical movements-

a. History has taught us that many movements have come from sound ideology

and righteousness, so we cannot eliminate all forms of government.

5. Attraction of socialist currents-

a. To many Christians socialism is a great draw but in learning from the

past we see it is a dangerous slope of this mild communism. The ideology is

very Christian but the actual practice is very dangerous and degrading.

6. Historical evolution of Marxism-

a. Some equate Marxism with class struggle but they do so wrongly. Like

Socialism there exist Christian elements of solidarity and equality but the

Marxist fails to note the kind of totalitarian and violent society to which

this process leads.

7. The liberal ideology-

a. The great danger in the liberal ideology is the proclamation of this

ideology over individual freedom. They would like a new model, more adapted

to present-day conditions, while easily forgetting that at the very root of

philosophical liberalism is an erroneous affirmation of the autonomy of the

individual in his activity, his motivation and the exercise of his liberty

8. Christian discernment-

a. Christians must make real world choices about politics and ideology as

individuals.

9. Rebirth of utopias-

a. Through the power of Christ is the only way to create a perfect world

and no system yet discovered solves all of mankind’s challenges.

10. The questioning of the human sciences-

a. Humanity must be weary of science and its negative influences and

dangers of acting out. For even if all agree to build a new society at the

service of men, it is still essential to know what sort of man is in question.

11. Widening the horizons-

a. Science can widen the horizons of all mankind and aide social justice

and its development.

12. Ambiguous nature of progress-

a. For a Christian, progress necessarily comes up against the

eschatological mystery of death. The balance of mankind and its progress is

very unclear to the mortal we must look to Christ for guidance.

IV. Christians Face to Face with these new problems-

In the face of so many new questions the Church makes an effort to

reflect in order to give an answer, in its own sphere, to men’s expectations

1. For Greater justice-

a. There is a need for justice in America. We must cooperate within one

another, and work within the community to promote social justice.

2. Change of attitudes and structures-

a. Today men yearn to free themselves from need and dependence. Ambition

cannot overcome justice.

3. Christian meaning of political activity-

a. Political power, which is the natural and necessary link for ensuring

the cohesion of the social body, must have as its aim the achievement of the

common good. Christians are called to serve if they choose to and to serve

with honor and righteousness.

4. Sharing in responsibility-

a. Human groups naturally share and live as community, autonomy is not

true freedom, but for Christians only through God can ultimate freedom

develop.

5. Call to Action-

a. In the social sphere, the Church has always wished to assume a double

function: first to enlighten minds in order to assist them to discover the

truth and to find the right path to follow amid the different teachings that

call for their attention; and secondly to take part in action and to spread,

with a real care for service and effectiveness, the energies of the Gospel.

For beneath an outward appearance of indifference, in the heart of every man

there is a will to live in brotherhood and a thirst for justice and peace,

which is to be expanded.

6. Each one to determine-

a. Each person must choose for himself or herself what they can do for

social justice when called by God.

7. Pluralism of options-

a. The Church invites all Christians to take up a double task of inspiring

and have innovating, in order to make structures evolve, so as to adapt them

to the real needs of today. Again each individual must decide.

8. “Awakening the People of God”-

a. All Christian institutions are called to make a difference to transform

society. “Today more than ever the World of God will be unable to be

proclaimed and heard unless it is accompanied by the witness of the power of

the Holy Spirit, working within the action of Christian in the service of

their brothers, at the points in which their existence and their future are

at stake.”

324


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