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