Thursday, July 7, 2011

South Africa, Swaziland, Catholic Bishops, and Social Justice

Should a Catholic be concerned about social justice?

Yes. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1928-1942, 2419-2442)

Social justice, by the way, isn't 'liberation theology:' which is a bad idea - as I've said before. Recently. (July 1, 2011, June 24, 2011)

Social Justice: So What?

What's the big deal with social justice? I think it's connected to how we're supposed to treat our neighbors. (Catechism, 2447) (and see Matthew 25:31-46)

'Too Heavenly-Minded to be Any Earthly Good?'

Well, maybe it's okay for a layperson to get involved with something 'unspiritual,' like politics or economic policy. But do Catholic bishops have any business, saying what's right or wrong with government policy?

Yes. (Catechism, 2246)

Here's what got me started on this post:
"The Catholic bishops of Southern Africa say that their government's possible bailout of the small Kingdom of Swaziland should make government reforms a condition of the aid.

"Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, is the last absolute monarchy in Africa.

" 'We believe that the Swaziland Government must abandon or at least reform the 'Tinkhundla' system of governance of royal favor and alliance which is a breeding place for corruption and greed.

" 'Monies intended for alleviating the people's suffering are diverted to support the lavish lifestyle of the monarchy,' Cardinal Wilfrid Napier said in a June 24 statement from the Southern African Conference of Catholic Bishops...."

What's In It For Me?

In the long run there's the whole Matthew 25:31-46 thing about what my Lord thinks about folks who help others - or don't. I rely on the mercy of God - and don't want to see how far I can push it.

What Can I do About Swaziland?

I'm "some guy with a blog," in a small town in central Minnesota. I have very limited influence on my country's policies - "negligible" is more like it. Swaziland or South Africa? They might as well be on the other side of an ocean. Which, of course, they are.

On the other hand, I can pray. Which may not seem 'practical,' and that's another topic.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.