A Society to Be Transformed, 1977 Pastoral Statement on Social Justice.

Publisher:  The Canadian Catholic Bishops; Catholic New Times, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1977  
Pages:  4pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX511

Abstract:  This statement realised in December 1977 replaces the annual Labour Day statement published by the Canadian Catholic Bishops. The Statement begins by identifying the hope generated by the presence of Christians and Christian communities working for justice in solidarity with the poor and oppressed. The Bishops challenge Catholics to take a lead in identiying social problems and working at solutions in this country.They argue this position from a theological and scriptural base, making numerous references to social encyclicas published by the Roman Catholic Church.

The statement claims that we still live in the heritage of the values of liberal capitalism. Despite the discoveries of science and the potential they hold for human development,"the dominant economic and social structures of our times have become the rocky ground of self-aggrandizement amd self-interest".Such social environment alienates people in the host of ways, materially and spiritually.

The atatement points out that a number of people in their search for a better world have turned to Marxism and the use of Marxist analysis.While such an approach can help to identify certain inustices and structures of exploitation, the authors feel that Marxist idealogy conflicts with some basic Christian values. They do hawever, grant that there will always be tension and debate among Christians concerned for a social change and that this can be a healthy process.

Within the next two years, the bishops plan to initiate a pastorial plan of action for the purpose of encouraging more members of a Cathoic community to become actively involved in creating a socio-economic order based on justice. Study/ action groups and projects on problems of justice will be initiated in each diocese and region.In the spring of 1978 a primer will be issued which will be designed to stimulate awareness and action on issues in Canada and the Third World.

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