Articles tagged with: Church Structural Reform

A Challenge to Solidarity

on Friday, 09 December 2005. Posted in Issue 51 Refugees and Asylum Seekers: No to the Silence of Indifference!, 2005

December 2005

A Challenge to Solidarity
Cathy Molloy

Cathy Molloy is a Research Officer in the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

The Christian understanding of solidarity is one of the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching and is often the basis on which action towards, and with, people in situations of need is promoted. Solidarity, in this understanding, goes beyond a \'feeling of vague compassion, or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near or far\' and calls for \'a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.1

Aspects of Catholic Social Teaching on Housing

on Monday, 13 June 2005. Posted in Issue 50 Housing the New Ireland, 2005

Cathy Molloy
June 2005
What Have You Done to your Homeless Brother?
The United Nations proclaimed 1987 the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless and to coincide with that time Pope John Paul II asked that the Church undertake its own reflection on the problem of housing. The result was What Have You Done to your Homeless Brother? a document of the Pontifical \'Justice and Peace\' Commission, presented on 27 December 1987 by its President, Roger Cardinal Etchegaray.1 This short article will focus mainly on some of the points from that document.

The 'Good News' - A More Just Health System

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 41 For Richer for Poorer: Three Issues of Fairness?, 2001

Seamus O'Gorman SJ, researcher at the CFJ and part-time theology lecturer at Milltown Institute asks some searching questions about our commitment to a fair health system.

1. Introduction: the promise of good news for the sick

'Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news brought to them'. Mt 11:5

Issues of Justice, Leadership and Authority in the Church

Written by Cathy Molloy on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?, 2003

Cathy Molloy is a Research Officer for the CFJ.

The church has a long tradition of engaging with issues of social justice. We have come to expect that it will be an advocate for the disadvantaged and those excluded or on the edge of society and will criticise structural injustice wherever it comes to light. The recent uncovering of injustice of the most appalling kind within the church diminishes, for some, even the prophetic voices and actions of those most committed to justice. It disheartens everyone, lay and priest alike. This article touches on some issues relating to justice, leadership and authority in the church and considers some signs of hope for a way forward.

The Contradiction of Justice

on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 44 Ireland: Facing up to a Multicultural Future?, 2002

Brian Lennon, SJ

Justice is about right relationships

Justice is about right relationships, respect for others, above all about the protection of the weakest in society. Child abuse is about as basic a contradiction of justice as there is. All child abuse is awful but it has been a particular shock for Catholics to realise that some priests whom they trusted and respected have been involved in it. However, the most difficult aspect to comprehend of the Church’s response to Clerical Child Abuse was the policy of moving offenders to another location where they had the possibility to re-offend. This policy was tantamount to putting the ‘good name’ of the Catholic Church above the safety of children..

Acknowledging the Pain of Reality

on Sunday, 29 June 2003. Posted in 2003

Séamus O' Gorman SJ comments on some requirements of justice in relation to the current Child Sexual Abuse scandals

Over the past few weeks much has been said, written and felt about the shocking story of clerical child sexual abuse. Rather than add pages more, the priority now seems to be to support the emerging initiatives, in particular the proposed audit, which offer some promise that the actions necessary to provide a more just way forward are being prepared for. A new light has stayed focused on this heart wrenching open wound in our society. For this, society's and the church's thanks are due to the remarkably courageous words, actions and leadership of a number of victims of abuse in the Diocese of Ferns. This crisis must be seized as an opportunity to face our past with genuine honesty, so that we can approach a future with some hope.

And so this is Christmas...?

on Thursday, 18 December 2003. Posted in Issue 47 Budget 2004: Preserving a Divided Society?, 2003


Cathy Molloy

December 2003


Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas many people find themselves drawing breath now and again and wondering what it is all about. On the one hand, there is the exhilaration of the \'season of goodwill\', the decorations and seasonal music to brighten all our lives, the getting together with friends or colleagues or family, the special food and present-giving that lifts us right out of the ordinary humdrum existence of short days and long winter nights. Where would we be without it? On the other hand, there are constant reminders that Christmas is not a joyous fun-time for everyone. Loneliness and poverty, homelessness, isolation, hunger and sickness can be exacerbated at Christmastime and we are fairly bombarded with requests to include others at home and far away in our way of celebrating the great Christian feast. And so we should be.

Social Justice And Christian Faith

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 42 Pensions Time Bomb? Equity and Justice in the Pensions Regime, 2002

Seamus Murphy SJ, lecturer in philosophy in the Milltown Institute , explores the christian understanding of social justice.

Contemporary Irish society reflects a growing diversity of cultures and values.  In particular, Christian values and perspectives are no longer the predominant moral culture.  In the more pluralistic society that is emerging, the Christian contribution has to be made with due respect for the contributions of other groups.  This is indispensable for arriving at a degree of consensus on some notion of our shared good.

At the same time, it is accepted that not merely pluralism but also genuine equality requires valuing our diversity.  This raises the question for each group of what that group’s distinctive contribution is or ought to be.  For Christians, this includes the issue of what distinctive insights the Christian tradition could contribute to a shared understanding of social justice.[i]

An Ethic for the Third Millennium

Written by Bill Toner SJ on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 40 An Ethic for the Third Millennium, 2001

Bill Toner, SJ

June 2001

Bill Toner, S.J. is the director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice


Culture is very fragile.  A society or group can live for hundreds of years in a particular way that holds the group together, ensures their survival, and gives meaning to their lives. Then something unexpected can happen, such as an invasion, or a new invention.  The culture may be enriched or transformed by these events, but it can also fall apart.   In this article I propose to examine in more detail the role of values during this process of transformation, with particular reference to our own culture on the island of Ireland.

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