Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Catholic Social Justice - Rights and Responsibilities

"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,
and naked I shall go back again.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord!"
                                                                         Job 1:21

The fundamental right to life, food, shelter, healthcare, education and employment is common to all people, everywhere.  The right to participate in the decisions that affect our lives is also a basic human right.  With these basic rights are duties and responsibilities.  These are to: respect the rights of others, protect these rights for everyone, and exercise these rights in working together for the common good of all.

God has given us life, this precious gift of His love for us.  It is a gift beyond value, primary to all that He has given us.  Life is to be treated as our most precious possession, for us and for all others.  Protecting life is our ultimate responsibility, from the moment of conception to natural death.  There can be no greater duty and responsibility – all life is precious.

Sustaining the precious gift of life, affording us the opportunity to rise up in dignity so that we may realize the full potential of our lives is basic and common to all human kind.  Food and hydration, shelter and healthcare allow us to continue life and live it in good health and comfort.  Education and employment allows us to realize our potential as humans, to live in dignity with respect and standing in the community.

We each have the right to life.  We each have the right of access to those things that sustain life.  As Christians and Catholics, we each have the responsibility to ensure that everyone everywhere has these same basic rights.  It is our duty to work for the common good of all humankind, to ensure that these rights are not denied, withheld or subverted and that all peoples have access to them.

Deacon Don

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