Despite evictions around the country, Occupy continues actions on a daily basis around the USA and the world. Religious organizations and spiritually-interested institutions are a part of Occupy, but one thing I have noticed in New York City at Occupy Wall Street is the relative absence of Catholic pastoral workers and other Catholic-identified leaders. I wonder if this is the case in other parts of the USA and around the world. 

This morning, for example, I was at a meeting of Occupy Faith NYC, a collection of leaders from many religious traditions and social justice organizations in support of Occupy Wall Street, and out of approximately 45 in attendance, there were just a few from Catholic churches or organizations.

Of the churches who opened their doors to serve as sanctuary churches after the raid on and eviction from Zuccotti Park in NYC a few weeks ago, no Catholic churches were involved (as far as I know), but several other churches (Methodist, Baptist/UCC, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and more) stepped forward. And among the Occupy theologians and chaplains, only a handful are Catholic or identified with Catholic institutions. 

Into this gap steps a new website, Occupy Catholics, a place to gather for Catholic-inflected interpretations of Occupy and Catholic resources for engaging the movement. If you are interested, check it out.

Those formed in Catholic thought and practice have much to contribute to Occupy, including a rich tradition of Catholic social teaching to inform thinking about economic justice, a respect for the shaping and mystical-political power of ritual (whether in worship or on the street), and an openness to interreligious dialogue and cooperation. Deepest of all, as far as I can tell theologically, is the yes to incomprehensible and gracious mystery through the practice of solidarity with all those left behind by the social-economic policies we have "chosen" in this country, and the empowering of that "yes" for oneself and others by helping all to live a more human life, with more diffuse opportunities for flourishing, by changing how our society works. It is learning about what is holy through personal and communal resources given for the good of others, for the common good. It is letting the quest for "economic democracy," alongside those from other religions, faiths, and spiritualities, or none at all, be a school for refining our sense for what is good, true, and beautiful. Without baptizing Occupy by any means, it is letting Occupy, and the many relationships and opportunities it opens, become part of what theologian Karl Rahner called our experience of the Liturgy of the World. 

It is as if Catholicism is the sleeping giant while the biggest social movement in a generation, nationally and globally, is going on around it.

Once that giant wakes up and takes notice, a strong movement will get even stronger.  For those new to the movement, one way to start is to read the 99% stories of others and share your story here

UPDATE, 1 Dec 22:46: I am struck by the thoughtful frankness of ethicist Thomas Massaro, SJ's conclusion in his column, "Occupation Therapy," in America (28 Nov, p. 10): "It might just be that Occupy Wall Street has made more headway as a catalyst for change in the United States in the last 10 weeks than Catholic social teaching has accomplished in the last 12 decades."

Tom Beaudoin

New York City

Comments

JIM MCCREA | 12/3/2011 - 6:20pm
Oops - RepeNt or perish!
Shayne Labudda | 12/3/2011 - 4:20pm
Tom, Walter, et al

I don't dispute the prefered measure is pure and simple economic growth.  (One way to improve American manufacturing jobs would be to increase the cost of shipping jobs abroad.)  I don't dispute our education system is underperforming.  I do dispute that the NEA is the source of this failure.  They like any other union have their faults, but I think the larger culprit in the failure is on the sides of parents frankly, which is a separate discussion.

I keep referring to our economic system as a game and will continue to do so for sake of brevity and for its apt description.  So admitting that there are other issues on which we can agree, do you really believe that the game is, if not fully rigged, at least governed by rules that favor those who already have plenty?  Broadly speaking I refer to loopholes, exemptions, legislation that favors a business sector if not a specific business, etc.  This is what I believe all the folks "occupying" are hacked off about.  They haven't been idle participants in the economy for the last twenty years; they're not strictly speaking looking for handouts; they want to see some equitability where there is none.  They're hacked off that they've made honest efforts to gain financial/material security for themselves and their families and when they look in the lane next to them, they see people advancing far more easily and often times unfairly.  

Another way to look at it (and this has been my long-standing belief before John Stewart put it on air) is, how is it that Martha Stewart spends time in jail for a relatively minor financial transgression, yet the smartest guys in the room, the titans of industry that have caused immeasurable harm to people's lives pay no price, get saved by everyone else, then have the gall to say "keep the regulations to a minimum, trust us."

This whole discussion is now distant from the original question, but for all the opportunity our economy provides, it has a great deal of unfairness to it.  People are fed up.  No message necessary beyond that.
Michael Appleton | 12/2/2011 - 8:12pm
Many of the comments on OWS, both here and in the media, miss the point. To criticize participants over the lack of a coherent message, or the absence of a defined agenda or specific proposals, is meaningless because OWS is not a political movement. It is not a poor man's Tea Party, a call for political anarchy or a marxist uprising. It is a social protest movement.

We know from our common human experience that most people prefer to avoid confrontation. It is stressful and unpleasant. But we also know from our common human experience that when significant segments of a population begin to perceive that forces beyond their control have created a situation in which political, legal and economic power is becoming increasingly concentrated in too few hands, in which representative government appears fractured and unresponsive, and in which even the most corrupt forms of financial wrongdoing go unpunished despite their devastating effects on society, the result is frustration and anger. The powerless take to the streets when there is nowhere else to turn.

I also strongly disagree with those who argue that the Church's commitment to social justice is misplaced in addressing the concerns of OWS. To the contrary, Tom Beaudoin is precisedly correct. This country was founded as a nation of laws. Our strength as a people is not measured by annual GDP figures, but by our commitment to equal justice. It is that simple. It is that difficult. 
L K | 12/2/2011 - 4:39pm
The article is factually incorrect.  OWS is not the biggest social movement of our generation, it's the TEA party.  And the TEA party is actually having an impact, unlike the crap-wielding snot-nosed, whining and disrespectful babies in the streets of NY, Oakland, and elsewhere.  The fact that the Catholic Church has the good sense not to allow its sanctuaries to be desecrated by these neanderthals shows the Church still has some members and clergy acquainted with reason.  And, I object to this portrayal of the Catholic Church as having as its primary mission some moronic, temporal political socialist justice, economic redistributive bullhockey.  It's obvious to me the author not only isn't familiar with the Bible, but he is clearly oblivious to the mission of the Catholic Church...the salvation of his soul.  Unfortunately, too many Catholics don't understand this.  I guess that would explain why they voted en masse for the biggest supporter of abortion in history, which is grounds for excommunication in the Catholic Church. 

Repent, and you shall be forgiven.
MATTHEW NANNERY | 12/2/2011 - 1:18pm
I've gotta believe that Servant of God Dorothy Day would have gotten on the subway and been down there in a heartbeat!
Maybe she is in spirit.
Tom Maher | 12/2/2011 - 12:25pm
Occupy Wall Street class warfare propaganda - 99% v 1%  - offers no hope of any solution to the nation's continued lack of economic growth and job creation.  OWS vents heavy political attacks against American businesses , private enterprise and blames captialism for their own lack of hope and vision in the American economy and their own economic future.  But OWS is a micro-minority political fringe of the 312 million American population.  Most Americans want economic growth and want to restore the American economy not a political movement based on class warfare.
C Walter Mattingly | 12/3/2011 - 7:55pm
Shayna,
I agree with you that parents are a big part of the problem. But unlike half a century ago, and unlike countries such as Norway, Sweden, Germany, and many others, we have outlawed religious and moral instruction in our public schools.  Current parents have grown up in basically a religious vacuum, with little common moral sense. Just consider, for a moment, the Loyola Marymount report that takes the same demographic of inner city kids and graduates 98% as opposed to 65%.  The church, usually primarily with a few good sisters, controls the former, basically the NEA, the latter.  At the parochial schools, 80% of funds go directly to the school and classroom operations; in the public school system, it averages around 50%. Many of these problems-the fewest school days of any industrial country, the refusal to seriously encounter whether or not a teacher teaches students, seniority rather than quality the main factor in teacher retention-all these things handicap any principal from effectively managing his school. It's really easy to see, and it is a major social justice issue. Likely has more to do with the difficulties our middle class is having than anything else.

The loopholes in our economic system are a disaster. We subsidize ethanol which does no good reducing gases and raises grain prices for poor nations around the world, we subsidize the farmer to grow the tobacco that poisons our children, etc. The sad fact is that the Bowles-Simpson biparisan plan President Obama called into existence addressed many of these issues, but unfortunately he did not support the recommendations of his own bipartisan commission. A really unfortunate failure of leadership that will hurt the country for years to come.

People are fed up. They want a school system not ruled by a self-interested corporate monopoly that doesn't insure the failure of our middle class in what is now an international economy. They don't want a Fannie and Freddie forced to lend over half of their mortgages to low income people, many of whom were poor credit risks. Stewart got off light, true; OJ got off far lighter, but Maddox is spending the rest of his life in jail-as he should. Sometimes hard to understand the imbalances that occur.
Stanley Kopacz | 12/3/2011 - 7:53pm
The main problem is that this country is no longer a functioning democracy.  The "mainstream" americans have their thinking bracketed by FOX GOPTV on the right and the rest of the corporate press supposedly on the left but only in an Orwellian way.  They only think inside the box and its a very small box.  It puts me in a bad mood sometimes, thinking God may close us down as an unsuccessful experiment in reflexive consciousness and try upgrading another critter.
 If you save your individual soul, do you end up in an individual heaven and might not this be hell?
JIM MCCREA | 12/3/2011 - 6:19pm
Boudeca:  The Catholic Church cannot save ANYONE'S soul.  Jesus does that. 

Do NOT equate the RCC with Jesus! 

If you do I'll repeat your mantra:  repeat or perish.
C Walter Mattingly | 12/3/2011 - 8:28am
Shayne,
I also want to see those not fully participating in the country's bounty to increase their participation. The questions that follow are twofold: in this regard, is America founded upon the idea of being the Land of Opportunity for the multitude, or is it the Land of Handouts from one group to another? Secondly, assuming you have chosen the first rather than the second, what actions can we take that would improve the opportunities for those who have shared least, in our case, particularly the inner city populace? Have we tragically failed in preparing this population to participate in the wealth the nation does create? The world is not and never has been fair-we can't even guarantee that a newborn will not be exterminated before birth in our country-yet we can and should attempt to make it less unfair.

My contention, shared by many, is that the major opportunity factor is to provide a decent education to all our children.  To that end, the US has spent tremendous financial resources, until 2005 more per student than any other nation, and since then near the very top. And all agree, liberals and conservative, that the results have been a disaster, with our students dropping below the midpoint, into the 3rd quartile, in recent years. Since we now live in an internationally competitive world economy, it does not take tremendous insight to realize that no management can effectively compete in this environment with a subpar workforce.  And a major reason for this is obvious to all: our public schools have been union dominated, the NEA leading the way, and seeing to it that we have the fewest school days and hours of instruction of any of the 28 OECD nations, the most teacher holidays, virulent oppositon to teacher evaluations generally, and forced termination of the good junior teacher and retention of the mediocre senior teacher. As the answer is obviously not to toss more money down this bottomless pit (we have already tried that and failed), but to do as Eleanor Roosevelt and other nations of the world signed on to do: provide maximum choice to our people in the public school system, especially by allowing the parents of our inner city students vouchers, so that they can attend, for example, a parochial school in LA, from which 98% go on to graduate from high school, as opposed to the 65% or so that have this success in the disastrous inner-city public school system there. The major benefit might be that it would force the NEA to focus upon teaching as its first priority rather than protecting and increasing the income of their membership, which of course has been their priority at the expense of education the last 40 years or so, selfinterest being paramount as is the case of any corporate monopoly that goes unchallenged over a long stretch of time.   

In the interest of social justice as well as the American ideal of opportunity to all, we owe no less to our children. Importantly, it would require no more expenditure of monies we don't have.




 
C Walter Mattingly | 12/3/2011 - 8:22am
Shayne,
I also want to see those not fully participating in the country's bounty to increase their participation. The questions that follow are twofold: in this regard, is America founded upon the idea of being the Land of Opportunity for the multitude, or is it the Land of Handouts from one group to another? Secondly, assuming you have chosen the first rather than the second, what actions can we take that would improve the opportunities for those who have shared least, in our case, particularly the inner city populace? Have we tragically failed in preparing this population to participate in the wealth the nation does create? The world is not and never has been fair-we can't even guarantee that a newborn will not be exterminated before birth in our country-yet we can and should attempt to make it less unfair.

My contention, shared by many, is that the major opportunity factor is to provide a decent education to all our children.  To that end, the US has spent tremendous financial resources, until 2005 more per student than any other nation, and since then near the very top. And all agree, liberals and conservative, that the results have been a disaster, with our students dropping below the midpoint, into the 3rd quartile, in recent years. Since we now live in an internationally competitive world economy, it does not take tremendous insight to realize that no management can effectively compete in this environment with a subpar workforce.  And a major reason for this is obvious to all: our public schools have been union dominated, the NEA leading the way, and seeing to it that we have the fewest school days and hours of instruction of any of the 28 OECD nations, the most teacher holidays, virulent oppositon to teacher evaluations generally, and forced termination of the good junior teacher and retention of the mediocre senior teacher. As the answer is obviously not to toss more money down this bottomless pit (we have already tried that and failed), but to do as Eleanor Roosevelt and other nations of the world signed on to do: provide maximum choice to our people in the public school system, especially by allowing the parents of our inner city students vouchers, so that they can attend, for example, a parochial school in LA, from which 98% go on to graduate from high school, as opposed to the 65% or so that have this success in the disastrous inner-city public school system there. The major benefit might be that it would force the NEA to focus upon teaching as its first priority rather than protecting and increasing the income of their membership, which of course has been their priority at the expense of education the last 40 years or so, selfinterest being paramount as is the case of any corporate monopoly that goes unchallenged over a long stretch of time.   

In the interest of social justice as well as the American ideal of opportunity to all, we owe no less to our children. Importantly, it would require no more expenditure of monies we don't have.




 
Tom Maher | 12/2/2011 - 10:44pm
Shayne Labudda (#15)

Our national economy health should be measured by the growth of the economy,  the number of new jobs created each month, the percentage of unemployment, the increase of family income and other long recocgnized, meaningful and objective measures of the economy.

Measuring the economy by income or wealth disparity is not a meaningful measure of economic health or vitality.  Every society has income and wealth disparity.  The more prosperous a nation is per capita, the more income and wealth disparity a nation will have.  On the other hand nations like Cuba that have chronically distressed economies and little income per capita for the last 50 years have little income and wealth disparity.  But his is the outcome of a marxist state - everyone individually and collectively is poor to the point they can not afford basic economic goods such as enough food.  And even if they could afford basic goods the needed economic goods  are not available for sale at any price.  Commuism demostrated a state controlled economy can not produce adequate supply of basic economic goods such as food, drink, cloths, shelter and fuel for the average citizens.

So why worry about income or wealth equality as a goal when this concept  does no one any good?

What we should worry about is growing the economy and creating new jobs.  If people are working and have their own career and are able to to afford basic economic goods it is irrelevant that someone else is able to make even more and be more wealthy. 

As they said to George Bush senior in the 1992 election: "Its the economy stupid".  Fix the economy by improving meaingful economic measurements such as economic growth, low unemployment,  net monthly increase in jobs created, monthly wage and salary increases, etc. These meaningful economic results are not happening in our economy today.  We need an economic policy that produces meaningful  economic improvements to our economy that will profoundly benefit everyone as they always have..
Shayne Labudda | 12/2/2011 - 3:54pm
Tom
I've said as much in this space before that I don't personally hold the protesters or "occupiers" to necessarily have some coherent message and set of demands.  If all they're saying is "I don't like what's happening with today's wealth disparity and I want it corrected", then add my voice, if not my body.  I agree that the suggestion of loan forgiveness is off the mark.  I also agree with you that most residents of this country want economic growth and a restoration of the economy.  This movement such as it is is calling for a restoration to a period where the pie was shared more evenly/fairly/justly, however one wants to say it.  Unions, for all their faults, and despite their current pariah state, helped ensure that people who labor were justly rewarded and protected for their efforts.  They are now the scapegoats for almost every financial strait and the game now has been so skewed to favor the moneymakers so they don't have to give a whit about the needs of the folks that do the work that allow them to reap unbounded rewards.  I honestly can't understand how anyone who looks at any number of metrics of income over the past decade or more can conclude that this country has a really small number of very clever people and a great number of chumps.  Does anyone/everyone really think the game is fair anymore?  Hope those chumps get on board and figure it out some day.  Well I think a lot of people are sick of being played for chumps of the subtle class warfare that has been enacted for the past generation. 
Juan Lino | 12/2/2011 - 3:30pm
I think you’re right Matt because I believe that Servant of God Dorothy Day would want to make sure each person received a copy of Caritas In Veritate.
C Walter Mattingly | 12/2/2011 - 11:18am
Vince (#10),
"Question the vast inequality of wealth and crony capitalism in our halls of government and this (is?) what you get lots of name-calling from our fellow bloggers..."hypocritical self-aggrandizement."

One of the requirements of honest dialogue is to encounter what the other actually said, not what you had preferred he had said in your imagination. In my case the charge "hypocritical self-aggrandizement" referred to the campaign growing out of OWS, Occupy Student Debt, not to seek consideration of extension or amelioration of their subsidized loans made to them in good faith by the taxpayers, but simply to violate the integrity of their word for their own monetary benefit by refusing to honor their commitment to repay. The self-aggrandizement is in the obvious monetary self-interest at the expense of their word; the hypocrisy is posing as critics of greed and dishonesty while providing an example of both in their proposed action.

But don't think for a minute that the financial unlawfulness of felons such as George Soros or Ken Lay or Maddox or, probably, Corzine is acceptable to me; they got/should get what they deserve. Far more damaging and conducive to preventing the poor from advancing, however, is the crony corporate monopoly posed by the NEA, which has successfully avoided accountability for teaching the students they serve, and their enablers, such as those who oppose vouchers for LA inner city parochial schools which, according to Loyola Marymount, have a high school graduation rate of 98%, rather than the 65% or so which the LA public school system sadly attains. If necessary, keep the minorities uneducated seems to be the strategy, if the alternative is the work required to improve our monopolistic 3rd quartile underperformance, increase our fewest class hours of all major industrial nations, or affect our pay or retention that favors the mediocre senior teacher at the expense of the good junior one. 
Vince Killoran | 12/2/2011 - 9:03am
Question the vast inequality of wealth and crony capitalism in our halls of government and this what you get lots of name-calling from our fellow bloggers: "sheer hypocrisy and idiocy" and "hypocritical self-aggrandizement."

I'm glad Tom brought up the Rasmussen poll. People should check out the results for themselves.  Interestingly, almost one-half of Americans told pollster that they aren't even familiar with the OWS movement! Don't people watch or read the news?

But see the strong support for a universal health care with no private insurers: nearly one-half of those polled agreed strongly or somewhat with this goal (another 20% were neutral); the support is higher for those who reported familiarlity with the existence of the OWS movement. This is impressive given conservative and moderate liberal elite opposition.

This is not a case of "mainstream" versus "marginal" as the conservative talking point would have you believe.
C Walter Mattingly | 12/2/2011 - 5:31am
What I find most disheartening of all in the above commentary is dragging a great Christian presence such as Karl Rahner into the muck of this Occupy movement. Rahner was all about a graced presence and gratitude, exemplified by service to fellow man, the sort of actions that Brett (#8) outlines that Catholic Charities commonly accomplishes. Thus far, one of the most notable and far-reaching common causes of Occupy is an act of greedy self-aggrandizement, calling for a million Americans to violate their word to repay their subsidized student loans. 

Compare that "ideal" with the richest of the super-rich, of all the 1%ers the Occupiers pillory: Bill Gates. He is threatening the poorest of the world with vaccinations against the most common killers of the young. His money and extraordinary management skills, which are projected to prevent 7.5 million of the world's poor from dying prematurely, must be opposed. He has spent over $100 million on our terrible union-wrecked pulbic school systems to present strong evidence that smaller classes have minimal effect on quality of public school education, but that teacher excellence has a great effect, making it more difficult for the NEA to continue its efforts to protect poor teachers by refusing to retain and reward excellent teachers while protecting mediocre ones with seniority, thereby succeeding in thwarting excellent teaching, ranking 28th out of 28 OECD countries in classroom hours of instruction. Gates is a thorn in their side. How can Occupy, the NEA, and their liberal supporters help stop him, along with vouchers that would enable inner city children to become educated and graduate from high school?

The actions of the megarich Gates are, given his situation, evidence of what Karl Rahner stood for, gratitude.  The actions of the Occupiers-occupy the public space to the exclusion of others, occupy the taxpayers' treasury- such as violating the integrity of their word and stiffing the taxpayers for their subsidzed loans to them, are actions of hypocritical self-aggrandizement, or, more simply, ingratitude. 
Tom Maher | 12/1/2011 - 9:24pm
The Occupy Wall Street protesters have  no political, economic or social message that most mainstream Americans agree with let alone support.  So why should Catholics support these protests?   The fact that the protests are tolerated as a free speech right in America does not mean that the mircro-minority of Americans pariticating in OWS protests enjoy widespread support. 

A Novemeber 7, 2011 Rasmussen poll shows only 36% say that OWS protests represent the views of mainstream Americans. 44% disagreed and 24% were undecided. But even then the poll shows people are about evenly divided on whether OWS wanted to genuinely change the system or just wanted a bailout of their own.  OWS protesters have frequenctly advocated debt forgiveness of student loans and other personal debts.  But again an Oct 25 Rasmussen poll shows 66% oppose forgivness of student loans.

Catholics as a very mainstream group in America and well represented in most parts of American society, are no more likely to support a non-mainstream movement with little political support. 
Crystal Watson | 12/1/2011 - 8:40pm
Maybe the reason there's little support from the church for the occupy movement is that the church, the institution and the hierarchy, have more in common with what's being occupied than with the occupiers.  Let's occupy the church  :)
david power | 12/1/2011 - 6:02pm
PJ,

I hope to God you are wrong.If Jesus is that ,and nothing more than that as my fellow Tipperarian Crossan would have us believe then it really is a let down.The Lord is nothing more than a loveable Marx, an original Occupier.If that is what we are to lay down our lives for then it is a rum deal.God sent his only son into the world(Crossan doesn't believe this by the way) to tell us to share the booty.
Give me half an hour and I will invent a more interesting God than that one.
The Debt forgiveness argument is more solid though as everybody knows that the Gospel recounts the stories of the one who forgave the debts and the other guy who did not.The problem with that though is that it would be a religion mainly for bankers and so me thinks that Jesus was thinking a little more broadly .When we pray in the Our Father "forgive us our debts" as some have it I would be right to respond "but I am in the black ". Another problem is that Jesus demanded that we live by these standards ourselves but he did not tell us to make others live by the same standards.If a banker is not a christian then why should he comply?.Christian totalitarianism would not lead to anything prettier than a merchant in Venice    
Juan Lino | 12/1/2011 - 5:36pm
Tom, with all due respect, even though you say that you are not attempting to “baptize” OWS, all the posts you’ve written about it (and there are many!) surely makes it seem as if that’s what you are trying to do.  So, I am weary of your disclaimer.

Regarding your post, I think the Church (as an institution) is prudent to not latch her wagon to things like this because Her primary function, IMHO, is NOT to be a quasi-social work agency.  After all, this was tried in South America with “Liberation Theology” (which distorted the Social teaching of the Church), as well as other places, with disastrous effects. 

Of course, that may not be what you are advocating but it’s hard to know unless you tell us because the phrase “being pastoral” has been so distorted that it’s hard to know what a person means, so please clarify your meaning.
PJ Johnston | 12/1/2011 - 5:05pm
I'd like to recommend some John Dominic Crossan or other contemporary NT scholarship on the subject of whether Jesus was "for" social justice or not.  To summarize this work, first century Palestine was imperially occupied and run by a collusion of Roman military power and local collaborators such as the Jerusalem temple establishment who organized the economy to reduce the masses to debt peonage through predatory lending for the benefit of the elite.  Jesus' teachings (mostly drawn out of the prophetic OT tradition) caught on because they concretely addressed these problems in revolutionary ways - they were about debt forgiveness, sharing resources, and a big communal meal where everybody could be fed together at one table regardless of how they were otherwise excluded from wealth, status, or ritual purity.  It mostly caught on because of money (debt forgiveness) and nutrition (the meal that the poor otherwise might not get), and it's no accident that the praxis of the early church involved the radical redistribution of wealth (cf. Acts, where all Christian goods are owned in common).  In other words, not only do Jesus' teachings _address_ social justice, they're primarily_about_ social justice.
ed gleason | 12/1/2011 - 4:53pm
Fr. Louie Vitale OFM , Peace activist, former pastor and former OFM West Coast Provincial was arrested at Occupy Oakland last week. Yes, you are right..   the Catholic 'flag' needs to be more viable but the usual priests leaders have mostly passed away. . The present Catholic  'leaders' are white knuckling and are finger nail hanging on...... from the bishops....Louie is 80...  
david power | 12/1/2011 - 4:47pm
Very interesting.
A lot of the article seems to appeal to things that have never entered my head.Helping the poor is something that comes from my heart and not my head.I am not grounded in Social Justice I just see a poor guy and think that he needs my help as could a rich guy and so I drop him a few crumbs from my loaf.
Walter Kaufmann said that Jesus was not into Social Justice.That is an interesting point .Is it true?It seems to me it is a true statement but one I am open to be corrected on.Jesus was into helping others but he never gave a programme I think we could all agree on that .He urged us to help others but did he  make it an ideology as is what "seems to be"  the approach here?Are we not falling for another idol in the  form of a Utopian ideal that is peppered with slave morality or is this what  jesus would do?.
The Church  due to it's history and experience takes the long view and the Occupy movement on the catholic radar is probably somewhere close to a story of the Kardashians.The Occupy movement has had the megaphone for a long time now and have not said a whole lot.Or to paraphrase Fr Lagrange when speaking of his most famous pupil "speaks much,says little". I am for the big yes to Solidarity but feel that the Author is guilty of the same mistake that Chris Matthews and the Jesuits here on America made with regards Obama.One had a tingle down his leg and the latter were cheerleaders.Now where do we stand?We see that Obama is a wellmeaning mediocre President.Nothing more ,maybe less.Catholics are not missing anything but the same old "sound and fury that signifies nothing".