'Franciscans on Justice'

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Franciscans On Justice

Posted on 03. Mar, 2013 by .

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Our understanding of justice is rooted in the life and preaching of Jesus Christ, who declared: “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord” (Luke 4: 18-19). Although uncertain and tentative at first, Francis came to recognize that Jesus called him through his experience of prayer and through the needs of his poor brothers and sisters. For Francis, this meant not only serving lepers, but living among them, expressing compassion in a visible, practical way.

Each person has been created in the image and likeness of God, and has been accorded great dignity. Yet we know that many in our world do not have access to fundamental human necessities, such as adequate food, clean water, shelter and health care. Our world is blessed by God and rich with resources, but billions of our brothers and sisters cannot access these essential resources. To proclaim justice means to work for the life, dignity and well being of all people, regardless of human difference.

We work for social justice among all peoples: in our communities, our states, nation and world. We feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and care for the sick. We join our voice with those who advocate for a more compassionate society and a world without extreme poverty. The teaching of the Catholic Church is clear: the promotion of justice in our day is constitutive of preaching the Gospel. The US Bishops offer us a Catholic framework for economic life. Our country plunged into crisis in September 2008, and millions of families have suffered severe economic hardship. For a reflection on this in light of Franciscan values read Br. Bill Short’s Franciscan Economic Perspective.

The dignity and life of migrants is of special concern to the Franciscans of the St. Barbara Province. Many Catholic brothers and sisters in our midst are immigrants, some with legal documentation and some without. All are worthy of respect, all have dignity. We note with concern a rising tide of indifference and intolerance toward the migrants among us, despite the clear teaching of our tradition and our Church. We call on all people to respect the human dignity and human rights of immigrants, whether refugees or economic migrants. [some province statement about solidarity with migrants]

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