March 16, 2012
Social Justice: Catholic Virtue or Trap?
Recently in these spaces, Father Peter J. West published an apologia of the Catholic Church's promotion of social justice, arguing that conservative distaste for that pervasive meme is misplaced and is essentially a product of co-optation of the term by the left. He notes the importance of the Catholic vote in American presidential elections, and he urges conservatives to embrace a proper understanding of "social justice" if they wish to win the support of Catholics in November. His argument is unconvincing. Father West writes: Justice is commonly defined as giving each person his due. Social justice is simply an extension of this virtue into the public realm, concerning how society is ordered, with particular concern for the most vulnerable. Working for social justice means nothing more than respecting the dignity of every human person and defending the rights that flow from that dignity. And "[s]ocial justice has nothing to do with socialism" -- stressing the Church's...(Read Full Article)