Catholic Church is also referred to as Roman Catholic. It’s the largest Christian denomination in the world. It’s amongst the first Christian denomination in the world. The church is headed by the Pope who is perceived as the successor of St. Peter, the apostle. Apostles of Jesus Christ are succeeded by bishops. The first Catholic Church was built in Rome, Italy (Catholic Church 1997, 10-100). The church is founded on strong moral values with regard to charity and social justice. Its charity work worldwide can only be rivaled by that of multinational organizations like the Red Cross. This paper discusses why Catholic moral teaching is so concerned with charity and social justice.
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Charity is a way of helping the poor and needy, having kindness and forgiveness in the judgment of others/organizations. Social justice is founded on the spirit of fairness and respect for the rights of other persons including human dignity and solidarity among others (Overberg 2006, 16). Both charity and social work concern human behavior and hence the focus of the Catholic Church on them.
The poor population is large and continuous to increase by the day. These require various assistance including spiritual needs, materials need, and justice in judgment. The Catholic Church believes the privileged in society need to commit to helping these people. People need to learn ways of living together. These teachings are founded on the love principle taught by Jesus Christ. It’s additionally, important to acknowledge that Christian teachings are founded on the ten biblical commandments which encourage the same. Jesus Christ shed His blood to save human beings from sin. Through his self-sacrifice, Jesus symbolically taught love and sacrifice for the sake of the oppressed and weak. The bible teaches us about Jesus’ second-biggest commandment that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Our neighbors can be friends or enemies. Regardless of enmity or friendship, the church encourages that society assists the less privileged. We can extend our help to them if only love exists within and among us (Catholic Church 1997, 1749-1775).
In addition, the church also expects people to practice what it teaches. Needy people need kindness and forgiveness. The church teaches people to forgive, forget and be kind to one another as Jesus Christ did. A good example is when Jesus forgave the woman who was a prostitute. Having a heart of forgiving and kindness enables individuals to help each other in times of need, problems and challenges. (Catholic Church 1997, 1749-1775).
Moreover, it also aims at encouraging faith conscription among its Faithfull and prospective faithful. To encourage charity, its teachings are founded on moral principles and love for one another. Charity and social justice require one to have a merciful and caring heart. The church comes in to teach the several corporal works of mercy. Jesus was so merciful to die and save us from sin. Merciful people can go the extra mile in helping others. These works of mercy are very important to the life of every person. It teaches all these because they affect people’s way of living. They include feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, burying the dead, visiting the sick and prisoners (Catholic Church 1997, 1749-1775). In addition, it aims at reducing the rate of immorality that goes on in this world. People are taught the morals they should practice (May 2003, 20).
Catholic Church. 1997. The New Catechism of the Catholic Church: with Modifications from the Editio Typica. 2nd Edition. New York: Garden City.
May, William. 2003. Introduction to Moral Theology. New York: Penguin.
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Overberg, Kenneth. 2006. Conscience in Conflict: How to make Moral Choices. Baltimore: Maryland.