Resources for Peace and Justice Commission Chairs
The websites listed here are for reference and will help Regional Peace and Justice Chairs develop their own background about the building blocks of our Peace and Justice Commission. This is necessary before it is possible to evaluate specific issues.
- http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=7209The entire Compendium of the Social Doctrine
of the Church is available on line at the Document Library of the website Catholic Culture. You can read it one chapter at a time. Every chapter is interesting,
but Chapter 7 on Economic Life, Chapter 8 on the Political Community, Chapter 9 on the International Community, and Chapter 11 on The Promotion of Peace are especially
relevant for the Peace and Justice Commission.
- http://www.osjspm.org/catholic_social_teaching.aspx The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has an excellent presentation of Catholic Social Teaching documents. It is especially good for those who are not familiar with the documents because the complete text of the documents is given along with notable quotations and an online concordance that brings together main ideas from different documents. For some of the documents of John Paul II, both the official text and the translation from the book by Joseph Donders: John Paul II: The Encyclicals in Everyday Language is included. The site also has an excellent bibliography of books on Catholic Social Teaching.
- http://www.thesocialagenda.com/ The Vatican has arranged the complete doctrine of the Catholic Church according to ten major themes: the nature of Catholic social teaching; the human person; the family; the social order; the role of the state; the economy; work and wages; poverty and charity; the environment; and the international community. They have posted quotations from various documents that relate directly to the theme. This is a good way to research the documents for Catholic social teaching references for current issues.
- http://www.shc.edu/theolibrary/ This site, called the Theology Library, is run by the Department of Theology at Spring Hill College, the Jesuit College of the South. It has an enormous amount of material broken down by categories that are then subdivided in a way that makes it possible to find almost anything quickly and easily. There are over 8,000 links to other sites.
- http://www.hnp.org/publications/focus.cfm This page from the website of Holy Name Province of Franciscan Friars has basic articles on the death penalty, the Franciscan intellectual tradition, globalization, immigration, and war and terrorism. It has some documents in Spanish.
- http://www.ofm-jpic.org/other/whatsnew.html This is the webpage of the Rome office of the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) of the Franciscan Friars Minor. It has information about what the Friars Minor are doing in the areas of peace, justice and ecology.
- http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm This is the official webpage of the Vatican. It has all of the papal documents going back to Leo XIII and a link to the general catalogue in the Vatican library.
These websites contain information about current social issues that are important in our peace and justice work. Some have a legislative advocacy feature. There are thousands of websites on social issues facing Americans today. It is important to be discriminating. The links here are Catholic and comment on current issues.
- http://www.cacp.org/pages/585134/index.htm Catholics Against Capitol Punishment strives to insure that members of the clergy and laypeople -- both Catholic and non-Catholic -- are aware of, and understand the seriousness of, Church teachings on capital punishment. It has a newsletter with information about Catholic-oriented anti-death penalty efforts.
- http://www.catholicrelief.org/ Information about all of the places where Catholic Relief Services provides help in all parts of the world. There is an on-line legislative advocacy program that is easy to use. It is possible to sign up to have their newsletter, The Advocate, send directly to your computer each month.
- http://www.maryknollogc.org/ Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns provides analysis and advocacy on justice and peace issues for communities where Maryknollers live and work. Weapons and weapons research is a special interest of Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. The website provides background information on the issues, sends out action alerts and provides links to other relevant websites.
- http://www.franciscansinternational.org/ The home page of Franciscans International. FI works on behalf of the poor for peace, justice and the care of creation at the UN in New York and Geneva. Sign up to receive free bi-weekly FI news briefs.
- http://www.networklobby.org/ NETWORK is a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. It is a progressive voice within the Catholic community calling for peace and economic justice in our nation and the world. There is a legislative advocacy program that is very user friendly. The advocacy program is highly recommended for Secular Franciscan fraternities looking for an opportunity to fulfill the obligation of the laity to change unjust structures and keep from adding new ones.
- http://www.paxchristiusa.org/ Pax Christi has two websites. This one is Pax Christi USA. It provides information about Catholic peace activities in the USA. Economic justice as a foundation for peace is also covered. Racism is a special concern of Pax Christi. It is possible to sign up for the Pax Christi e-mail list at this site.
- http://www.paxchristi.net/ This is the website for Pax Christi International. It covers war and peace issues between nations, weapons and weapons research, and all international peace initiatives.
- http://www.coc.org/ The Center of Concern is a Jesuit organization that has been promoting global justice and peace since 1971. The Center looks at current issues in globalization from the point of view of Catholic social teaching. There are articles, prayers and scripture readings geared to current issues.
- http://www.nccbuscc.org/ogl/index.shtml This is the page for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Government Liaison. Current legislation is reviewed by the USCCB Departments of Communication, Domestic Social Development, Education, General Counsel (includes political activity by churches and religious organizations), International Justice and Peace, Migration and Refugee Services, and Pro-Life.
- http://salt.claretianpubs.org/ The name of this webpage is Salt of the Earth. It is a peace and social justice page by the Claretian Missionaries. It comments on current social issues from a Catholic point of view.
The books listed here are only a few of the thousands available on the subjects covered by the SFO Peace and Justice Commission. Each book listed has been read by, and is recommended by, a member of the Peace and Justice National Commission. In addition, each book has been found to be useful by a Commission member active in peace and justice work.
- Boff, Leonardo St. Francis: A Model for Human Liberation. The Crossroad Publishing Co. 370 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10017 1986 178 pages. Leonardo Boff is a Brazilian former Franciscan friar. He was active in formulating the understanding of liberation theology. His biography of Francis presents Francis as an instrument of justice as well as of peace. For Boff the message of St. Francis for contemporary society is contained in the words, "preferential option for the poor." This part of liberation theology has been adopted by John Paul II and is an important contribution to modern Catholic social teaching.
- Cochran, Clarke E. and Cochran, David Carroll Catholics, Politics, & Public Policy: Beyond Left and Right. Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York 2003 210 pages. Clarke and David Cochran are brothers. Both are Professors of Political Science: Clarke at Texas Tech University and David at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. The authors review contemporary American social issues in the light of Catholic social teaching. The issues include welfare reform and education reform; health care policy and the care of the elderly; war and nuclear weapons; criminal justice and law enforcement; environmental protection and protecting the sanctity of life. The chapter on "Rethinking Health Care Policy," is especially well done. The chapter on "Consistently Defending the Sanctity of Human Life," discusses abortion, reproductive technology, physician-assisted suicide, capital punishment and war. The authors acknowledge that a Catholic approach to these issues faces considerable opposition in the mainstream of American politics and point out the shifts in opinion that are sometimes toward the Catholic side on some issues.
- Curran, Charles E. Catholic Social Teaching 1891 - Present: A Historical, Theological, and Ethical Analysis. Georgetown University Press, Washington D.C. 2002 261 pages. Father Curran is the Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University. He examines all of the modern documents of Catholic social teaching in terms of their methodology, which he divides into theological, ethical and ecclesial. Then he looks at them according to their anthropology-their understanding of the human person-and their view of the political and economic order. It is a critical analysis that includes his ideas and the ideas of other experts in the field. The book is slow going at first, but if you stick with it you will gain an understanding of Catholic social teaching and its place in contemporary society.
- Dorr, Donal Option For the Poor: A Hundred Years of Catholic Social Teaching Orbis Books Maryknoll New York Revised Edition 1992 433 pages. Father Donal Dorr is an Irish missionary priest who has taught theology and philosophy in Ireland and has been a pastoral teacher in many African countries as well as in Brazil. This is a revision and updating of a classic text that has been used for years in classes on Catholic social teaching. There is no question where Father Dorr stands on issues of poverty, colonialism and international development. He examines the documents of Catholic social teaching from a liberal point of view and finds much to recommend them. He shows that in some instances the actual words of the documents have been mistranslated or misinterpreted to give them a more conservative cast than the authors might have intended. His chapter on the future of Catholic social teaching and the struggle in the Church to determine it is especially interesting.
- Grassi, Joseph A. Informing the Future: Social Justice in the New Testament Paulist Press New York 2003 282 pages. Mr. Grassi is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. The first part of the book treats the Old Testament roots of social justice in the New Testament. The second part takes each Gospel and Paul and shows how their social justice teachings lead out from the Old Testament to a new understanding of social justice. The third part of the book examines social justice in the Christian writings of the first three centuries. To conclude, he compares the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the social justice teachings in the New Testament.
- Himes, Kenneth R. O.F.M. Responses to 100 Questions on Catholic Social Teaching Paulist Press New York 2001 112 pages. Franciscan Friar Kenneth Himes is professor of moral philosophy at Washington Theological Union. He is an expert on Catholic social teaching. From the lectures he has given, he has selected 100 of the most frequently asked questions. He gives clear answers to each question. The first 25 questions with their answers are posted on the website of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul. http://www.osjspm.org/cst/ Once you have read these, you will want to read the other 75 that are in the book.
- Krier Mich, Marvin L. Catholic Social Teaching and Movements Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic, CT. 2001 471 pages. Mr. Krier Mich is Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at St. Bernard's Institute in Rochester, New York. This book is different because it shows how many social movements in the United States had their origins in Catholic social teaching. The labor movement in the US had its roots in the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII. The Catholic Worker movement in the 1930's, the struggle to end racial barriers, the immigrant worker movement of Cesar Chavez, and the Catholic peace movement all owe a debt to Catholic social teaching documents.
- National Conference of Catholic Bishops Economic Justice for All United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Washington, D.C. Tenth Anniversary Edition 1997 148 pages. The well known Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy is here in its entirety. Also included are A Catholic Framework for Economic Life and A Decade After "Economic Justice for All": Continuing Principles, Changing Context, and New Challenges. The original report was a huge undertaking for the Catholic Bishops, and it has stood the test of time. The information in this book is basic for all Catholics, not just those who work in peace and justice.
- Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Washington, D.C. 2004 446 pp. Compendium means summary and this book is a summary of the entire social doctrine of the Catholic Church from the time of Pope Leo XIII up to the present day. The book is organized into three parts: God's Plan of Love for Humanity; The Family, the Vital Cell of Society; and Social Doctrine and Ecclesial Action. All of the major encyclicals are included under their appropriate headings. In addition, papal general audiences and speeches before selected audiences are added. The last 163 pages are an Analytical Index by topics, which makes it easy to quickly find a reference. When using the book it is important to note the source of the citation in the footnote at the bottom of the page. Those references to encyclicals and synods of bishops that are officially promulgated by the church carry more weight than papal speeches or audiences given on a special occasion. This book is an essential reference for persons working in the area of peace and justice.
- Rohr, Richard O.F.M. with John Bookser Feister Jesus' Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount St. Anthony Messenger Press Cincinnati, Ohio 1996 174 pages. Father Rohr is founder and animator of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a popular author of numerous challenging books on spirituality. He uses the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew to show what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God. Jesus is portrayed against the background of the real world in which he lived and its influence on his words and actions.
- Rohr, Richard O.F.M. with John Bookser Feister Hope Against Darkness St. Anthony Messenger Press Cincinnati, Ohio 2001 182 pages. In this book Father Rohr describes the current dilemma of the modern world. Then he presents a vision of what the world could be based on the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. His style is passionate and committed. Whether or not you agree with him, he will make you start thinking about the world in a different way.