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Solidarity

 

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We are one  human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological  differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be.  Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of  the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI  taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.”1 The Gospel calls us to be  peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote  peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.


Scripture

  • Genesis 12:1-3
            God blessed Israel so that all nations would  be blessed through it.

  • Psalms 72 
             Living in right relationship with others  brings peace.

  • Psalms 122  
             Peace be with you!  For the sake of the Lord, I will seek your  good.

    Zechariah 8:16  
             These are the things you should do: Speak  truth, judge well, make peace.
  • Matthew 5:9  
            Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be  called children of God.

  • Matthew 5:21-24
             Be reconciled to one another before coming to the altar.

  • Romans 13:8-10  
             Living rightly means to love one another.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
             If one member of Christ’s body suffers, all  suffer.  If one member is honored, all  rejoice.

  • Colossians 3:9-17  
             Above all, clothe yourself  with love and let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts.

  • 1 John 3:16-18 
             The love of God in us  is witnessed to by our willingness to lay down our lives for others as Christ  did for us.


Tradition  

Developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future. The land of the southern poor is rich and mostly unpolluted, yet access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse. . . . As the United States bishops have said, greater attention must be given to "the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests". We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference. (Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Laudato Si'],no. 52, quoting United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good)

In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. This option entails recognizing the implications of the universal destination of the world's goods, but, as I mentioned in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, it demands before all else an appreciation of the immense dignity of the poor in the light of our deepest convictions as believers. We need only look around us to see that, today, this option is in fact an ethical imperative essential for effectively attaining the common good. (Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Laudato Si'],no. 158)

To love someone is to desire that person's good and to take  effective steps to secure it.  Besides  the good of the individual, there is the good that is linked to living in  society: the common good.  It is the good  of "all of us", made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who  together constitute society.  … To desire  the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate], no. 7)

It is good for people to realize that purchasing  is always a moral — and not simply economic — act. Hence the consumer has a  specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in- hand with the social  responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educated  regarding their daily role, which can be exercised with respect for moral  principles without diminishing the intrinsic economic rationality of the act of  purchasing… It can be helpful  to promote new ways of marketing products from deprived areas of the world, so  as to guarantee their producers a decent return. (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate], no. 66)

At another level, the roots of the  contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic  denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated  individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to  others and service of them. . . It is precisely in this sense that Cain's  answer to the Lord's question: "Where is Abel your brother?" can be  interpreted: "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9).  Yes, every man is his "brother's keeper", because God entrusts us to  one another. (St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life [Evangelium Vitae], no. 19)

[Solidarity] is not a feeling of vague compassion or  shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On  the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to  the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual,  because we are all really responsible for all. (St. John Paul II, On Social Concern [Sollicitudo rei Socialis], no. 38)

Interdependence must be transformed into solidarity, based upon the principle  that the goods of creation are meant for all. That which human industry  produces through the processing of raw materials, with the contribution of  work, must serve equally for the good of all. (St. John Paul II, On Social Concern [Sollicitudo rei Socialis], no. 39)

We  have to move from our devotion to independence, through an understanding of  interdependence, to a commitment to human solidarity. That challenge must find  its realization in the kind of community we build among us. Love implies  concern for all - especially the poor - and a continued search for those social  and economic structures that permit everyone to share in a community that is a  part of a redeemed creation (Rom 8:21-23). (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice for All, no. 365)

The solidarity which binds all men together as members of a common family makes  it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger,  misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even  elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent  on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long  as glaring economic and social imbalances persist. (St. John XXIII, On Christianity and Social Progress [Mater et Magistra], no. 157)



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