This past week we’ve probably been finding out more about the history of social justice and the way the term was coopted by the socialists, modernists, and New Agers than we really want to know, but that we need to know. And there have been a few more recent events as well —
• It seems that the healthcare system is the big news item this week. An alternative to what either party is proposing can be found in the CESJ occasional paper, “Affording Universal Healthcare: A Private Sector Alternative to Mandates.” It might be worth sending a copy to your senators and representative, whichever party or parties they are. As it is neither Democrat nor Republican, it might actually get read, and give them some food for thought.
|Msgr. Aloysius Taparelli d'Azeglio, S.J.|
• In doing some research on a current project delving into the roots of socialism versus Catholic social teaching, we discovered what appears to be the first attempt to use the term “social justice” systematically. Monsignor Aloysius Taparelli d’Azeglio, S.J. (1793-1862), involved in the Thomist/natural law revival, began using “social justice” in the late 1840s to describe an alternative to the socialist, modernist, and New Age principle (best stated by the socialist Henri de Saint-Simon), that “The whole of society ought to strive towards the amelioration of the moral and physical existence of the poorest class; society ought to organize itself in the way best adapted for attaining this end.” Taparelli’s “social justice” was that, yes, that should be done, but within the confines of sound doctrine and the precepts of the natural law. In 1850, to promote this new understanding of social justice, Pope Pius IX gave Taparelli and Father Carlo Maria Curci S.J. (1810-1891) permission to found the journal La Cviltà Cattolica. Unfortunately, not only did the socialists seize on the term to describe what they were doing, failing to admit the distinction between what they were saying and the critical foundation of Taparelli’s concept on natural law — particularly the natural right of private property — but Curci became a Christian socialist, refused to accept correction, and was expelled from the Jesuits. Shortly before his death, however, he submitted, and was readmitted to the Society posthumously. Much of the confusion over “social justice” today results from the socialist hijacking of the term, and the failure to realize Pope Pius XI’s breakthrough in giving Taparelli’s somewhat vague concept a precise and scientific definition: the particular virtue directed to the common good.
• CESJ has been having some interesting discussions with Professor Tom Kleiner, who teaches graduate courses in economics and global affairs. Tom has helped connect us to some people who could be key to implementing the Justice University concept.
• We have also been talking to a number of internship and fellowship candidates, all of whom have some very impressive credentials.
|"Won't you please sign up for Smile so I can smile?"|
• Here’s the usual announcement about the Amazon Smile program, albeit moved to the bottom of the page so you don’t get tired of seeing it. To participate in the Amazon Smile program for CESJ, go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Next, sign in to your account. (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.) Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.” If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through. Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.
• We have had visitors from 31 different countries and 43 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Freedom of Conscience,” “Separation of Church and State,” “How to Redeem the Non-Owning Worker,” “The Forgotten Encyclical: Mirari Vos,” and “News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 24.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we’ll see that it gets into the next “issue.” If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated, so we’ll see it before it goes up.#30#