Some of our favorite quotes regarding Social Justice and Catholic Social Teaching – feel free to suggest some of your own by leaving a comment. If you know the author, include that too and we’ll give credit where credit’s due. _________________________________________________________________
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly NOW. Love mercy NOW. Walk humbly NOW. You are not obligated to complete the work but neither are you free to abandon it.” -Talmud
“You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich.” -St. Ambrose of Milan, 4th C.
“Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.” -Thomas Aquinas
“We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a HUMAN BEING, to be given the RIGHTS of a human being, to be respected as a human being in THIS society, on THIS earth, in THIS day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” -Malcolm X.
“A civilization of love that did not demand justice of people would not be a true civilization…It is a caricature of love to try to cover over with alms what is lacking in justice, to patch over with an appearance of benevolence when social justice is missing. True love begins by demanding what is just in the relations of those who love.” -Oscar Romero
“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” -Howard Zinn
“That the gospel is good news to the poor, that God loves the poor preferentially, that the kingdom is proclaimed to the poor (simply because of their social situation) are all perceived as scandalous by the powerful precisely because these characteristics of Jesus’ message all reveal the utter gratuitousness of God’s love…Therefore, those persons whom human societies have presumed to exclude from God’s love are in a privileged position to mediate the scandalous, gratuitous nature of that love.” -Roberto Goizueta
“Ethics turns toward the future from the perspective of the victim so that life may not be just a privilege of some few but what is given to all humans by virtue of their living humanity.” -Eduardo Mendieta
“The true test of cultural openness is not the number of people who read the book The House On Mango Street or see the movie Like Water For Chocolate (as noteworthy and inspiring as these works might be), but the number of Latinos and Latinas who remain unemployed, underemployed, excluded from political participation, trapped in the urban cycle of violence, etc…Cultural symbols are ALWAYS mediated by political and economic structures and relationships.” -Roberto Goizueta
“The only social justice movements worth fighting for are the struggles for justice where you lose, you lose, you lose– until you win.” -Ralph Nader quoting I.F. Stone
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you – all the rest is just commentary.” – Hillel, 1st C