In this inspiring and compassionate book, one of America's foremost Catholic theologians discusses why we must apply biblical justice-and not merely ethical/legal justice-to matters concerning the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. Focusing on abused or neglected children, the AIDS-afflicted, the elderly, women, African-Americans, refugees, and prisoners on death row, Father Walter Burghardt urges that we become sensitive to their problems and faithful to the responsibilities we have undertaken in our covenant with God. We must hear the cries of the poor, he says, because social doctrine should evolve in large measure from the needs of people who share more of Jesus' crucifixion than his resurrection.Father Burghardt points to a long history of Catholic teaching on social justice, quoting from the earliest Church Fathers to the latest papal encyclicals. A greatly admired preacher, he has particular advice for other preachers, telling them that sermons need not give answers to specific social issues but should sensitize awareness of these issues and show their religious importance. He concludes by discussing some of the most controversial debates facing Christian clergy and the laity: assisted suicide, ordination of women, and gay and lesbian issues.
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