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COLUMBAN MISSIONARIES : Economic Justice

June 23, 2016 · 

Economic Justice
COLUMBAN MISSIONARIES

Preda Fair trade organic mango team visit the indigenous mangos farmers

Preda Fair trade organic mango team visit the indigenous mangos farmers

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -John 10:10

Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment. Here we see how environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation are closely linked. Laudato Si’, par 56

The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed…. As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found…. The dignity of each person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies. Evangelii Gaudium, par 202-203

Columban missionaries have recognized for decades that economic injustice is a barrier to the building of the Kingdom. Economic poverty is a form of violence against the dignity of the human person, and is inevitably linked to inequality. Economic prosperity for the few has meant more and deeper poverty for many. We see the results, especially in the lives of indigenous communities, women and children, farmers, low-paid workers, and migrants of this unfair distribution of economic security and access to quality life essentials. Our Society’s Constitutions states, “We recognize the moral challenge of worldwide and local poverty, and allow this recognition to qualify all our thinking….It means supporting the struggle of the poor for real participation and against injustice”.[1] This recognition as central to our identity has shaped Columban missionary work for many years.

In our missionary work today, Columbans witness the hardships brought about by unjust global economic structures and policies. For many people, especially in the global South, poverty and exclusion from the global economy is a life or death matter. As missionaries, we are called to, “be a prophetic voice against all forms of injustice and serve as a link in the network of human alliances for the transformation and Christian liberation of peoples”.[2] Therefore, we believe the global economy should serve the poor and vulnerable, with care and respect for all of Creation such as stated in the Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, “The principle of the universal destination of goods is an invitation to develop an economic vision inspired by moral values that permit people not to lose sight of the origin or purpose of these goods, so as to bring about a world of fairness and solidarity.

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