Cardinal announces new social justice ministry at convocation

Posted on November 29, 2018

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BOSTON — The 10th annual Social Justice Convocation held Nov. 17 at Boston College High School included keynote speakers, a panel discussion, networking breaks, and an announcement from Cardinal Seán O’Malley about the creation of a new Archdiocesan Social Justice Ministry.

The morning started with a Mass celebrated by Father J. Bryan Hehir, the archdiocese’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services. Father Hehir also offered the day’s first keynote address, speaking on the topic of “Megatrends in Catholic Social Justice.”

In his talk, Father Hehir outlined the core values of Catholic social teaching and explained their connection to Pope Francis’ greatest social concerns: inequality, immigration, and the environment.

Father Hehir said that although Catholic teaching does not have its own school of economics or political science or international relations, “What it has is a vision of what the world ought to be.” With this guiding vision, he said, one must address how the world really is.

He described Catholic social thought as a series of concentric circles. At the center are belief in human dignity, which comes from being made in the image of God; human rights, which result from that inherent dignity; and the social nature of the person, which is why people depend on multiple communities.

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