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July 2, 1993     The Message
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The Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana The World Around Us h Continuing the quest for social justice leads to disturbing conclusions Commentary by DEACON JIM CAVERA In this column last month I attempted to look at the issue of social justice and I promised to continue with this search for meaning today. This has not been an easy task and I can assure you that it is an ongoing one. What I have found out so far about social justice and social sin is quite disturbing. It is disturbing from the standpoint that it forces me to look at how I view the ills of this world around us and what role I play in all of it. Like many of you, I was raised in a white, middle class Catholic home and I learned from my Baltimore Catechism that I was respon- sible for personal sins -- sins that I willfully and know- ingly committed. But, I have recently learned, the concept of social sin suggests that somehow I am personally re- sponsible for poverty, hunger, racism, and other social evils that exist and have existed since biblical times. My ini- tial response to this thesis was "give me a break!" It seems cruel and unfair to lay the burden of guilt for so- cial injustice at the feet of those who are struggling to emanate genuine faith and Christian love. Surely we are not the problem! It is those-others who know only selfishness and greed and choose not to follow the gospel values. Like the apos- tles at the last supper who were questioning Jesus about the betrayer, I found myself saying, "surely it is not I, Lord!" In every sense of the word I found this idea of social sin disturbing. If I am so confi- dent in my beliefs about not being responsible, than why am I so bothered by this con- cept? Could there be some truth to it? I know that I am bothered about obvious injus- tices in our society and I am often frustrated because I don't know how to respond. And further with each ad- vancing year I seem to be growing a little more pes- simistic about justifications given for policies and proce- dures that end up destroying human life. I can no longer accept them at face value. There is something wrong with a world that spends a billion dollars a day on Ozanam Shelter weapons while children starve and a half a billion people go to bed hungry. This is social sin. This is injustice on a grand scale. It was known in Jesus' time and he disturbed a great many of the ruling class with his words and his actions to the point that he became a threat to the social order and needed t0b eliminated. As followers of this you and I are called to tough questions, to so-called justifications, continue the quest for justice. This is what we in1 Indiana Catholic Con ference are all about. Become active in the indiana Conference. Call (812) 424-5536 637:1731:. Get involved! .... AUTO TOPS . SEAT COVERS, STEREO SALES& INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 , HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CEN EUGENE WELR oWNER needs funds to continue work The Ozanam Family Shel- ter in Evansville is in need of funds in order to continue operation, according to Robert Hayden, president of the board of directors. "The opening of the second shelter, plus unanticipated building repairs and mainte- nance costs has caused this financial crunch. The local and state funding have de- creased this year, which has created an added hardship." Hayden noted that "besides being full to capacity most of the time, there are daily re- quests for housing." , The two shelters house, feed and counsel 19 families. :Iayden said if pledges ,andlor donations of $50,000 are not received by July 13, one of the shelters will tem- porarily close. DOM,.ICAN SISTERS OF HA WTHO RN'E r Wt nurse incurable cancer patients in our seven flee, modern nursing bom-es locad i!s six states. not rrquirtd, ST. JOHN SUMMER SO IAL 725 Frame Road - Newburgh. IN July (Friday & Saturday) Fried Chicken and Chicken & Dumpling Dinners Sewed in Air Conditioned Center * Carry-outs Avoiloble 4:30.-7:00 QUILTS e CRAFTS e GAMES e RIDES o WHEELS CASH TREASURES ATTENDANCE PRIZES EV1EllY HOURI FOOD BOOTHS ICE CREAM AMATEUR KARAOKE Outside Activities-.. 5:00-11 BINGO IN AIR BUtLDING p.m. J TOUR OUR NEW CHURCH 7, 8, and 9 p.m. both evenings TRI-STATE FIRE PROTECTION, INC. Wa Ho 10577 Oak Grove Rd. (812) 853-9229 Newburgh, IN 47630 JIM FANNING State Farm Insurance 4899 Hwy 261o P.O. Box 580 Newburgh, IN 47629 Office 853-7071 Res: 853-5884 WR SHEET METAL, INC. 1301 N.Harlan Evansville, IN 47711 423-6711 ARC CONSTRUCT|ON CO, INC, I'1 t IcEN't,JO W.IK  O 001 aim tr'cmmm..,jL  4 n,m4mo mgHCn coRP. Ken Ubelhor Land Developer & General Contractor 2388 Bdarcl Dr. Newburgh, IN 47630 853-5261 EDWARD L SCHEESSELE & SONS WE BUILD THE BEST & REMODEL THE REST GENERAL CONTRACTOR  es3.e4 GABE MEHRINGER PLUMBING INC. PLC 1055103 Wre /  lns  Wans Lcesed'andBoP4ed 479,1614 120 E. !