'Since your visit to Rome, political changes in the United Kingdom have focused attention on the consequences of the financial crisis, which has caused so much hardship to countless individuals and families. The spectre of unemployment is casting its shadow over many people’s lives, and the long-term cost of the ill-advised investment practices of recent times is becoming all too evident. In these circumstances, there will be additional calls on the characteristic generosity of British Catholics, and I know that you will take a lead in calling for solidarity with those in need. The prophetic voice of Christians has an important role in highlighting the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, who can so easily be overlooked in the allocation of limited resources. In their teaching document Choosing the Common Good, the Bishops of England and Wales underlined the importance of the practice of virtue in public life.'Bones rather intemporately rants:
The kind of 'justice n' peace' work promoted by the Bishops of England and Wales is one that doesn't really promote the idea of the rich actually ever coming into contact with the poor, so that the chasm of understanding between Lazarus and Dives is perpetuated until the End of Time. There is a collection for CAFOD, the once Catholic charity who now, apparently, promote contraception and abortive procedures in total and utter contradiction to Church Teaching, but it is almost as if the Bishops really believe that the Gospel is somehow about fairtrade, rather than emphasising the Works of Mercy, which not only help to act as reparation for our own sins, but touch the lives and hearts of others in a profoundly human way. Somehow, I do not think that when Our Lord preached that at the Last Judgment, He would gather into His Kingdom those who fed the hungry, gave shelter to the homeless and visited the sick and imprisoned, that He imagined the souls of a large gathering of Benetton-clad youngsters holding hands and being photographed by the Diocesan rag to raise awareness about 'climate change' ascending up to God.The Gospel calls us to hands on practical charity but is it "either or" or should it be "both and"?
Bones is quite right to ask, "Has the Church's mission to the Poor been reduced to 'campaigning'?"