“Social Justice in Grenada Today”
I want to begin by putting the overarching purpose for the Church’s Social Teaching in its true context by reminding us of several essential points.
The Catholic social teachings emerge from the truth God has revealed to us about Himself.
God by his very nature is communal and social.
God the Father sends His Son Jesus Christ and shares the Holy Spirit as His Gift of love.
God has revealed Himself to us as One who is not alone, but One who is relational, One who is Trinity.
Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, we share in that communal, social nature.
We are all called, men and women, to build relationships of love and justice.
The Church and the State are places where love and justice are formed, lived, challenged and tested.
Both the Church and the State are made of human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God, who have rights, who are redeemed by Jesus Christ and are worthy of respect as members of the human family – we have dignity from birth to death. Our dignity comes from God, not from our race or class, not from what we owe or wear or where we live.
Both the Church and the State are important; the Church must ensure that state never loses sight of its obligations.
The dignity of each person in the Church and in the State must be safeguarded; their rights must be protected and the environment has to be created for people to reach their full potential as human beings, as members of the Church or of the state.
When the relationships of men and women in the Church and in the country break down, peace and reconciliation become a challenge; when individuals are not respected, their freedoms and initiative are stifled; when the poor and marginalized are overwhelmed by the powerful, we, the Church, must be actively engaged at all levels, to restore good order by speaking out or offering solutions.
Where social justice is absent, we cease to identify with the poor; the result is pain, lack of peace, mistrust, and a breakdown in the community, so true social justice is always looking for ways to heal the human community and keep it together.
Let us take a moment to examine some concrete social justice issues in Grenada. We were taught that the family is a fundamental building block of the Church and of the secular society. Whenever the family is threatened the Society and the Church are also threatened; harmony and good order in both the Church and State are also threatened. There are a few issues within families in Grenada that we, the Church, must be focused on in order to protect our families:
There are good families within our country and within our Church. The families that gave birth to and nurtured Anderson Peters and Kirani James must have done something right, and it is good to note that both of them came from Catholic families – so today we want to honour the men and women in our church, in our society, (your parents and mine,) who, while not perfect, have done their best and made the sacrifices to produce (not only gold medalists, but) model citizens for us.