“In war the end justifies almost any means. . . . The practical revolutionary will understand [that] in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind”.
Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, 1972
“2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens…..”
Catechism of the Catholic Chuch.
The leaders of our Catholic Churches around the country appear to agree with Saul Alinsky’s viewpoint on moral relativism as they lead political movements to fight for so called “social justice”. Saul Alinsky stated that the ends – accomplishing his progressive vision – justified any means. Maybe that is inspiring some Priests and Bishops to take Political leadership roles when the catechism specifically forbids that role (the ends justifies the means?). Alinsky would be a good person to take a cue from since he founded the first faith based community organizing groups, “the Industrial Areas Foundation” in alliance with the Catholic Church. It is sad to see this since Alinsky credits the mob for learning his organizing style and strong arm political tactics and dedicates his book on organizing, Rules for Radicals, to Lucifer! In this National Review piece he happily admits that Al Capone’s number two man and enforcer, Frank Nitti, became his mentor and he had no difficulty observing actual murders during his tutelage. The IAF is the model for groups like “FAST” (Faith and Action for Strength Together), a political group in Pinellas county supported by the Dioceses of St. Petersburg. To this day, the off spring of IAF (Gamaliel and PICO) sit on the “Organizers Forum” with DART director and founder John Calkins. DART is the Parent organization of FAST. Thus FAST is in an unholy alliance with very misguided groups.
Because our church leaders have embraced the radical and immoral model of FAST and IAF, it is now up to lay parishioners to point out to other lay parishioners and church leaders the problems with FAST. The first step is to understand what Social Justice actually is and to understand what the Catechism says about it and about morality. That is why there will be a catechism study on Social Justice, Morality and political involvement on the Church at the offices of Dr. David McKalip on 5/12 and 5/23. 431 Southwest Blvd. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33703; SW Corner of 4th St. N. and 62nd Ave N. (rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org)
For instance, the Catechism says this:
“1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that, in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving).”
So how can it be “Just” or moral to use a bible quote from a non-catholic bible in Catholic churches to justify the involvement of the church in FAST in the Diocese of St. Pete? The quote frequently used and quoted from the Catholic pulpit is a misquote of the Bible since it is not the CATHOLIC Bible and should not be used in a Catholic Church.
That misquote says:
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O mortal, what is good: and what does the lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (new American Standard Bible and English Standard Bible).
The Catholic Quote states:
Micah 6:8 “You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Vatican’s New American Bible)
It seems like a small detail. But when a churchgoing crowd is told over and over that the BIBLE calls them to “do justice”, they tend to be motivated to believe it. Especially when their Pastor is the one stating it, printing it in the bulletin and having brochures handed out in church and in Parish meetings with this inaccurate quote. Unfortunately the Pastor, intentionally or unintentionally, is perpetrating a lie. A lie is an immoral act and it is not acceptable as a means to produce a presumably moral end of promoting a group like FAST with the further presumably moral end of promoting some political groups mis-definition of social justice. I have had one Catholic Priest vociferously defend this error and advise me that this translation is justified since the word “Justice” is not part of the source language of the Micah (Hebrew and Greek), therefore the translation is acceptable. Unfortunately the Vatican must not have gotten the message since they stick with their translation “do right”. I will defer to the Vatican* on this, not the incorrect arguments of a well-meaning but misguided Priest.
The fact is that many of our Priests and Bishops are mistaken in supporting groups like FAST, DART, IAF, Gamiliel and PICO. That is why the Bishop of the Cleveland, Robert Lennon, bans association of his Parish with a similar group there. Our Priests need to reconsider their political leadership and remember the catechetical directive to leave political matters to the laity. They should stop mandatory church offertory donations to groups like FAST and allow full and open debate and discussion of these groups by parishioners. Parishioners can then decide for themselves if this is the way “to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice” (2442, Catechism of the Catholic Church)
* The Vatican’s official catholic Bible is the “New American Bible” and it uses “do right”. Of interest, there is more evidence of a split between the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB ) and the Vatican on this since, as recently as 2011, the USCCB issued the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) which uses the “do Justice” language. This split between the Vatican and the USCCB is more clear lately as the Vatican has had to insist on a more accurate, and reliable mass liturgy translation – imposing it on many US Catholic Churches over their strong objections. They also are in dispute with them over other translations of the bible, which is why they have the official Vatican version.