I consider Christian Charity and Social Justice two entirely separate concepts; right or wrong I'm sure someone will correct me.
Christian Charity, any religion-based charity, is promulgated through faith and compelled by compassion. Christian Charity therefore honors God, is wholesome and an asset to society.
Social Justice implies a right to all national, community and personal resources regardless of any legitimacy, effort or lack thereof to attain those resources; it is Socialistic in nature and pernicious.
One doesn't have to delve very deeply into Social Justice programs to discover ulterior motives on the part of the sponsors.
I agree. Charity imposes an obligation on the giver to share. Social Justice is declares it a right of the recipient.
I think that we should not renounce our Catholic terminology, phrases and definitions and leave them to the enemy - because make no mistake, it's an enemy, a mortal one, even though of course not all who have fallen pray of these deceptions are our enemies. Not only "social justice" has nothing to do with socialism, statism, centralization, you name it, but it is in fact the contrary
of all of them (socialism being inherently un
just, btw, for its being based on a wrong anthropology, whence the rejection of all fundamental rights of the person and an unacceptable idea of society. The Church insists on the anthropological litmus test to underscore its fundamental irreconcilability with socialist errors).
The phrase "Social Justice" was coined by a great 1800 Italian Jesuit priest and philosopher, Fr. Luigi Taparelli D'Azeglio, who derived it from the works of (you guessed it) St. Thomas Aquinas, not perchance one of the - if not "the" - Catholic fathers of the doctrines on limited government, free economy and private property. The Catechism devolves an entire chapter in four parts to SJ - not per chance within the part of CCC titled "the Life in Christ", and other parts elsewhere in the text as well. The Magisterium has been crystal clear about the Catholic meaning of this phrase and such meaning is NOT that of having government ruling society by forced redistribution of wealth and a culture of entitlement.
Fr. Taparelli - who wrote excellent pages on the errors of Liberalism and liberals - saw very well how the separation of moral law and human legislation had led to all of the abuses that had their frightening embodiment in the authoritarian liberal states of 1800 Europe, when governments were increasingly encroaching on the rights and activities of the individual, the families, the Church and all the "intermediate bodies" under the illusion that a strongly centralized power could right all the wrongs of society by rendereing itself unhindered by laws and principles it had not and could not generate itslef. That included the distortion of the economic processes by way of statism and in many cases of what we would call today "crony capitalism" or "state capitalism". That's what John Paul II taught us to be just another type of, or name for, socialism
, since it is just another way to stifle individual rights, violate the rule of the market and kill competition and monopolize the means of production to the detriment of small businesses and families and communities trying to better their conditions not by resorting to the government dole but by industriousness and the exercise of the virtues necessary in a just economic and social system.
Remember, "justice" has a very precise and elaborate meaning in theology and it is rooted in the concept of virtue (it is in fact a virtue of its own right, one of the four cardinal
virtues). Only the marxist reductionsim that penetrated our seminaries and universities could give such word a prominently political and economical meaning, and basically turn it into the idea that unless the state controls the economy and "redistributes" the people's money to serve its plans with peranent policies and programs, there is no justice. It is not surprise to me that "Social justice" - in the subversive sense - is often translated in Italian with "social equality" (when translated from non Italian, non Catholic originals). The egalitarianism at its foundation is in fact the same exact premise to totalitarianism it was for the French Revolutionaries and later for Marx and Engels, Lenin, Hitler and the rest of them. That of course regardless of the perceptions of its individual supporter of today.
It is no surprise that the first to hijack this term within Catholic ranks were thinkers who had embraced statism and basically socialism in one form or another. Having failed to see the direct relationship between Liberalism and Socialism, they thought that statism was a good way to counter crony capitalism. both errors depended on a mistaken understanding of the role of government and of course a rejection of the rules of the market that are ultimately moral rules rooted in human nature and the truth of human relationships.
Beside the predictable modernist streams of theology, among the members of this sorry bunch we find the likes of Fr. Coughlin, for instance, who begun to criticize FDR not for his statist excesses, but for being too timid
in the pursue of the complete nationalization of the economy. Like FDR, he had come to admire the Italian Fascist policies upon which FDR had modeled much of his initiatives and whose utopian nonsense is evident from the contents of FDR's "four freedoms" that seem taken from an Italian propaganda billboard of the 1930s (or of 1950s China).
I think that the battle of language is one of the fundamental battles of our time (of all times, in fact). The distortion of the meaning of words is the most powerful means the enemy has to inculcate error in the unsuspecting minds of men, it's a tecnique as old as the world: to lure men into error not by presenting it in its ugly reality but by a deceptive use of concepts that are not completely
false, only half truths (deprived of the essential
half) repackaged with words that sound
familiar and appealing, but are in fact smokescreens. Just like in the Book of Genesis.