Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Kevin Jones

7/13/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

NON-NEGOTIABLE: Essential Principals of a Just Society and Human Culture.

Catholic Social Doctrine

Catholic Social Doctrine

Highlights

By Kevin Jones

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

7/13/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Politics, Catholic, Social Doctrine


Denver, CO (CNS) - Catholic involvement in civic life is necessary to defend human dignity and move society in a positive direction, says the author of a new book on Catholics principles in public life.

"If we want a free, just and virtuous society that upholds the common good and the dignity of all human beings, then we have to be involved in shaping moral social policy. That takes being involved in the political process," Sheila Liaugminas told CNA.

Catholic Team Global - Pope Francis has made our mission simple - 'Prayer and Action'

Liaugminas is the author of the Ignatius Press book "Non-Negotiable: Essential Principles of a Just Society and Humane Culture."

She said that the Catholic tradition, expressed in the U.S. bishops' document "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," holds responsible citizenship to be a political virtue and participation in political life to be "a moral obligation."

"A lot of people don't know that," she said. "'I hate politics!,' people may think. But it is through the political process that a lot of those policies get made that affect the social fabric of our nation."

Liaugminas is a former host of the Chicago television show "YOU," and now hosts the Relevant Radio program "A Closer Look."

Her new book aims to be a reference to explain "what the Church teaches and why" on "the top moral and social issues of the day." She wanted to provide a resource to help dispel confusion and bring people to truth on important "non-negotiable" principles like the right to life, the nature of marriage and religious freedom.

Her book draws on sources like St. John XXIII's encyclical "Pacem in Terris" as well as papal encyclicals and writings from St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. She also incorporates U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops documents like "Living the Gospel of Life."

In addition, Liaugminas references concurring non-Catholic sources like the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the writings of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the founding documents of the United States and the Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln to explain important principles of good societies.

The common thread within these sources is "the dignity of the human person," she explained.

"These things aren't true because the Catholic Church teaches them. The Catholic Church teaches them because they are true," she said, quoting Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.

"There are many things that are not negotiable," Liaugminas acknowledged. "It is not negotiable that we have to take care of the poor."

However, she said that there are also "preeminent issues" that have been taught by the Church, the Popes, and the bishops.

"There is this hierarchy of principles that are required for everything else to be upheld in a free, just and virtuous society," she said.

For example, it is impossible to make a coherent argument to guarantee any other right if the right to life is not upheld as a "preeminent" or "inalienable" right, she said. "It comes from God."

Religious liberty is also vital for Liaugminas.

"If we don't have the right to religious liberty, then we're unable to do these other things like feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, (and) take care of all the needs of the social gospel."

Liaugminas told CNA that contemporary society is conflicted on the nature of its principles.

"A lot of people are confused and unable even to carry on a conversation or a debate any longer. We aren't using the same language, even though we're speaking English, because words have been so distorted to mean other things."

She said that abortion is promoted in the name of "choice," while euthanasia is promoted under the name "compassion," and marriage redefinition is promoted under the name "equality."

"These are all things Americans feel very strongly about. We all want everyone to have equal rights and equality. We have compassion, and freedom, we love liberty and freedom and choice. But these words aren't being used in the correct way."

In Liaugminas' view, this confusion can be addressed by "using words for what they mean" and asking people the right questions.

On a subject like abortion, she advised focusing on common ground agreement on principles like "choice" in order to persuade.

"If it's truly about choice, then the people out there right now who are trying the hardest and working the hardest to give woman a purely true choice are in the pro-life movement," she said.

Their efforts to provide free ultrasounds and pregnancy help centers provide free medical and material needs mean that a woman considering abortion "truly does have a choice."

People also have shared objections to infanticide and late-term abortions that can be logically extended to help them recognize the right to life throughout pregnancy.

Thought-provoking questions like "How is 'mercy killing' mercy?" can also help people re-think assisted suicide, Liaugminas said.

"You engage those words and make people apply critical thinking skills to the words we use, and see whether we can come to a common understanding."

She encouraged Catholics to assume good intentions and show good intentions to others.

Some abortion clinic escort workers, for instance, might be doing what they think is "really the best thing for women."

"Some people who are very angry and hostile at some of these public debates are actually very hurt and very lonely. The core of their anger is fear."

Catholics should "engage with charity," like Pope Francis, in hopes that this engagement will help people to the point where "they'll talk and listen," Liaugminas advised.

"Lead with love, lead with beauty, lead with the embrace of the other person," she said, adding that a recommitment to the spiritual life "helps us to see the face of Christ in everyone we meet and hopefully show them the face of Christ in us."

"Be informed, pray, and then act," she said. "Bring the clarity and the charity and the beauty of Catholic teaching."

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

CLOTHES HORSE: Wasserman Schultz losing confidence among Democrats Watch

Image of Stylish  Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman has alienated members of her own party by reportedly demanding that the party pick up the tab for her wardrobe!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two "faux pas" have alienated Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her party. Her criticism of the White House's handling of the border crisis and comparing tea party members to abusive husbands have alienated her constituency at ... continue reading


Supreme Court justice Sotomayor warns about drones encroaching on American way of life Watch

Image of Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that she's particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unmanned surveillance planes called drones pose a threat to the privacy of American citizens, warns Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. Speaking to students at Oklahoma City University's law school, Sotomayor says that frightening changes in technology ... continue reading


Obama says Islamic State 'is not Islamic' - what are they, then? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama vowed to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria, He intends to do so with airstrikes and a minimal military presence on the ground. The president also declared that the Islamic State terrorists "are not Islamic." ... continue reading


Obama vows to attack Islamic State militants 'wherever they exist' Watch

Image of There has been some progress made against the group. After more than 150 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq in the past month, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have halted the Islamic State advance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has vowed to attack Islamic State militants "wherever they exist." Obama will be sending a limited U.S. military presence of 475 personnel. The president also declared that the United States will act in concert with a broad coalition ... continue reading


Opinion: We Need a Blue Collar Conservative like Rick Santorum in the 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum is not an establishment candidate. He threatens establishment leaders in both major political parties. he has always played the role of the underdog and been counted out by the many self professed experts. That is one of the greatest assets he would bring to the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has the potential to draw voters from across party lines and help to forge a new governing coalition which can resuscitate the American dream and set us on a course to brighter future. I sincerely hope he runs.

By Keith A. Fournier

Rick Santorum is a statesman in an age of salesmen - and women. He is a man with a chest.  I will be watching his movements over the next few months. If he decides to run, and I hope he does, he will bring along with him into his presidential campaign a ... continue reading


Pelosi favors sweeping regulations to save net neutrality and ban Internet 'fast lanes' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an unpopular stand for many Republicans, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she wants to give federal regulators sweeping new powers over Internet access. It's a necessity in order to save net neutrality and protect Internet users, she says. ... continue reading


READY TO STRIKE: President Obama prepared to use airstrikes in Syria Watch

Image of President Obama believes he needs formal congressional approval to take that action, according to people who have spoken with the president recently.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From admitting that he had no policy in regards to Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama is now ready for some clear decisive action. The president says that he is prepared to use U.S. military airstrikes in Syria in order to defeat the militant jihadist group ... continue reading


Real cost of Obamacare - 350,000 jobs loss and premium hikes for small businesses Watch

Image of Individual year-round employees at businesses with 50 to 99 workers lost $935 annually, while those at firms with 20 to 49 workers are out an average of $827.50 per person in take-home pay.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new analysis of the effects of the health-care reform law, Obamacare has taken a toll on small businesses. According to a new study, there have been millions of dollars in reduced pay and hundreds of thousands fewer jobs. In short - many ... continue reading


More emails 'lost' connected to Lois Lerner case Watch

Image of IRS teacher Lois Lerner, who was placed on leave and has since retired, has emerged as the key figure in congressional investigations.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the most recent development, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS says it has lost emails from five more employees' part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Team Clinton turns on Obama! Foreign policy in new book dismissed as 'feckless' Watch

Image of A scathing new book from a member of Team Clinton takes President Obama to task for an unfocused foreign policy.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The honeymoon appears over between top U.S. Democratic alliances, the Clintons and the Obama administration. A member of the Clinton kitchen cabinet is out with a new book that slams U.S. policy as "muddled, irresolute, and even feckless." Doug Schoen's takes ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:12-20
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 17:1, 6-7, 8, 15
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:1-3
1 Now it happened that after this he made his way ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 19th, 2014 Image

St. Januarius
September 19: St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter