Social Gospels

Sometimes art imitates life. Sometimes Rome follows Geneva or Philadelphia. It looks like Pope Francis is about to issue an encyclical about the environment that will likely repeat what mainline and evangelical Protestants have already said. That pattern of repetition also occurred during the heady days of social ferment and church reform in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Consider, first, the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.’s Confession of 1967 (Kuyperians enjoy the transformational cosmic fix):

In each time and place there are particular problems and crises through which God calls the church to act. The church, guided by the Spirit, humbled by its own complicity and instructed by all attainable knowledge, seeks to discern the will of God and learn how to obey in these concrete situations. The following are particularly urgent at the present time.

a. God has created the peoples of the earth to be one universal family. In his reconciling love he overcomes the barriers between brothers and breaks down every form of discrimination based on racial or ethnic difference, real or imaginary. The church is called to bring all men to receive and uphold one another as persons in all relationships of life: in employment, housing, education, leisure, marriage, family, church, and the exercise of political rights. Therefore the church labors for the abolition of all racial discrimination and ministers to those injured by it. Congregations, individuals, or groups of Christians who exclude, dominate, or patronize their fellowmen, however subtly, resist the Spirit of God and bring contempt on the faith which they profess.

b. God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ is the ground of the peace, justice, and freedom among nations which all powers of government are called to serve and defend. The church, in its own life, is called to practice the forgiveness of enemies and to commend to the nations as practical politics the search for cooperation and peace. This search requires that the nations pursue fresh and responsible relations across every line of conflict, even at risk to national security, to reduce areas of strife and to broaden international understanding. Reconciliation among nations becomes peculiarly urgent as countries develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, diverting their manpower and resources from constructive uses and risking the annihilation of mankind. Although nations may serve God’s purposes in history, the church which identifies the sovereignty of any one nation or any one way of life with the cause of God denies the Lordship of Christ and betrays its calling.

c. The reconciliation of man through Jesus Christ makes it plain that enslaving poverty in a world of abundance is an intolerable violation of God’s good creation. Because Jesus identified himself with the needy and exploited, the cause of the world’s poor is the cause of his disciples. The church cannot condone poverty, whether it is the product of unjust social structures, exploitation of the defenseless, lack of national resources, absence of technological understanding, or rapid expansion of populations. The church calls every man to use his abilities, his possessions, and the fruits of technology as gifts entrusted to him by God for the maintenance of his family and the advancement of the common welfare. It encourages those forces in human society that raise men’s hopes for better conditions and provide them with the opportunity for a decent living. A church that is indifferent to poverty, or evades responsibility in economic affairs, or is open to one social class only, or expects gratitude for its beneficence makes a mockery of reconciliation and offers no acceptable worship to God.

d. The relationship between man and woman exemplifies in a basic way God’s ordering of the interpersonal life for which he created mankind. Anarchy in sexual relationships is a symptom of man’s alienation from God, his neighbor, and himself. Man’s perennial confusion about the meaning of sex has been aggravated in our day by the availability of new means for birth control and the treatment of infection, by the pressures of urbanization, by the exploitation of sexual symbols in mass communication, and by world overpopulation. The church, as the household of God, is called to lead men out of this alienation into the responsible freedom of the new life in Christ. Reconciled to God, each person has joy in and respect for his own humanity and that of other persons; a man and woman are enabled to marry, to commit themselves to a mutually shared life, and to respond to each other in sensitive and lifelong concern; parents receive the grace to care for children in love and to nurture their individuality. The church comes under the judgment of God and invites rejection by man when it fails to lead men and women into the full meaning of life together, or withholds the compassion of Christ from those caught in the moral confusion of our time.

Notice the similar themes that the Roman Catholic Church’s 1971 Synod of Bishops addressed (Augustinians beware):

64. (1) Let recognition be given to the fact that international order is rooted in the inalienable rights and dignity of the human being. Let the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights be ratified by all Governments who have not yet adhered to it, and let it be fully observed by all.

65. (2) Let the United Nations — which because of its unique purpose should promote participation by all nations — and international organizations be supported insofar as they are the beginning of a system capable of restraining the armaments race, discouraging trade in weapons, securing disarmament and settling conflicts by peaceful methods of legal action, arbitration and international police action. It is absolutely necessary that international conflicts should not be settled by war, but that other methods better befitting human nature should be found. Let a strategy of non-violence be fostered also, and let conscientious objection be recognized and regulated by law in each nation.

66. (3) Let the aims of the Second Development Decade be fostered. These include the transfer of a precise percentage of the annual income of the richer countries to the developing nations, fairer prices for raw materials, the opening of the markets of the richer nations and, in some fields, preferential treatment for exports of manufactured goods from the developing nations. These aims represent first guidelines for a graduated taxation of income as well as for an economic and social plan for the entire world. We grieve whenever richer nations turn their backs on this ideal goal of worldwide sharing and responsibility. We hope that no such weakening of international solidarity will take away their force from the trade discussions being prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

67. (4) The concentration of power which consists in almost total domination of economics, research, investment, freight charges, sea transport and securities should be progressively balanced by institutional arrangements for strengthening power and opportunities with regard to responsible decision by the developing nations and by full and equal participation in international organizations concerned with development. Their recent de facto exclusion from discussions on world trade and also the monetary arrangements which vitally affect their destiny are an example of lack of power which is inadmissible in a just and responsible world order.

68. (5) Although we recognize that international agencies can be perfected and strengthened, as can any human instrument, we stress also the importance of the specialized agencies of the United Nations, in particular those directly concerned with the immediate and more acute questions of world poverty in the field of agrarian reform and agricultural development, health, education, employment, housing, and rapidly increasing urbanization. We feel we must point out in a special way the need for some fund to provide sufficient food and protein for the real mental and physical development of children. In the face of the population explosion we repeat the words by which Pope Paul VI defined the functions of public authority in his encyclical Populorum Progressio: “There is no doubt that public authorities can intervene, within the limit of their competence, by favoring the availability of appropriate information and by adopting suitable measures, provided that these be in conformity with the moral law and that they absolutely respect the rightful freedom of married couples” (37; A.A.S. 59, 1967, p. 276).

69. (6) Let governments continue with their individual contributions to a development fund, but let them also look for a way whereby most of their endeavors may follow multilateral channels, fully preserving the responsibility of the developing nations, which must be associated in decision-making concerning priorities and investments.

70. (7) We consider that we must also stress the new worldwide preoccupation which will be dealt with for the first time in the conference on the human environment to be held in Stockholm in June 1972. It is impossible to see what right the richer nations have to keep up their claim to increase their own material demands, if the consequence is either that others remain in misery or that the danger of destroying the very physical foundations of life on earth is precipitated. Those who are already rich are bound to accept a less material way of life, with less waste, in order to avoid the destruction of the heritage which they are obliged by absolute justice to share with all other members of the human race.

71. (8) In order that the right to development may be fulfilled by action:

(a) people should not be hindered from attaining development in accordance with their own culture;

(b) through mutual cooperation, all peoples should be able to become the principal architects of their own economic and social development;

(c) every people, as active and responsible members of human society, should be able to cooperate for the attainment of the common good on an equal footing with other peoples.

Aren’t these matters below the pastors, elders, and bishops’ pay grade?

But if the social gospel is a leading symptom of modernism (that Western Christian way of updating the faith or making it relevant to modern times), then the Confession of 1967 marks the end of neo-orthodoxy’s run in mainline Protestant circles and the 1971 Synod of Bishops puts a different spin on the conservatism of the magisterium.

Update: unless neo-Calvinists feel excluded:

Should cultural engagement be viewed as part of the Christian mission, a part of every Christian’s vocation?

Absolutely. Every square inch of this universe is rife with potential for Christian mission. Every aspect of society and culture has been misdirected in some manner or another, and should be redirected toward Christ. Our cultural words and deeds should combine to form a powerful preview of the coming Kingdom, a Kingdom in which there will be no more sin, no more cultural misdirection of God’s good creation. For a Christian, all of life should be the argument of a thesis: Jesus is Lord! And the cultural aspects of life are no exception.


62 thoughts on “Social Gospels

  1. (4) The concentration of power which consists in almost total domination of economics, research, investment, freight charges, sea transport and securities should be progressively balanced by institutional arrangements for strengthening power and opportunities with regard to responsible decision by the developing nations and by full and equal participation in international organizations concerned with development.

    Does anyone reading this sentence I now type understand what the statement I have blockquoted here means. (note: no question mark).

    Thanks, D.


  2. Andrew,

    I think it means “capitalism bad, socialism good” or “colonialism bad, making America and her capitalistic-fascist allies pay good.”

    It’s anti-imperialism drivel. I’m no fan of Western imperialism or the abuses of colonialism, but to me the paragraph just reads as if the answer to those ills is to put third world despots in charge of the U.N.


  3. These 9 Reasons posts practically write themselves:

    1. We serve a God of justice. Systemic sin is contrary to justice.
    2. Participating in, but not approving of, social gospels opens doors to talk about the True Social Healer.
    3. Gospel-centered justice let’s us pursue human flourishing without losing the hope that is within us.
    4. We live in an unprecedented age of prosperity. Giving to the needy helps us avoid consumerism and materialism.
    5. All men and woman are a reflection of the Imago Dei.
    6. Healing the social ills of today let’s Christian show the world a simple taste of what the Tree of Life will heal.
    7. God hates injustice. Injustice is contrary to the heart of God.
    8. The church has said much about personal sins, but strangely silence about corporate sins.
    9. Gospel justice won’t let escape the cry of the widow. We must pour gospel light into the pain and hurt of the world to show gospel reconciliation.


  4. Freight charges? Really? I suppose in 1971 they would have been viewed as too high, and thus oppressive. Now, I guess that since they are so low and thus a key component of globalization, they would still be viewed as oppressive. Shippers shall not enter the Kingdom of God regardless!


  5. Certainly we would rightly feel compelled to speak out when one individual robs or harms another individual. That is especially true when either the perpetrator or victim is a believer. So why not take what we can learn without reducing all sin to societal sins and thus the Gospel to good works? After all, isn’t there a universal brotherhood in that we are all made in the image of God and aren’t we all sinners?

    Don’t go the way of arrogance that says because one can easily spot some major errors, there is nothing redeeming in what either the PCUSA or the Pope says. Arrogance does not honor the Gospel, it seeks to honor us.


  6. D.G;,
    I will let you judge for yourself. I will only say that believe that you everything to teach groups like those who adhere to the various forms of the Social Gospel and nothing to learn from them is, it is a strong indicator. The same goes when neocalvinists or 2kers believe that about the other. This is why Keller’s ‘blended insights,’ though written from a neocalvinist perspective, shows that he can recognize both the deficiencies of his own group and the strengths of other groups is so important.

    For most groups, if we believe we have everything to teach and nothing to learn, we are probably showing arrogance. Now, what good things have you learned from the any of the different kinds of social gospelers.


  7. Curt, so this makes you arrogant since you are unwilling to learn from me about the Social Gospel of the Protestant mainline and Roman Catholicism.

    Didn’t see that one coming, did you?


  8. D.G.,
    You have cause and effect backwards. That one believes that one unable to learn anything from another group is the result of arrogance, it doesn’t make you arrogant. And that goes both ways. When liberal social gospelers believe they can’t learn from those who are reformed, it shows the arrogance that was in them. When we can’t learn from those in the Roman Church and they can’t learn from us, it shows our arrogance.

    I go back to what Martin Luther King Jr said:

    The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

    In the above quote, replace the word ‘Western’ with a fill in the blank.


  9. a-period, clearly lack of sanctification, envy, suppressed anger, and just plain meanness on my part. Or they could be a ridiculous outfit which (despite mild protestations to the contrary) is undermining confessional churches, diluting essential doctrine, subverting ecclesiology, and pureeing all manner of Calvinistic Xians and slightly-better-educated-than-average evangelicals into one sweet-but-thin smoothie which smells distressingly like SBC headquarters.


  10. Many forget (or never knew) that at the administrative/seminary/organizational level the SBC was a liberal mainline denom until the rubes took up the cudgels in the late 70s. But the ethos of evangelical, world-fixing, wrongheaded, leveling niceness remained. We see that today with the SBC bigs, most of whom are involved with TGC, which they are slowly assimilating. Whether it’s Rick and Russell to Rome for family stuff or global warming, they hardly meet an issue they don’t want to weigh in on.


  11. aww CW. All I have for us today (first for me and then for you) is a word for us from today’s ( Isaiah 2) reading:

    “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Come and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

    The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased. The pride of man will be humbled and the loftiness of men will be abased……..

    and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day


  12. With seraphic humility I admit not knowing what whiggish meant. But I like it:

    of, relating to, or characterized by a view which holds that history follows a path of inevitable progression and improvement and which judges the past in light of the present

    Last part especially fitting.


  13. D.G.,
    Victims often guilty too. And so when the cry goes out ‘No peace, no justice,’ there is a certain self-righteousness to it. I saw that in the May Day demonstration on Friday and that applies to everyone. We’ve all been unjust to others.

    At the same time to reconcile sides, amnesty is needed the debt is too high. Otherwise, ‘no peace, no justice’ becomes a call for revenge.

    We call this amnesty the forgiveness of sins and we recognize that only Jesus can pay our debts. However, reconciliation between people is also needed. And our reluctance to recognize our own injustices to others is partly due to wanting to feel better about ourselves.

    As for what you are saying about the Social Gospel, you speak of it as a monolith and it isn’t. And it isn’t that I totally disagree with what you say, I just significantly disagree.


  14. ….and wishing to justify himself ….
    he liked to use the word sanctimonious a lot, but never meaning including himself


  15. Curt, let’s be honest. I think we — all of us — observed similar things at our respective May Day demonstrations and celebrations. And people just don’t know the words to The Internationale the way they used to.


  16. When I was at Brand-X evangelical seminary in the Pacific North West, fans of the neo-orthodox evangelical professor there told me to my face that we should not preach the gospel — we should only do good works (like feeding the poor, etc).

    Instead of calling it Social Gospel, why don’t we drop the pretense and just call it politics. There’s no need to sully the gospel with our politics — whatever our politics may be.

    The Social Gospel program is modernist because it believes that it can create society in its own image. It seeks to enforce its socio-political truth-claims upon society (read, you and me).

    At the end of the day, the difference between the Moral Majority and the Social Gospel is political — they are both doing the same thing, just from different sides of the aisle.


  17. @CW the Transformator. You bemoan the decline of confessional churches. Ok. But ‘what’ or ‘who’ are the prime causes of that? That is, how much of the responsibility do you lay at the feet of the TGC, and how much responsibility do you lay at the feet of the confessional churches themselves? If the TGC is winning the battle for the hearts/minds of Christians, maybe the problem is that the confessional churches need to step their game up, and be a bit more, shall we say, “winsome”?


  18. Petros, how do you know the confessional churches aren’t winsome? Why do you assume ill of brothers in Christ? You’re supposed to be one of the Spirit-filled ones.


  19. @DGH. Forgive me, I’m sure they are very very winsome, and very very Spirit-filled, too. Just like you.


  20. Pete, I don’t think squishy parachurch orgs are the only thing that stands between NAPARC churches and glorious, pew-filling, culture-crushing triumph. The suck ye will always have with ye. I just hate to see confessional churches fall for personality and experiience or presbyterian churches become more like, well, every other generic evangellyfish church. It’s not easy being the ballast and mind of the bunch. If the ballast is lost and the whole Xianish church in this country spins completely out you might rue the day you tried to moderate us.


  21. And another dang thing. It hit me today that the reason that TGC and all the publishers and babdists and Swindollites and moderate charismatics and indy bible churches and 5000 _____ Pointe/Valley Community Churches are cool with the evangelical project is that it creates an enormous common market for their goods and services. And a customer base for the entrepreneurs therein. That the PCA siphons largely off the upwardly mobile babdists is somewhat troubling to me. Doesn’t always end well.


  22. I would assume confessional churches are unpopular is because they tell people there is no hope but for Christ. Politics can’t save, only Christ’s atoning work.

    Yes, even in their sanctification, only Christ.

    Yes, and your worship preferences go against Scripture and God has a way that He wants to be worshipped.

    I mean, it doesn’t matter how winsome a person is. Nobody likes being told they’re wrong, especially when it’s such a core part of their “identity”.

    I think I rolled a plus three in irritability just now.


  23. Petros, isn’t winning in the mind of the beholder? So what do you mean that “TGC is winning the battle for the hearts/minds of Christians”? That they’re broadly appealing, popular and inspire the mediocre and already inspired? In my small and non-results-oriented perception, I don’t see confessional churches “winning the battle for the hearts/minds of Christians.” I see them being faithful though, often at the expense of being asked to prom. Do you eeeevamgies ever realize how you come off as the Glee Club of Christianity?


  24. Confessional churches do a lot of ordinary things through which God has promised to act extraordinarily. And they do them week in and week out, without flash or buzz. The types attracted to TGC, many of whom flood my denomination (PCA), usually have no patience and/or are embarrassed by this. “Winsome” is usually code for “shut up and roll over on those sticky, confessional boundary markers.”


  25. @Zrim. Just kinda noting the ongoing hand-wringing of your team when it comes to the influence of the TGC. It’s your side that can’t resist complaining/bemoaning about the TGC. Do you ever realize how you come off as having terminal Elijah-complex-disease?


  26. Mboss, that sounds right. I’ve been in the OPC my entire adult life, it’s a wonderful way to go.

    TGC? What’s that? Reminds me of my dad taking me to promise keepers or Basic Youth Conflicts.

    In my very limited free time, you’ll find me on the golf course, (Jeff C is out getting butterflies?) but I didn’t need to say that, did I..


  27. Petros, or what looks like hand-wringing is simply a way of telling the Glee Club to keep it down (some of us are trying to carry on ordinarily). You’d have a point about not being too bewildered when Reformed evangies behave like Reformed evangies, but the problem is they inhabit the same world Reformed confessionalist do. And so, it would seem to behoove the latter to pipe up.


  28. D.G.,
    Iterations is not what makes the Social Gospel not a monolith. In addition, the key sticking point to the social gospel is the existence/nonexistence of corporate sin.

    In addition, what you fail to recognize is that people from more conservative Christian positions will define the Social Gospel differently than those who don’t. The mere act of helping those who are in need, whether you are helping as an individual or as part of a group, is part of the Social Gospel. And preaching to those systems to society about their sins is another part of the Social Gospel. The latter was done in the OT to both those under the Old Covenant and those not under it. And we see in Revelation about how nations sin.

    And again, there are two mistakes Christians make with the Social Gospel. One is to reduce the Gospel to the Social Gospel and the other is to eliminate it from the Gospel. So I will have to disagree here. In fact, the failure to preach to systems and society about their corporate sins is what is harmful here.


  29. CW, I’ll see your Robinson and raise you Girardeau:

    Nor can we be indifferent to the fact illuminated by the experience of the church that false doctrine always tends to affiliate with a false polity and a false worship. In the struggles of the Church of Scotland, as Hetherington, her eloquent historian, graphically points out, Arminianism was almost always associated with Prelacy and a cumbrous ritual, and Calvinism with Presbytery and a simple worship. Introduce an unscriptural element into any department, and if unchecked it stamps, in the course of time, its depraving genius upon all the rest. Let us see to it that we guard the towers of government and worship on our outer walls, assured that if one of them be carried, the path is opened up before an irruptive and triumphant foe to the citadel of doctrine and the seat of life.

    The Discretionary Power of the Church


  30. Curt, I thought it was the other way around–by addressing people, you address the systems they inhabit? That’s the usual transformationist line of reasoning anyway, one that usually ignores that elephant in the room called clinging human sin. But if it’s as you say, you still have the problem of addressing something that can’t repent, be baptized and become communicant. There’s always the alternative of not confusing religion with politics, though that’s not quite as sexy.


  31. D.G.,

    I know. But all that means is that you are not addressing all of the ways in people sin and thus you are neglecting to preach repentance.

    You can deductive arrive at that position. But if one was to take an inductive approach, would one find that we are not preaching repentance for certain sets of sins?


  32. Rome as the new Moscow:

    It used to be that just saying the words “liberation theology” around Catholics was enough to start a schism-level fight, or at least raise a red flag in Rome.

    The theological movement that focused on the poor emerged out of the church’s social justice ferment in the 1960s, but it was always viewed by conservatives as an irredeemably Marxist version of the gospel.

    Worse, they said it was a tool of Soviet communists who were using the Roman Catholic Church to foment revolution in Latin America and beyond, and at the very height of the Cold War.

    The 1978 election of John Paul II, a Polish pope from behind the Iron Curtain who knew the Soviet menace all too well, followed by the election of Ronald Reagan as U.S. president in 1980, marked a turning point in the battle.

    Reagan and John Paul helped spell doom for the Soviet empire, and the pontiff waged a decades-long campaign inside the church—helped by his doctrinal chief, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI—to quash liberation theology and silence its most ardent supporters.

    Today, however, it’s a wholly different story—and to listen to Gustavo Gutierrez, the Dominican priest from Peru who is known as the father of liberation theology, one might wonder what all the fuss was about.

    “Liberation theology, from the first line of the book until the last line, is against Marxism,” Gutierrez said Wednesday (May 6) at an event in his honor at Fordham University’s Manhattan campus. The book he referred to was his landmark 1971 work, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation.

    For Karl Marx, Christianity was “oppression,” he said. But the 85-year-old Gutierrez said his life’s work is committed to the view that “Christianity is liberation.”

    Who could argue with that? Certainly not Pope Francis, who has put poverty, and the poor, at the top of his agenda for the church. He’s brushed off the “Marxist” and “communist” labels, even saying in 2013, “I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”

    But in emphasizing the “preferential option for the poor,” the pope has helped to bring liberation theology in from the cold.


  33. Rome is the new Moscow? Really?

    There is no doubt that liberation theology was encouraged by the old Soviet Union. After all, both had a common opponent: Capitalism. But the real issue here is how much liberation theology intentionally advanced the ideology of the Soviet Union. We should note that there is a real debate among Socialists as to whether the Soviet Union was a Marxist/Socialist nation. One of the points that debate revolves around the direction which Lenin took the revolution and the nation. His criticisms of left-leaning Marxists as well as the criticisms about him by fellow socialists shows the validity of questioning the Marxist/Socialist credentials of the Soviet Union.

    But this is where confusion sets in. Regardless of how we would answer the question regarding the Marxist/Socialist credentials of the Soviet Union, what the Soviet Union promoted was still referred to as Marxist/Socialist most of the world. So the question becomes, what was Gutierrez referring to when he talked about Marxism. That Gutierrez and his fellow liberation theologians had much to deal with when helping their people because of the oppressive military gov’ts supported by the US. And any anti-Capitalist or anti-Amercican directions taken by liberation theologians would be viewed as opportunities by the Soviet Union. But such shows that support from the Soviet Union does not imply agreement with the Soviet Union. It just means that they were working against a common foe.


  34. D.G.,
    Moscow but that tells more about the relationship between church and state in the orthodox church than it tells us about liberation theology. And you have to consider when Moscow referred to itself that way vs when liberation theology came about. And so all of this depends on how accurate and precise we want to be.


  35. AB,
    The Sheldon Cooper metaphor belongs to those who are so self-absorbed that they cannot recognize or know how others, especially nonChristians, might feel. The question is, how many of us does that fit?


  36. Would an average RC homily include more about the poor, the unborn, or Jesus?

    Douthat used a comment made by President Obama at last week’s Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Poverty to point out that the vast majority of the Church’s efforts and time is not spent fighting the culture wars but in efforts to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

    The strong reactions came in two varieties. One bishop told me he thought it was about time that someone set the record straight. He agreed with Douthat that a Catholic is far more likely to hear a sermon on helping the poor in your average parish than a sermon on homosexuality or abortion. He told me that most bishops spend most of their time trying to find ways to keep inner city schools open, or raising money for Catholic Charities, or making sure clergy are trained to engage the poor and the marginalized. All of this is true.


  37. Trump effect — brings out the most social in the Roman Catholic Social Gospel:

    What we must do over the next four years, if not easy, is clear. We must dig deep into our Catholic social teachings to re-establish our foundations. We must stand with the working class, the elderly, children and the poor. We must form alliances with unions and community organizers, and advocate for public policies that say ” ‘Thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”


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