Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 16, 2009
It's time for Catholic social teaching – Wallis
Rev. Jim Wallis
BY MIKE NELSON
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
ANAHEIM, CALIF. – The current economic downturn is a chance to reject “business as usual” and develop “a common good culture” based on Catholic social teaching, says a prominent evangelical pastor.
“Our goal cannot be to get back to business as usual,” Sojourners founder the Rev. Jim Wallis said Feb. 28 at the annual Religious Education Congress.
“We have to say, ‘No, we want a new direction. We’ve tried the greed culture, and it hasn’t worked.’ We need to create something new, a common good culture, rooted in compassion.”
Wallis told the educators that the current faltering economy was causing a “social and spiritual crisis” which he warned would “be in vain unless we learn how to live in a new way.”
This new way of living, he said, is “tied up in the common good.”
“There is no greater example of this than Catholic social teaching,” he added. “I am here to tell you, as Catholics your time has come.”
Another keynote speaker, Sister Edith Prendergast, similarly addressed the need to make changes to cope with today’s economic difficulties.
Prendergast, director of the Los Angeles archdiocesan Office of Religious Education, urged participants to make changes in “lifestyles and practices that will ensure a better world, a better place for all, a world oriented toward healing and away from destruction.”
In her Feb. 27 address, she spoke of the “bitter frosts” in today’s world and noted that it is “in these bleak and lean times that we must beg our God to shed light in our darkness.”
She urged catechetical leaders and pastoral ministers to recognize that they are “privileged indeed to prepare the soil” so that people can experience God’s love.