Solidarity
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Solidarity is

putting yourself in the place

of those who are poor, oppressed and marginalized.

 

Read below to see how:

 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/globalsolidarity.shtml

Solidarity

  • Solidarity… is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and each individual, because we are all really responsible for all… On Social Concern, #38.
     

  • Those who are more influential because they have greater share of goods and common services should feel responsible for the weaker and be ready to share with them all they possess… the Church feels called to take her stand beside the poor, to discern the justice of their requests and to help satisfy them, without losing sight of the good of groups in the context of the common good. On Social Concern, #39.
     

  • A consistent theme of Catholic social teaching is the option or love of preference for the poor. Today, this preference has to be expressed in worldwide dimensions, embracing the immense number of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care and those without hope. On Social Concern, #42.
     

  • One must denounce the economic, financial, and social mechanisms and structures that are manipulated by the rich and powerful for their own benefit at the expense of the poor. On Social Concern, #16.
     

  • I appeal to all to be convinced of the seriousness of the moment, to fulfill your commitment by the way you live, by the use of your resources, by your civic activity, by contributing to economic and political decisions, and by personal involvement in national and international undertakings. On Social Concern, #47
     

  • Solidarity helps us to see the ‘other' –whether a person, people or nation- not just as some kind of instrument, with a work capacity and physical strength to be exploited at low cost and then discarded when no longer useful, but as our ‘neighbor,' a ‘helper' (cf. Gn 2:18-20), to be made a sharer on a par with ourselves in the banquet of life to which all are equally invited by God. On Social Concern, #39.
     

  • Interdependence must be transformed into solidarity, grounded on the principle that the goods of creation are meant for all. Avoiding every type of imperialism, the stronger nations must feel responsible for the other nations, based on the equality of all peoples and with respect for the differences. On Social Concern, #39.
     

  • Therefore political leaders, and citizens of rich countries considered as individuals, especially if they are Christians, have the moral obligation, according to the degree of each one's responsibility, to take into consideration, in personal decisions and decisions of government, this relationship of universality, this interdependence which exists between their conduct and the poverty and underdevelopment which exists between their conduct and the poverty of so many millions of people. On Social Concern, #9.
     

  • All must consider it their sacred duty to count social obligations among their chief duties today and observe them as such. For the more closely the world comes together, the more widely do people's obligations transcend particular groups and extend to the whole world. This will be realized only if individuals and groups practice moral and social virtues and foster them in social living. Then, under the necessary help of divine grace, there will arise a generation of new women and men, the molders of new humanity. The Church in the Modern World, #30.
     

  • One of the most striking features of today's world, and one due in no small measure to modern technical progress, is the very great increase in mutual interdependence between people. The Church in the Modern World, #23.
     

  • We have inherited from past generations, and we have benefited from the work of our contemporaries: for this reason we have obligations towards all, and we cannot refuse to interest ourselves in those who will come after us to enlarge the human family. The reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty. On the Development of Peoples, #17.
     

  • Another root of this contradiction between affirmation and practice lies in a notion of freedom that exalts the individual in an absolute way giving no place to solidarity, openness to others, or service of them, asking like Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gn 4:9). Yes, human beings are their brother's and sister's keepers, God entrusts us to one another. Our freedom has a relational dimension; we find our fulfillment through the gift of self to others. The Gospel of Life, #19.
     

  • The solidarity which binds all men together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist. Mother and Teacher, #157.
     

  • There can be no progress towards the complete development of the human person without the simultaneous development of all humanity in the spirit of solidarity. On the Development of Peoples, #43.
     

  • The same duty of solidarity that rests on individuals exists also for nations: "Advanced nations have a very heavy obligation to help the developing peoples." (Gaudium et Spes, n. 86, # 3.) It is necessary to put this teaching of the Council into effect. Although it is normal that a nation should be the first to benefit from the gifts that Providence has bestowed on it as the fruit of the labors of its people, still no country can claim on that account to keep its wealth for itself alone. Every nation must produce more and better quality goods to give to all its inhabitants a truly human standard of living, and also to contribute to the common development of the human race. Given the increasing needs of the underdeveloped countries, it should be considered quite normal for an advanced country to devote a part of its production to meet their needs, and to train teachers, engineers, technicians and scholars prepared to put their knowledge and their skill at the disposal of less fortunate peoples. On the Development of Peoples, #48.
     

  • Legislation is necessary, but it is not sufficient for setting up true relationships of justice and equality… If, beyond legal rules, there is really no deeper feeling of respect for and service to others, then even equality before the law can serve as an alibi for flagrant discrimination, continued exploitation and actual contempt. Without a renewed education in solidarity, an overemphasis on equality can give rise to an individualism in which each one claims his own rights without wishing to be answerable for the common good. A Call to Action, #23.
     

  • Government officials, it is your concern to mobilize your peoples to form a more effective world solidarity, and above all to make them accept the necessary taxes on their luxuries and their wasteful expenditures, in order to bring about development and to save the peace. On the Development of Peoples, #84.
     

  • "It is lawful for man to own his own things. It is even necessary for human life." (St. Thomas, "Summa Theologica," II-II, Q.66, Art. 2)But if the question be asked: How ought man to use his possessions? the Church replies without hesitation: "As to this point, man ought not regard external goods as his own, but as common so that, in fact, a person should readily share them when he sees others in need. Wherefore the Apostle says: 'Charge the rich of this world...to give readily, to share with others'." (St. Thomas, "Summa Theologica," Q.65, Art. 2) No one, certainly, is obliged to assist others out of what is required for his own necessary use or for that of his family, or even to give to others what he himself needs to maintain his station in life becomingly and decently: "No one is obliged to live unbecomingly." (St. Thomas, "Summa Theologica," Q.32, Art. 6) But when the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, it is a duty to give to the poor out of that which remains. "Give that which remains as alms." (St. Luke, 11, 41) These are duties not of justice, except in cases of extreme need, but of Christian charity, which obviously cannot be enforced by legal action. But the laws and judgments of men yield precedence to the law and judgment of Christ the Lord, Who in many ways urges the practice of alms-giving: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20, 35) On the Condition of Workers, #36.
     

  • The commandment "You shall not kill," even in its more positive aspects of respecting, loving and promoting human life, is binding on every individual human being. It resounds in the moral conscience of everyone as an irrepressible echo of the original covenant of God the Creator with mankind. It can be recognized by everyone through the light of reason and it can be observed thanks to the mysterious working of the Spirit who, blowing where he wills (cf. Jn 3:8), comes to and involves every person living in this world. It is therefore a service of love which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted, especially when it is weak or threatened. It is not only a personal but a social concern which we must all foster: a concern to make unconditional respect for human life the foundation of a renewed society. The Gospel of Life, #77.
     

  • By virtue of our sharing in Christ's royal mission, our support and promotion of human life must be accomplished through the service of charity, which finds expression in personal witness, various forms of volunteer work, social activity and political commitment. This is a particularly pressing need at the present time, when the "culture of death" so forcefully opposes the "culture of life" and often seems to have the upper hand. But even before that it is a need which springs from "faith working through love" (Gal 5:6). As the Letter of James admonishes us: "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled', without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (2:14-17). In our service of charity, we must be inspired and distinguished by a specific attitude: we must care for the other as a person for whom God has made us responsible. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to become neighbors to everyone (cf. Lk 10:29-37), and to show special favor to those who are poorest, most alone and most in need. In helping the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned—as well as the child in the womb and the old person who is suffering or near death—we have the opportunity to serve Jesus. He himself said: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40). Hence we cannot but feel called to account and judged by the ever relevant words of Saint John Chrysostom: "Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not neglect it when you find it naked. Do not do it homage here in the church with silk fabrics only to neglect it outside where it suffers cold and nakedness." (In Matthaeum, Hom. L. 3: PG 58, 508). The Gospel of Life, #87.
     

  • We have to move from our devotion to independence, through an understanding of interdependence, to a commitment to human solidarity. That challenge must find its realization in the kind of community we build among us. Love implies concern for all – especially the poor – and a continued search for those social and economic structures that permit everyone to share in a community that is a part of a redeemed creation (Rom 8:21-23). Economic Justice for All, #365.
     

  • In our parishes, the Eucharist represents a central setting for discovering and expressing our commitment to our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Gathered around the altar, we are reminded of our connection to all of God’s people through the mystical body of Christ. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • A parish reaching beyond its own members and beyond national boundaries is a truly “catholic” parish. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • The voices of parishioners need to be heard on behalf of children who are being destroyed by abortion, starvation, landmines, or lack of health care. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • Our international responsibilities enrich parish life and deepen genuine Catholic identity. Integrating themes of solidarity into the routines of parish life will make for a richer, more Catholic experience of Church. In giving a little, we receive much more. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • Parishes are called to help those who suffer in our own communities and in situations of poverty and pain around the world. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • The Church’s teaching on international justice and peace is not simply a mandate for a few large agencies, but a challenge for every believer and every Catholic community of faith. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • We respond very generously when the network news tells us of hurricanes and famines, but how will we help those victimized by the often less visible disasters of poverty caused by structural injustice, such as debt, ethnic conflict, and the arms trade? Our Church and parishes must call us anew to sacrifice and concern for a new generation of children who need food, justice, peace, and the Gospel. A central task for the next century is building families of faith that reach out beyond national boundaries. U.S. Catholic Bishops Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • More than 80 percent of the world’s people live in developing countries. They use just 20 percent of the world’s wealth. The remaining 20 percent of the world’s people live in industrialized nations and control 80 percent of the world’s wealth. USCCB. Called to Global Solidarity
     

  • Cain’s question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gn 4:9), has global implications and is a special challenge for our time, touching not one brother but all our sisters and brothers. Are we responsible for the fate of the world’s poor? Do we have duties to suffering people in far-off places? Must we respond to the needs of suffering refugees in distant nations? Are we keepers of the creation for future generations? For the followers of Jesus, the answer is yes. U.S. Bishops Called to Global Solidarity.
     

  • Catholic social teaching more than anything else insists that we are one family; it calls us to overcome barriers of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, economic status, and nationality. We are all one in Christ Jesus (cf. Gal 3:28) – beyond our differences and boundaries. Communities of Salt and Light, 10.
     

  • Concern for basic human dignity and the global common good must be shaped by the virtue of solidarity. Pope John Paul II described solidarity as "a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all" (On Social Concern, #38). In the case of debt, solidarity is the virtue that motivates people around the world to work toward alleviating the debt burden in order to give new hope to the poorest of the poor. Solidarity also calls for co-responsibility on the part of debtors and creditors in finding fair and workable solutions to this crisis, as part of a broader commitment to protect human life and respect human dignity. A Jubilee Call for Debt Forgiveness, 12.
     

  • Our culture often suggests that religion is a private mater, to be tolerated as long as it is detached from our lives as workers and citizens. Catholic men and women look to our parishes to find the support, tools, and concrete help they need to resist this tendency and instead proclaim Christ's love, justice and peace in everything they do. Everyday Christianity, 9.
     

  • Our parish communities are measured by how they serve "the least of these" in our parish and beyond its boundaries—the hungry, the homeless, the sick, those in prison, the stranger (cf. Mt 25:31). Our local families of faith are called to "hunger for thirst and justice" and to be "peacemakers" in our own communities (cf. Mt 5:6,9). Communities of Salt and Light, 3.
     

  • The central message is simple: our faith is profoundly social. We cannot be called truly "Catholic" unless we hear and heed the Church's call to serve those in need and work for justice and peace. We cannot call ourselves followers of Jesus unless we take up his mission of bringing "good news to the poor, liberty to captives, and new sight to the blind" (cf. Lk 4:18). Communities of Salt and Light, 3.
     

  • The center of the Church's social teaching is the life, dignity, and rights of the human person. We are called in a special way to serve the poor and vulnerable; to build bridges of solidarity among peoples of differing races and nations, language and ability, gender and culture. Communities of Salt and Light, 3.
     

  • We have much to learn from those parishes that are leading the way in making social ministry and integral part of parish ministry and evangelization. We need to build local communities of faith where our social teaching is central, not fringe; where social ministry is integral, not optional; where it is the work of every believer, not just the mission of a few committed people and committees. Communities of Salt and Light, 4.
     

  • Parishes are called to be communities of solidarity. Catholic social teaching more than anything else insists that we are one family; it calls us to overcome barriers of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, economic status, and nationality. We are one in Christ Jesus (cf. Gal 3:28)—beyond our differences and boundaries. Communities of Salt and Light, 10.
     

  • A key test o a parish's "Catholicity" is its willingness to go beyond its boundaries to serve those in need and work for global justice and peace. Working with others for common goals across religious, racial, ethnic, and other lines is another sign of solidarity in action. Communities of Salt and Light, 10.
     

  • Catholic communities of faith should measure their prayer, education, and action by how they serve the life, dignity, and rights of the human person at home and abroad. A parish’s “catholicity” is illustrated in its willingness to go beyond its own boundaries to extend the Gospel, serve those in need, and work for global justice and peace. This is not a work for a few agencies or one parish committee, but for every believer and every local community of faith. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Catholics in the United States face special responsibilities and opportunities. We are members of a universal Church that transcends national boundaries and calls us to live in solidarity and justice with the peoples of the world. We are also citizens of a powerful democracy with enormous influence beyond our borders. As Catholics and Americans we are uniquely called to global solidarity. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Through the eyes of faith, the starving child, the believer in jail, and the woman without clean water or health care are not issues, but Jesus in disguise. The human and moral costs of the arms trade, international debt, environmental neglect, and ethnic violence are not abstractions, but tests of our faith. Violence in the Holy Land, tribal combat in Africa, religious persecution, and starvation around the world are not just headlines, but a call to action. As Catholics, we are called to renew the earth, not escape its challenge. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Solidarity is action on behalf of the one human family, calling us to help overcome the divisions in our world. Solidarity binds the rich to the poor. It makes the free zealous for the cause of the oppressed. It drives the comfortable and secure to take risks for the victims of tyranny and war. It calls those who are strong to care for those who are weak and vulnerable across the spectrum of human life. It opens homes and hearts to those in flight from terror and to migrants whose daily toil supports affluent lifestyles. Peacemaking, as Pope John Paul II has told us, is the work of solidarity. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • There is increasing complacency about the defense of human rights. Our country is tempted to turn its back on long traditions of openness and hospitality to immigrants and refugees who have nowhere to turn. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Our faith calls us to a different road—a path of global responsibility and solidarity. The call to solidarity is at the heart of Pope John Paul II’s leadership. He has insisted that the test of national leadership is how we reach out to defend and enhance the dignity of the poor and vulnerable, at home and around the world. He calls us to defense of all human life and care for God’s creation. In his visits to this country, the Holy Father called on our nation to “spare no effort in advancing authentic freedom and in fostering human rights and solidarity.” Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • We have heard the Lord’s command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In our linked and limited world, loving our neighbor has global implications. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Beyond differences of language, race, ethnicity, gender, culture, and nation, we are one human family. Whether at World Youth Day, on World Mission Sunday, or in the daily celebration of the liturgy, the Church gathers people of every nation, uniting them in worship of the one God who is maker and redeemer of all. In so doing, the Church attests to the God-given unity of the human family and the human calling to build community. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Readings from Acts and the Letters of Paul tell us of the concern of distant churches for the needy communities in Jerusalem and Macedonia. In faith, the world’s hungry and homeless, the victims of injustice and religious persecution, are not mere issues; they are our sisters and brothers. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Pope John Paul II has written, “Sacred Scripture continually speaks to us of an active commitment to our neighbor and demands of us a shared responsibility for all of humanity. This duty is not limited to one’s own family, nation or state, but extends progressively to all . . . so no one can consider himself extraneous or indifferent to the lot of another member of the human family” [CA], no. 51
     

  • In pursuit of solidarity, Pope John Paul II calls for a worldwide effort to promote development, an effort that “involves sacrificing the positions of income and of power enjoyed by the more developed economies” in the interest of “an overall human enrichment to the family of nations” (CA, no. 52). Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Our nation has special responsibilities. Principled and constructive U.S. leadership is essential to build a safer, more just world. As Pope John Paul II insists again and again, our efforts must begin with fundamental reform of the “structures of violence” that bring suffering and death to the poor. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • The Catholic community will continue to speak on behalf of increased development assistance, relief from international debt, curbs on the arms trade, and respect for human life and the rights of families. We will continue to oppose population policies that insist on inclusion of abortion among the methods of family planning. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • Our foreign aid and peacemaking efforts can be reformed and improved, but they cannot be abandoned. Massive cuts in recent years in U.S. assistance for the poor around the world are an evasion of our responsibility as a prosperous nation and world leader. The recent decline in resources for sustainable development must be reversed. Called to Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • In the words of the Apostle Paul, we must strive “to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:3-6). Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
     

  • The Church's teaching on international justice and peace is not simply a mandate for a few large agencies, but a challenge for every believer and every Catholic community of faith. The demands of solidarity require not another program, but greater awareness and integration into the ongoing life of the parish. The Church's universal character can be better reflected in how every parish prays, educates, serves, and acts. A parish reaching beyond its own members and beyond national boundaries is a truly "catholic" parish. An important role for the parish is to challenge and encourage every believer to greater global solidarity. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes.

 

  • Cain's question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gn 4:9), has global implications and is a special challenge for our time, touching not one brother but all our sisters and brothers. Are we responsible for the fate of the world's poor? Do we have duties to suffering people in far-off places? Must we respond to the needs of suffering refugees in distant nations? Are we keepers of the creations for future generations? For the followers of Jesus, the answer is yes. Indeed, we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. As members of God's one human family, we acknowledge our duties to people in far-off places. We accept God's charge to care for all human life and for all creation. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes, 3.
     

  • Our faith challenges us to reach out to those in need, to take on the global status quo, and to resist the immorality of isolationism. Pope John Paul II reminds us that a turn to "selfish isolation" would not only be a "betrayal of humanity's legitimate expectations…but also a real desertion of a moral obligation." Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes, 6.
     

  • The Church's commitment to global solidarity belongs especially to lay people. It is reflected at least as much in the choices of lay Catholics in commerce and politics as in the statements and advocacy of our bishops' conference. How U.S. businesses act abroad sets standards that advance or diminish justice. Catholics should bring their awareness of global solidarity to their diverse roles in business and commerce, in education and communications, and in the labor movement and public life. Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes, 8.