The Catholic Priest and Social Justice:

Should the Catholic priest get involved in social action programmes? What does the Church have to do with social justice? These are vital questions arising today in our Indian society. In these lines I am not giving ready-made solutions and answers to these problems, but trying to rouse in my readers little of sensitivity to the social issues as Christians, as priests.

The main thrust in te priesly formation should be a growing awareness of and openness to the societal needs and issues. This can be effectively put into practice by imparting to the seminarians the Social Teaching of the Church in general,  and of the Asian Bishops in particular, together with the social structural analysis and discussion on vital local and national issues. Seminarians should be given the inner direction in their spirituality, studies and social curriculum so that they may have dreams amd visions for their future work on the side of the poor.  If the priest does not find the Lord in the poor, he may not find him in the Church either.  Seminarians are called to work  in the future for the needy, labourers, youth, therefore they should be formed to a greater consciousness of societal problems. Their whole curriculum should be geared to social dimension, without however neglecting prayer life, without which priests begin to lose their identity as ministers of evangelization.  But societal concern is a part and parcel of the evangelization, of the mission of the priest.

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