Up, Judge of the Earth!
A Poor Catholic's Critique of American Social Policy Towards Poverty
Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor will themselves also call and not be heard. Proverbs 21:13
This is a 150+ page paper I wrote in 1997 on Catholic Social Teaching and US social policy towards the poor. I recently excavated this and am placing it online. It's in four documents as that's the way I have it. The text has gone through about 4 platform transitions and so its not winning any awards for format, but the footnotes are there at the bottom of each page.
At that time, I had about 20 years experience of living in poverty in the United States, and the document is informed by that experience.
First Part: A survey of Catholic social teaching, its historical, theological, and biblical basis; the documents, and ten themes I identified and traced through the documents.
Second Part: The existential situation of poor people in the US in 1997. Lots of data and my commentary on the data. Plus the beginning of my discussion of structures of sin and their impact on the poor. I think that the concept of "structures of sin" or "structures of evil" is one of the most important contributions of Catholic social teaching.
Third Part: Continues the discussion of the "structures of sin" impacting social policy in the US.
Fourth Part: Conclusion of the discussion of structures of sin. Then we "Observe, Judge, Act". This section concludes with a discussion of "structures of redemption, reconciliation, and orthopraxis." Ten specific things to be done. An epilogue. And "The Very Last Word."