"It's Hard Work.": Applying Catholic Social Teaching Print
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 28 August 2008 10:24
Susan Stabile writes to let our readers know about a forming-your-conscience-in-the-midst-of-an-election-year-goldmine.

The hot-off-the-press-and-now-online edition of the Journal of Catholic Legal Studies which includes the complete proceedings of the symposium: Catholic Teaching, Catholic Values, And Catholic Voters: Reflections On Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship.

I liked very much the title of one article that began "It's Hard Work."

Applying the Church's Social Teaching in real rIfe is just that: hard work!
The Church's Social Teaching is rich, complex, and nuanced and judging how to applying it in complex situations is hard work. Prudential judgement is hard work.

"Both steps—formation in the principles and discernment of the application of the principles in a given circumstance—are hard work. Both steps are made even harder when the media and Internet culture elevates sound bites over extended analysis and dramatic clashes over nuanced distinctions.

What might inspire Catholics to roll up their sleeves for the hard work of formation and discernment? Perhaps the conviction that this work of formation and discernment will help to sustain a vision in which they can, in the words of the bishops, “support one another as our community of faith defends human life and dignity wherever it is threatened.”104 For ultimately, through the hard work on a variety of issues, searching for political and social
remedies to the problems of abortion, war, poverty, and a host of other threats to human life and dignity, “[w]e are not factions, but one family of faith fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.”105