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JUSTICE & PEACE – putting our faith into action

The Cranleigh & Bramley Parish Justice & Peace Group aims to examine the world and current affairs in the light of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, using the “see, judge, act” cycle. Catholic Social Teaching has been developed over the past 120 years through papal encyclicals and statements, plus documents issued by the Bishops’ Conferences of various countries. “Catholic Social Teaching touches upon many different aspects of life, from the family to international development, how we think of those who are homeless to how we care for the environment, and from how we shop and consume to the rights of workers and the dignity of work….Catholic Social Teaching is not principally a fixed block of doctrine or received wisdom from the past. Rather, it is a way of reflecting about the world today, viewing it as God’s world, entrusted to us, and viewing all others as our brothers and sisters. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” asked Cain (Gen 4.9). “Yes,” says Catholic Social Teaching. That is our task and our gift.”
(quoted from the website catholicsocialteaching.org.uk)

The Popes have repeatedly stressed the fundamental importance of justice and peace issues, stating that these are not an optional extra but are an integral part of living our Christian faith. As Our Lord said: “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me”. (Matthew 25:40)
The parish J&P Group is a virtual group – we exchange information and news by email, rather than holding regular meetings. However, we do arrange occasional meetings on particular topics when we will invite a guest speaker. These meetings are open to all parishioners and are publicised in the newsletter – we also circulate details to the other local churches.

The goal is not just to educate ourselves and discuss the issues but to take appropriate action, helping to make the world a better place, a closer reflection of the Kingdom of God. This could be promoting Fairtrade within the parish, encouraging people to take part in CAFOD campaigns, joining national demonstrations on climate change or lobbying our MPs on issues of justice.

If you would like to be included in the Justice & Peace email group, please contact us:

Here are some useful websites:

This is an excellent introduction to the teaching and has links to a wealth of resources.

This contains facts and stories from around the world relating to climate change together with actions we can take as Catholics.

CAFOD is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in England & Wales. The local office for the A&B Diocese is located in the seminary at Wonersh, within our parish – cafod.org.uk/arundelandbrighton

CSAN is the official agency of the Church in England & Wales addressing poverty in the UK. It is a network of Catholic charities helping those on the margins of society such as the elderly, prisoners, refugees and the homeless.

Pax Christi is the international Catholic movement for peace with justice, reconciliation and non-violence.

This is an ecumenical organisation aiming to put human dignity at the heart of decision making and to promote inclusiveness, reconciliation and collaboration with people who are different or with whom we might not agree. ‘The common good’ is one of the key principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

This is the website of the National Justice & Peace Network, a grassroots body with Catholic roots, working with groups and individuals of all faiths and none, who share its aims and values of promoting justice and peace.

dabnet.org/PastoralLife/Section/?id=36&name=Pastoral Team
This gives information on the A&B Diocesan Pastoral Team. It includes Aidan Cantwell who covers Justice & Peace and Social Action. He organises the annual Diocesan Justice & Peace Assembly, usually in January, on a different theme each year. The Assembly is a full day, attended by Bishop Richard, with several eminent speakers and workshops.

‘Justice’ is a free on-line quarterly magazine featuring in-depth articles on a range of social issues from a Catholic viewpoint