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Network for Peace through Dialogue

November 12, 2015

Dialogue #3 on the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si

Participants in this dialogue were sent in advance the questions that would be addressed in the meeting along with a request to read a portion of the encyclical.

The third Living Room Dialogue session on Laudato Si' chapter 4 brought to light many ideas and thoughts. These will stand as matter for deeper discussion in future sessions.

Question 1.

1. What the pope calls integral ecology has environmental, economic and social aspects that are all interconnected. Referring to social ecology, the pope says that injustice, violence, and loss of freedom result when social institutions are weakened. How do you interpret that statement? (Paragraph 142)

Question 2:

Pope Francis says that social peace cannot be achieved without distributive justice. What is your understanding of that term? How do you think distributive justice could be achieved in this country? Globally? (Paragraph 157)

Question 3:

Pope Francis asks, What kind of world do we want to leave for those who come after us? He believes we must ask ourselves deep questions in order to imagine that world, questions such as What is the purpose of our being in the world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us? (Paragraph 160)

Weaknesses in environmental, economic and social systems leads to injustice, violence and loss of freedom.

All social institutions are important. It is like a chain. If one part is broken, another part will be broken as well. We have to protect elements of all institutions.

The whole society suffers when an institution is weakened, and cannot carry out its mission.

It's all a circle and we are breaking the circle.

Causes for the breakdown:

This can happen for many reasons. Lack of leadership leads to the breakdown of social institutions. Just like rules are necessary, competent leadership is needed. Nothing will get done if everyone is in charge.

Weakening the family is weakening the nations. Families going abroad are hurting institutions

The loss of freedom and injustice stems from the court system, corruption, power struggles, the family lacking basic ethics and compassion where one learns not to steal, lie or kill. Outsider institutions like factories are also affected from the breakdown of social institutions. It also works the other way round. The loss of freedom affects social structures as well.

If one piece is lacking (for example education), it shows in a society. The strengthening of any social institution helps the whole structure.

The refugee problem: The UN has a union of women in Sudan . Every social institution there was shattered. The union being established is a sign of hope. Hopelessness eventually was the spurt that brought people together.

Bringing back or developing institutions:

It is difficult to bring back institutions.

People with the most money are the ones in charge.

Formatic spirituality and interconnectedness are a solution. Weaknesses in institutions result from oneness being lost.

How do you think distributive justice could be achieved in this country? Globally?

Distributive justice is not communism or socialism; it is just giving people what they need.

Distributive justice is fostering the common good, recognizing the dignity of every human being and respecting all people.

People believe that their situation is not equal. Distributive justice would be the fair and equal division of the society

Impoverished people vs. rich presidents.

Why do we have these inner city problems? There needs to be a catastrophe for people to wake up.

Supporting local businesses that give us products which have ingredients and materials coming from local sources is a part of distributive justice. It is a great action to buy from local farms and businesses, which are transparent to us about their processes and materials, rather than from multinational corporations, which already have millions of dollars in sales, yet are most likely exploiting labor and materials.

I don't know why the world has not attacked us yet. There is no way the poor can build up if we do not take a stand in paying and managing who we pay for. There is something very wrong with respect and people in our society. Maybe we need to be hurt a little bit, to experience the darkness of hope.

People are taxed to death.

What kind of world do we want to leave for those who come after us? He believes we must ask ourselves deep questions in order to imagine that world, questions such as What is the purpose of our being in the world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?

Signs of hope: One member went to the Parliament of Religions in Salt Lake City. The Sikhs were in charge of the food for 10,000 people and their attitudes were very lively and they were all volunteers.

Dialogue itself is a sign of hope.

Volunteering just for two weeks may not be enough in a foreign community. Integrating with the community and being a part of it will be more effective.

The UN has been making events for hope, like that against global warming. The change is yet to be seen.

United Nations Department of Public Information had their youth-led briefing where they took initiatives against climate change.

Racial relations are improving. Attitude in relations and languages are changing as well.

Technology: Through it people are getting more and more connected to the world.

The people who studied how the world began is a sign of hope. They understand the connection of each of us. If we all believe that we are one, we will act differently.

Dialogue is a sign of hope. Volunteering just for two weeks may not be enough in a foreign community. Integrating with the community and being a part of it will be more effective.

The UN has a union of women in Sudan. Every social institution there was shattered. The union being established is a sign of hope. Hopelessness eventually was the spurt that brought people together.

People present: Sr. Paul Theresa: Marjorie Ihrig: Jane Gignoux: Michael: Kathleen: Frances: Martha: Susanne: Virginia: Mary Sarah: Veronica: Ken: and Maisha:

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