PROGRAMS & SERVICES

SOCIAL JUSTICE

...seeking justice through education and advocacy

 

Abortion  1.29 million abortions took place in the United States in 2002, and the U.S. has one of the highest abortion rates among developed countries throughout the world. Women cite reasons such as being unmarried, being unable to afford a baby, and concern that the baby would interfere with their education, job, or career, as reasons to have an abortion. These decisions are not easy, but the Church acts as a guide during such difficult circumstances.

The Catholic Church's position on abortion can be understood through the doctrine of Catholic Social Teaching: life and dignity of the human person, and option for the vulnerable. We work to preserve life from conception to natural death.

Do you want more information?
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Second Look Project
Adoption is the option


Capital Punishment  In the period from 1976 through the first weeks of 2010, 1,193 people were executed in the United States. Economically, capital punishment cases can cost more in the long-term than life in prison cases. Additionally, there is much concern regarding the tendency of death row inmates to be poor or a minority; over 90% of persons on death row could not afford their own attorney, and minorities constitute a disproportionate share of death row inmates. Instances of wrongful conviction are another cause for concern.

The Catholic Church cherishes the inherent dignity of victims and offenders. Because life should be respected from conception to natural death, capital punishment is a violation of the gift of life that all people possess. According to a statement made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2005, "Ending the death penalty would be one important step away from a culture of death and toward building a culture of life."

Do you want more information?
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty
Death Penalty Campaign PDF


Embryo and Fetal Research  The issue of embryo and fetal research can best be described by Pope Benedict XVI in a 2008 address:

"The two fundamental criteria for moral discernment in this field are: a) unconditional respect for the human being as a person from conception to natural death; b) respect for the originality of the transmission of human life through the acts proper to spouses... When human beings, in the weakest and most defenseless stage of their lives are selected, abandoned, killed or used as mere 'biological material,' how can it be denied that they are no longer being treated as 'someone' but rather as 'something,' hence, calling into question the very concept of human dignity?"

"Of course, the Church appreciates and encourages the progress of the biomedical sciences which open up unprecedented therapeutic prospects, for example, the use of somatic stem cells, or treatment that aims to restore fertility or cure genetic diseases. At the same time, the Church feels duty-bound to enlighten all consciences to the only authentic progress, namely, that scientific progress truly respects every human being, whose personal dignity must be recognized since he is created in the image of God."

Do you want more information?
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Human Cloning
Stem Cell Research


End of Life Issues  The mission of the Commission for Justice and Human Development is to educate and motivate individuals, parishes, and other Catholic institutions to be responsive to unmet social needs and unjust social conditions, and to promote the understanding and practice of the principals of Catholic Social Teaching. As a commission, we pray and work in solidarity with those who await the coming of the Kingdom. The Commission serves as the Archdiocesan Committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The Commission promotes the annual collection and administers the portion of the annual collection given for Archdiocesan use.

The Commission is a voluntary group that works with Catholic Charities through the Director of Social Action and the Chairperson’s membership on Catholic Charities Board, with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and with the Council of Priests. The group works in collaboration with existing coalitions and efforts to emphasize “option for the poor” by pursuing issues which address the dignity and rights of people who are socially, politically or economically disadvantaged. They support issues that address the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

The work is directed to maximize opportunities to assist and work with parishes, organizations, coalitions and neighborhood groups to promote our common interests.

Priority is given to strategies that enable people to realize and act on their own power.

Do you want more information?
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Back to Social Justice

Contact

Richard Klinge, Esq.
Associate Director
(405) 523-3000
rklinge@catholiccharitiesok.org

 

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