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Michael Maher S.J.Jul 5, 2024 12:00:00 AM1 min read

5 July 2024

Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The first reading from the prophet Amos recalls the theme of the Dignity of the human person, especially the poor. The firm foundation of this dignity rooted in the Hebrew prophets, continued with the teaching of Christ, reiterated by the patristic theologians and then receiving its modern articulation with the works of Pope Leo XIII identify the concern for the poor as firmly within the Christian tradition. That dignity, Catholic social teaching identifies, can be demonstrated by reason, a reason we see in the Declaration of Independence: Men have rights and this is a self-evident proposition. The Christian faith elevates what is known by reason and places all humanity into the family called by Christ.  Using sources which supported both faith and reason, Catholic Social teaching has stressed the importance of the human family and its singular character against those who would divide by race, class, or ability. Often there is confusion concerning a Christian’s insistence on human dignity, from conception to natural death. Some see this defense as a rupture in the wall between religion and the State. The real rupture is one of reason by those who cannot understand that Christians are defending what they know by reason and this defense is supported by their faith. A defense of human life is simply a defense of the poor, a defense supported by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If we are so insistent on removing God, then we remove the basis of human rights as expressed in our Nation’s founding documents.