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The U.S. Case: Pragmatic and Practice Oriented

The U.S. Case: Pragmatic and Practice Oriented

(p.65) 3 The U.S. Case: Pragmatic and Practice Oriented
The Catholic Social Imagination
Joseph M. Palacios
University of Chicago Press

This chapter uses the analytical model of the Catholic social imagination developed in Chapter 2 to examine and analyze how the various groups focused on the social justice mission of the Church function in a national context and form the basis for a U.S. Catholic social justice milieu, particularly at the grassroots level where social justice is experienced. In particular, it highlights how their use of the community-organizing model initiated by Saul Alinsky has transformed it into a distinctive faith-based community-organizing model consonant with key principles of Catholic social teaching. Once a pre-Vatican II countercultural institution facilitating ethnic and immigrant socialization into U.S. life, the U.S. Catholic Church as an institution now works to facilitate long-term social justice in public life. The post-Vatican II U.S. Catholic Church has created a social imagination steeped in many of the principles of the social doctrine, as well as the civic values and principles of U.S. political culture.

Keywords:   Catholic social imagination, social justice, Catholic Church, community-organizing model, social teaching

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