Synthesizing social justice and restorative justice

Topics: Crime, Restorative justice, Catholic Church Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: April 3, 2014

Social Justice Synthesis Paper

Three major themes that we have talked about so far are where can we find/see God, the beneficial effects of restorative justice, and helping a cause not only for the effects of charity, but also for the effects of justice. First, in class, we talked about how we can find and see God in the Biblical foundations and in the Sacraments. Many of us discussed our “images of God”. For me, my image of God is on a very personal level. Although I have only ever attended Catholic school for my entire life, I wouldn’t identify “my God” with all of the confined and contradictory teachings and doctrines of the church. For example, we can see God’s grace and goodness in the Gospel in the parable concerning the slaves and the bags of gold. In this parable we see the phrase, “the first shall be last and the last shall be first”. God emphasizes love and attention to those who really need it. We receive the sacraments as a way of letting God into our lives and strengthening or confirming our position in the Church. By definition, a sacrament is an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual divine grace. God is evident in the processes of the sacraments (i.e. Baptism, Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, etc.) through his grace. A sacrament is more than just going through the motions, but only if you choose and try for it to be more than that. Similar to characteristics of Catholic Social Teaching, sacraments call us to a greater family, community, and participation. We can find and see God working through the sacraments to give us divine grace.

Next, we talked a lot about restorative justice. Restorative Justice is a system of criminal justice that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. Similar to how we can find God in the sacrament of Reconciliation, criminals and offenders who partake in Restorative Justice often time find/see God in the reconciliation process of...
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