Who Is Oppressed?


The Catechism describes oppression as an inherent condition of original sin and something that Catholics are called to help alleviate: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2448.htm

2448 “In its various forms - material deprivation, unjust oppression, physical and psychological illness and death - human misery is the obvious sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation in which man finds himself as a consequence of original sin. This misery elicited the compassion of Christ the Savior, who willingly took it upon himself and identified himself with the least of his brethren. Hence, those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere.”

Paraphrasing the dictionary definition from verb to adjective form, people are oppressed when they are:

“[burdened] with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; [subjected] to a burdensome or harsh exercise of power.”

Ideally looking outside of your own group or identity, (just to stretch your brain a little), who in the world meets this definition? How do they meet it? Specifically who might be what our Church has in mind in its reference to “unjust oppression?”

The poor are one obvious and specifically named group. Anyone else?


It likely varies from place to place, culture to culture, which is why the church left it so open.


White South Africans come to mind given recent events in that country.


There is true unjust oppression - no doubt. Individual or perhaps group cases in the west and a general pattern in much of the east and the third world. One could easily call abortion unjust oppression. Many in today’s activist culture seem to think that it means that we are to set the Gospel aside so as not to offend and just do nice things because they are nice. However, we must put all things in the context of the Gospel and obedience to Christ. Social work without the Gospel message is essentially comforting those who are going to hell. This would be false compassion.



Certainly. What do you see in your own time and context?


Locally I’d say indigenous folk and refugees (particularly those refugees that are of a darker complexion). I’ve seen multiple instances of folks being denied rental properties that suddenly are available to others, the horrible comments and causal racism.

The racism in the playground I see is some of the worst because the things that come out of the students mouths are so obviously things they heard at home.


I would argue that we live in remarkably racist times, especially with the anti-refugee/immigration fervor in both of our countries, and all of the neo-Nazism throughout western Europe. Nobody wants to own up to the R-word, however, so culturally, we’re in denial.


Do you believe in the Easter Bunny as well?


And you just proved my point. Thanks.


Someone who believed that the Easter Bunny was real could just as well claim that everyone else was in denial.

It’s reasonable to deny claims that are absurd.


We have a big problem in our society with venvwecnowevhwefvwe. Venvwecnowevhwefvwe is a very bad thing without a concrete definition (as far as most people know anyway). If you deny that venvwecnowevhwefvwe is a problem in our society that you’re probably a venvwecnowevhwefvwist yourself.

Racism, Neo-Nazism, and Catholic Teaching

Well I haven’t seen what you are describing but I don’t get into those issues often so…


I think not many people in the West could really be considered “oppressed”. The poorer nation’s have real problems. We talk about oppression here but often what it amounts to is that some woke politicians think that there are not enough female CEO’s or something.


I think you have to prove the racist part first.


Maybe people in Europe are justifiably concerned at the massive influx of people from a very different culture and how that will affect society. It’s not racism to want to cap immigration and to expect your government to monitor those who wish to enter the country.


I’d be happy to have that conversation - preferably in one of the many threads we already have going on the immigration topic - but is it fair to say that neo-Nazism isn’t the answer?


I think you’d have to define "neo-nazi "more clearly. I don’t believe that certain nationalist sentiment amounts to neo-nazism.
I’m more worried about the left to be honest.



I don’t know any neo-nazis, but I heard a vague news report on them once.


Grow up. Nobody is calling you Hitler. :roll_eyes:

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