Social Action Office

Fair Go
Fair Share


Theological Reflection


Why the need for a fair go?

Take time to read the information and look at the diagram.
Then reflect on the following:

  • Who is affected the most by this? Do I know these people or have anything to do with them?
  • How do I feel about this situation?
  • How does this impact on my life?
  • What does it mean to me?
  • Where do I fit into this scenario?

Having read the material and taking time to reflect on the above, write or draw or do whatever you need to, to express how you think and feel about this situation.

Firstly, in small groups share your reflections - don't discuss - just allow people to say how they feel about this - accept what people have said without discussing.

Secondly, after listening to others take a minute to reflect on:

  • What feelings did you hear expressed?
  • What images did you have when you listened to others' stories?
  • What image best describes how you feel and think about the gap that exists between rich and poor in this country?
  • What is life-giving about that image?
  • What is broken or difficult about that image?


This reflection is for you and your own awareness and insights:

What do the Scriptures and Catholic Social Teaching (CST) say about this situation?

Take time to reflect on:

  • What scripture comes to mind as you reflect on these matters?
  • What other writings come to mind?

The following remind us of our Catholic Social Teaching tradition - take time to read these:

"It is necessary to state once more the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all. The right to private property is valid and necessary but it does not nullify the value of this principle. Private property, in fact, is under a 'social mortgage', which means that it has an intrinsically social function, based upon and justified precisely by the principle of the universal destination of goods."

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (44)

The Australian Catholic Bishops' Common Wealth for the Common Good (1992):

"Individuals and groups within a society have an obligation to pursue not only their own interests but the good of all. The governing and administrative bodies of a society are obliged to safeguard and promote the common good, as well as the good of the society's component parts." (p. 13)

The needs of the poor take priority over the wants of the rich;
The freedom of the dominated takes priority over the liberty of the powerful;
The participation of the marginalised takes priority over the preservation of an order which excludes the marginalised.

(From: D Hollenbach SJ, Claims in Conflict, 1979)


Reflection Questions:

Take time to reflect on the following:

  • How consistent is the gap between rich and poor, with the values of the scripture and Catholic Social Teaching?
  • When you compare the consequences of the gap between rich and poor on the poorest of our society and what both scripture and CST tell us, what challenges you the most?
  • What new insights have you gained

Share your reflections in a small group - once again allow people to speak without discussion.

What am I challenged to do about this?

  • What is all this saying to me? Where is the challenge for me?
  • What is God saying or inviting me into?
  • What might I do differently as a consequence of this reflection and sharing?
  • What action can I take or become involved in to stop this inequality in this country?


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