In this address to the Pacific Partnership for Human Development in December 1988, Bishop Peter Cullinane of Palmerston North in New Zealand, sets out clearly the position of Catholic Social Teaching regarding social sin and structures of sin. He systematically addresses the following claims: Evil exists not only in the… Read More »Social Sin Sinful Structures
structures of sin
The Soul Work of Dismantling Structures of Sin & Creating Structures of Grace
How can we make known the love of God in our world? The anger and fear in our society can’t be vanquished by more anger, not even by righteous rage. Our work for change needs to attend to structures of grace as much as structures of sin. There is a world of difference between being driven by anger or fear, and being called by love.
A Personal Journey
I first encountered the concept of structures of sin in the 1980s. It helped me to make sense of things. Into the 1990s I was concerned to identify and call out structures of sin, to try to extract myself from them, and to work actively towards dismantling them. Anger at injustice was at the heart of much of this action. By the mid 1990s I was convinced of the importance of proposing positive alternatives – we need structures of grace to replace those of sin. Then I began to understand that cooperating in creating structures of grace calls for different skills, attitudes, dispositions and capabilities than denouncing and pulling down structures of sin. It led me to quite different inner work, and different outer work too. Only love can build up structures of grace that give expression to the justice of God’s Reign. Read More »Structures of Sin, Structures of Grace
What might real love cost us? How might our Lenten penances help us to feel the pain of the poor and marginalized? Does the transformation of unjust structures require me to let go of a place of privilege?
Sexual abuse scandals are shaking the Catholic Church and many Catholic feel deeply ashamed. The concept of structures of sin can help us to understand the relationship between personal and collective responsibility. This article first published in Eureka Street explains. Rotten apples In an effort to encourage and support Catholics… Read More »Structures of Sin & Sexual Abuse