Single, Central Commandment of Christian Morality

Jack_GlaserClick here  to listen to Jack Glaser's homily on Sunday, December 5.

On Friday, December 3, Jack Glaser, Ph.D. presented on: "Single, central commandment of Christian morality: love your neighbor (Matt. 25; Rom. 13)"

This one central commandment is complex because it must be translated into endless complex human situations.  One way to harness this complexity is to develop the idea that there are four realms of love of neighbor:  global, societal, organizational, and individual.  Many of us grew up focusing on the individual realm—both in terms of Catholic piety and U.S. cultural emphasis.  Catholic “Social Justice” grew up in a small corner of Catholic belief with little recognition by most U.S. Catholics—it was hardly preached about, few “social sins” were brought to the confessional, it was a specialty concern of small pockets of Catholics. 

All complex social issues are both political and moral, it is common to remain on the political level.  The political and moral aspects are connected but different—we will try to tease these apart. Societal love of neighbor (social justice) focuses on structures of society and how they make the loving/right thing to do, the easier thing to do. We will look at some examples of U.S. society and the Catholic Church to examine how well our structures fit this formula.

Jack Glaser is currently Senior Vice President, Theology and Ethics, and Director of the Center for Healthcare Reform for St. Joseph Health System (SJHS), based in Orange, California.   From 1951-1971 Jack was a Jesuit.  He earned his doctorate in Catholic moral theology and taught for 8 years in seminary and university settings.  Since 1978 Jack has  worked in Catholic health care institutions to translate Catholic moral vision into corresponding systems and structures.  His remaining years will be dedicated to working for the reform of U.S. health care.

For a full biography of Dr. Glaser, please click here .