2013 Summit: Bridging the Gap News

Jesuits weigh in on Catholic positions regarding economic inequality

By Austin Norville ’15
THE ROUNDUP

The hope of this year’s summit on human Dignity topic “The Opportunity Gap” is to influence to students to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, according to Summit coordinator Mr. Ryan Hubbell.

With this year’s summit, Brophy wants students to act by focusing the problem in the community around the school and even some of our students, Mr. Hubbell said.

“The Catholic viewpoint is actually kind of vast,” said Mr. Chris Calderon, S.J.  “When you think about the Christian experience in general, it is a communal experience, not a solitary experience.”

The economic opportunity gap has become a global issue.

According to the Rev. Harry Olivier, S. J., the Church has made the problem known and is taking steps to reduce the gaps between those with less with those with more.

“We are really grounded in the human community,” Mr. Calderon said. “And as a result of that one human community, we are responsible to each other…. Every human being has an intrinsic dignity.”

Since the second Vatican Council, the Church has been big on recognizing the broken and the isolated, Mr. Calderon said.

The Church is driven by the concept of who is hurting, who is pushed to the margins, whose dignity is being taken away and how do we stand up for it.

The topic is “out of our reach, but it makes us more aware of the situation,” Fr. Olivier said. “And what can we do about it besides being cognizant of the separation; it seems to me, that’s where we fit in.”

Catholics believe that through service to the poor we can create more opportunities to those less fortunate, Fr. Olivier said.

The topic of an opportunity gap reaches far beyond service however; Summit organizers want students to focus on the dignity issues that economic inequality can create.

“If your dignity has been taken away, it has to be fought for, because it is a gift from God,” Mr. Calderon said.