Joker Review and Catholic Social Justice

Episode 213 · October 11th, 2019 · 48 mins 52 secs

About this Episode

Spoilers. The horn sounds, so you have been warned. We skip any sort of plot summary and assume you've seen the movie. Three themes of economic injustice, mental health, and isolation interweave into one amazing character study called JOKER.

Economic Justice

Wayne Employees (coming home from work) beat up the Joker (coming home from work)

Chapter 3 of CARITAS IN VERITATE by Pope Benedict XVI
FRATERNITY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY

“In fact, if the market is governed solely by the principle of the equivalence in value of exchanged goods, it cannot produce the social cohesion that it requires in order to function well. Without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannot completely fulfil its proper economic function. And today it is this trust which has ceased to exist, and the loss of trust is a grave loss.”

“In the global era, the economy is influenced by competitive models tied to cultures that differ greatly among themselves. The different forms of economic enterprise to which they give rise find their main point of encounter in commutative justice. Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics, and what is more, it needs works redolent of the spirit of gift. The economy in the global era seems to privilege the former logic, that of contractual exchange, but directly or indirectly it also demonstrates its need for the other two: political logic, and the logic of the unconditional gift. (Caritas in Veritate, 37)

“My predecessor John Paul II drew attention to this question in Centesimus Annus, when he spoke of the need for a system with three subjects: the market, the State and civil society[92]. He saw civil society as the most natural setting for an economy of gratuitousness and fraternity, but did not mean to deny it a place in the other two settings. Today we can say that economic life must be understood as a multi-layered phenomenon: in every one of these layers, to varying degrees and in ways specifically suited to each, the aspect of fraternal reciprocity must be present.” - 38

Catholic Church on Mental Health

“Christ took all human suffering on himself, even mental illness. Yes even this affliction, which perhaps seems the most absurd and incomprehensible, configures the sick person to Christ and gives him a share in his redeeming passion” Pope John Paul II, International Conference for Health Care Workers, on Illnesses of the Human Mind, November 30, 1996

“...stretch out a hand to the sick, to make them perceive the tenderness of God, to integrate them into a community of faith and life in which they can feel accepted, understood, supported, respected; in a word, in which they can love and be loved.” - John Paul II on Depression

From the California Bishops : Catholic World Report

Christ’s public life was a ministry of hope and healing. As Catholics, in imitation of our Lord, we are called to provide hope and healing to others,” they said. “We profess that every human life is sacred, that all people are created in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, a person’s dignity and worth cannot be diminished by any condition, including mental illness.” The bishops called the spike in mental illness, suicide, and drug overdoses a “heartbreaking” crisis, and urged Catholics to help end the social stigma for those seeking support and help in these areas of their lives.

“Persons with mental illness often suffer in silence, hidden and unrecognized by others,” the bishops said. “We clearly proclaim that there is no shame in receiving a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder. We affirm the need for education in our communities to remove the unjust prejudice and stigma often associated with mental illness,” they said. Instead, all Catholics should use their unique gifts and talents to help alleviate these problems and to accompany those who suffer, the bishops noted, whether by providing friendship, spiritual support, or professional support if appropriate.

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