Extract from the IMBISA LAUDATO SÌ Manual
Cardinal Cardijn and the See, Judge, Act method
In speaking of the see, judge, act method, Pope John XXIII was drawing on the thought of the Belgian Cardinal Joseph Cardijn (1882–1967), who as a priest had ministered to poor workers and founded the Young Christian Workers. Cardinal Cardijn, one of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, spoke on the document that was to be promulgated as the Declaration on Religious Freedom. Religious freedom, he said, ‘is not an end in itself. It is a necessary means for education in freedom in its fullest sense, which leads to interior freedom’.
This interior freedom, even if it exists in germ as a natural gift in every human creature, requires a long education which can be summarized in three words: see, judge and act.
The process of the pastoral cycle has become a potent way of reading the signs of the time and engaging in action for justice in a way that is transformative.
- Seeing, hearing, and experiencingthe reality of individuals and communities.
- Namingwhat is happening that causes your concern.
- Carefully and intentionally examiningthe primary data of the situation. What are the people in this situation doing, feeling, and saying? What is happening to them and how do you/they respond?
The word ‘judge’ is used here in a positive sense – to analyze the situation and make an informed judgement about it.
This involves two key parts:
- Social analysis
- Theological reflection.
Planning and carrying out actions aimed at transforming the social structures that contribute to suffering and injustice.
SEE-JUDGE-ACT Cycle is developed to judge the impact of our actions in working for fairness.
Laudato Sì Pledge as promoted by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) uses the “See-Judge-Act” Concept, which encourages us all to live Laudato Sì with our lives. The Laudato Sì Pledge Concept and the Eco-Spirituality principles are tools used to address questions at the heart of Laudato Sì; “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?[…]What is the purpose of our life in this world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us? […]Unless we struggle with these deeper issues – says the Holy Father – I do not believe that our concern for ecology will produce significant results”. (LS 160).