Source: (2009) Catholic Theological Society of America Proceedings. 64:158-159.

Restorative justice has emerged as a “moral squint” in modern Catholic social teaching. In section (i) of his paper, O’Neill explored the Catholic interpretation of restorative justice against the backdrop of rival communitarian and liberal conceptions. In section (ii), he turned to the implications of the Church’s teaching on restorative justice for undocumented immigrants in a religiously pluralist polity like our own. He concluded (iii) with the distinctive role played by citizens of faith in pursuing restorative justice for undocumented migrants. For like the Good Samaritan, Christians are charged to “go and do likewise” (Lk. 10: 37), i.e., to “see and have compassion” (Lk. 10:33) in “anamnestic solidarity” with the stranger. Whereas in the US, restorative justice comprises various forms of victim-offender mediation in the criminal justice system; in South Africa and Rwanda, restorative justice, in Desmond Tutu’s words, addresses “the healing of breaches, the redressing of imbalances, the restoration of broken relationships” between peoples. The detention, deportation, and incarceration of undocumented migrants in the US raise questions germane to both interpretations of restorative justice. (excerpt)