Back to RJ Archive

Anamnestic Solidarity: Immigration from the Perspective of Restorative Justice.

O'Neill, William
June 4, 2015

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)


AbstractCourtsPolicePrisonsRJ and Community DisputesRJ in Schools
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now