(Social justice; 04-02; p.3)
The "inner mission" as the Protestants'
J H Wichern laid the base for protestant thinking on society
- to call it a doctrine is not possible, considering that this
religion accepts no binding teaching except the revealed words
of the bible.
The pastor defined the "inner mission" (translation
of: "Innere Mission") as a task for socially caring
Protestants. Volunteers ("freiwillige Pfleger") were
ought to not only care for the physical well-being of the poor
but to provide them with Christian-protestant views. Wichern explicitly
stated that the things given were nothing but means to imbue the
poors' minds and so to achieve the goal of the missionary work.
Provided with those views, the poor should have been enabled to
find ways to overcome their situation - e.g. by uniting in Christian
trade unions. (Cf. Wichern, J H: Die Innere Mission der Deutschen
Evangelischen Kirche. Cit. in: Geschichte, Politik und Gesellschaft.
Ed. by Wolfgang W. Mickel. Second ed. vol. 1, Frankfurt at Main
1988, p. 234.)
Based on Wicherns concept is the nowadays still used slogan
of "help for self-help". Different Protestants had tried
to derive specific political programmes from the concept; one
case in point was the German Liberal Friedrich Naumann. Since
there is no authoritative institution in Protestantism and since
there has not been anybody as influential as Wichern, protestant
thinking remains unchanged up to our days.
In contrast to the protestant church, the roman-catholic has
a clear hierarchy. Moral questions, i.e. ethical questions that
have to be answered authoritatively for all Catholics, are to
be interpreted and decided by the pope. To make his decisions
known, the Holy See publicises encyclicals. (read