The Office of Advocacy and Justice is dedicated to the social mission of the Church in the Diocese of Orlando. Through education and advocacy efforts, we seek to empower the faithful to bring about change and help create a society oriented towards the common good.
John XXIII described the common good as ‘the sum total of conditions of social living, whereby persons are enabled more fully and readily to achieve their own perfection.’ Therefore, the Church seeks to create social conditions whereby people are encouraged to reach their full potential as men and women created in God’s image. Our office has its origins in the Respect Life Office founded by Bishop Norbert Dorsey in 1991.
Before the Respect Life Office was founded, the diocese’s social ministry was divided among three different offices. The Respect Life Office was organized under the United States Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Respect-Life Activities, with an emphasis on Education, Public Policy/Legislative Advocacy, Prayer/Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care. The primary objective of the Respect Life Office was to educate the parish, and the community at large, about Catholic Social Teaching using the “Consistent Ethic of Life” paradigm to integrate and explain Church teaching at the level of moral principle.
As a result of the Diocesan Synod convened by our former bishop, now Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski, in 2006 the Respect Life Office was renamed Office of Advocacy and Justice. The mission is the same but the name better reflects our dedication to the wide range of topics included in the Social Doctrine of the Church, the primary teachings of which are based on the fundamental dignity of each person created by God.