I don't want to be too categorical here but, over the last century, two seemingly opposed "camps" have emerged as bitter opponents within the Church. And most of us find ourselves safely encamped on one side or the other. Of course I'm talking about the surge in social advocacy that has risen on the political "left"; and, on the "right," a steadfast stance on doctrinal truth and traditional morality. The rift is so sharp that it's not uncommon to encounter a "conservative" who immediately rolls his eyes at the mere mention of social justice, or a "liberal" who recoils indignantly at the insensitivity and intolerance of traditional values.
In large part, we can blame all this on the dominant two-party system in modern politics. The rigorous State categories of Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, have tempted many Catholic faithful to politicize the Church. But each of the sides possess partial truths, an incomplete gospel. Since we live not just in the State but in the Church as well, we need to be careful not to let our political affiliations undermine our faith.
I want a comprehensive faith. The gospel is only the gospel when it's complete, and this almost always means a call to conversion in one or another area of our lives. If we want to reconcile the political tensions, the truth each side clings to must be affirmed, redeemed, and lived. Let's face it, the conservative that holds to orthodoxy and frowns upon immoral lifestyles, yet rejects the demands of social justice, preaches a gospel without love, a faith without works. On the other hand, the liberal who's willing to compromise truth for the sake of love renders his efforts void of all merit and a groundless appeal.
If I can use a metaphor, a significant task in the New Evangelization is to proclaim a "tripod of faith": doctrine, morality, and social justice. These integral aspects won't survive in isolation; only in the light each sheds on the other can the world encounter the authentic message of Jesus Christ. Revealed truth (i.e. doctrine) provides for an authentic, lasting love and calls us to live for others. Apart from this truth and a genuine concern for one's neighbor, morality is an ungrounded ethic with nothing to impel action beyond a minimalistic and selfish motivation. Social justice by itself is a secular humanitarianism that replaces the importance of imitating Christ with a merely
human love of neighbor. Doctrine without morality and social justice results in an intellectualized faith that cannot pass the final test: "Whatsoever you did to the least of these...you did unto me" (Matthew 25:31-46).