See, Judge, Act

Elementary School


Download PPT

Download PDF – Facilitation Notes

High School


Download PPT

Download PDF – Facilitation Notes


See, Judge, Act is a simple method which helps us to stop, stand back from a situation and reflect on it before we jump in and take action. This process helps us to develop critical judgement about situations, events and structures. Often the three stages overlap and intermingle. (

There are three stages which should normally be followed in the reduction of social principles into practice. First, one reviews the concrete situation; secondly, one forms a judgement on it in the light of these same principles; thirdly, one decides what the circumstances can and should be done to implement these principles. These are the three stages that are usually expressed in the three terms: observe, judge act. Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, 1961 (# 236)

Cardinal Cardijn and the See, Judge, Act method

“In speaking of the see, judge, act method, Pope John XXIII was drawing on the thought of the Belgian Cardinal Joseph Cardijn (1882–1967), who as a priest had ministered to poor workers and founded the Young Christian Workers. Cardinal Cardijn, one of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, spoke on the document that was to be promulgated as the Declaration on Religious Freedom. Religious freedom, he said, ‘is not an end in itself. It is a necessary means for education in freedom in its fullest sense, which leads to interior freedom’.” Australian Catholic Social Justice Council 

Read more about Reading the Signs of the Times – See Judge Act: A Process for Social Justice Groups

Leave a Reply