Populorum Progressio

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The Morality of Borders

The ability to immigrate is increasingly seen as a human right. There is a growing belief that nations should not restrict the migration of people across borders but should embrace or even facilitate this movement, regardless of the costs or benefits. This belief is not, nor has it ever been, held by most Americans. But [...]

Paul VI and the Unexpected Lessons of Populorum Progressio

March 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s social encyclical Populorum Progressio. Even today, this document is regularly referenced by some Catholics, particularly Latin Americans, because of its focus upon global poverty. Others, however, view the encyclical as a highly time-bound text and reflective of many now-discredited economic ideas which proliferated in the late-1960s. [...]

Free Trade and Catholic Social Teaching

It is shaping up that one of the major issues this election year is going to be free trade and the international trade deals that the U.S. has negotiated over the past quarter-century. The major agreements that come to mind, which have generated so much controversy, are the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and [...]

Interview: The Changing Face of Catholic Social Thought

"Nowhere is the need for ongoing development more acutely felt," writes Father Thomas D. Williams, L.C., "than in the area of the Church's social teaching" -- which makes Catholic social thought "one of the most exciting areas of theology in which to be engaged." In his new book The World As It Could Be: Catholic [...]

Understanding Caritas in Veritate

I was struck once -- struck and annoyed -- with a vagrant remark made to me by the Canadian philosopher George Grant (1918-1988). It came up in a conversation about Vietnam. He was using such terms as "technology" and "hegemony," which he'd employed elsewhere more abstractly in condemnation of the whole modern world, in pedestrian [...]

Benedict XVI Tightens Up the Church’s Social Teaching

  Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical -- Caritas in Veritate -- arrived today containing 30,468 words: an introduction, six chapters, conclusion, and 159 footnotes. It's not thrilling reading, even by encyclical standards, but as the latest papal statement on the Church's social teaching, "Love in Truth" will be a work of lasting significance. Those who [...]

The Media and Pope Benedict XVI’s ‘Growth’

Two years ago, the mainstream media gathered in a special conclave in Rome to discuss the disastrous election to the papacy of Ratzinger the Enforcer, God's Rottweiler, the hardliner, inflexible, rigid, etc., blah blah. Some of us suggested to our television screens that the talking heads might want to wait more than a few seconds [...]

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