Colloquium on Catholic Social Doctrine

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter

Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic

Boise, Idaho



I.          Holy Scriptures. 

            E.g., Zechariah 7:9-10; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 22:3; Micah 6:8; Proverbs 31:9; Psalm 82:3; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Proverbs 31:8-9; Proverbs 22:16; Isaiah 58:6-12, 61:1; Matthew 5:3; Matthew 7:12; Romans 10:12, 12:15-18; and James 1:27 (This list is not exhaustive).

II.        Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

a.         Common Good.  It is understood to be “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”  See, CCC Para. 1906-1912.

b.       “The Church's social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ. This teaching can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be guided by it.  See, CCC Part III, “Life in Christ.”  Also, see, CCC Para. 2419-2425

III.  Papal Documents and Encyclicals.

Sublimus DeI.  (1537). On respecting the liberty and property of the American Indians.

Rerum Novarum (1891)  The Catholic doctrine on work, the right to property, the principle of collaboration instead of class struggle as the fundamental means for social change, the rights of the weak, the dignity of the poor and the obligations of the rich, the perfecting of justice through charity, on the right to form professional associations.”

Quadragesimo Anno (1929)  Pius XI confirmed that wages and/or salaries should be proportionate to the worker and to the worker’s family.  On government, in its relationship with the private sector and private action, should apply the principle of subsidiarity.

He rejected the principle of “unlimited competition between economic forces,” confirmed the value of private property and recalled its social function.  The pope promoted a concept of free association, an urgent application of moral principles to govern human relationships, “with the intent of overcoming the conflict between classes and arriving at a new social order based on justice and charity.”

Non Abbiamo Bisogno relating to Italy and Mit Brennender Sorge to Germany. 

Divini Redemptoris, (1937)  Pius XI tackled the issue of the Church’s social doctrine and atheistic communism, describing communism as “intrinsically perverse.”  Renewal of Christian life, the practice of evangelical charity, the fulfillment of the duties at both the interpersonal and social levels in relation to the common good, and the institutionalization of professional and interprofessional groups.”[25]

Pacem in Terris,  (1963)  The purpose of economic growth to not only satisfying humankind’s needs but to promote its dignity. 

Gaudium et Spes. (Document of Vatican II) (1965).   It notes among all of creation, that the person is “the only creature that God will for its own sake[;]” and that all structures in human life and development must focus on “the progress of the human person.”

Dignitatis Humanae. (Document of Vatican II) (1965).  The right to religious freedom is proclaimed, grounded on the dignity of the human person and that such “must be sanctioned as civil right in the legal order of society.”


Populorum Progressio. (1967).  Paul VI. The integral development of man and the development of solidarity with all humanity.

Octogesima Adveniens. (1971).  Paul VI.  He touched on the post industrial age and the inadequacy of ideologies in responding to modern social problems.

Humanae Vitae.  (1968)  Paul VI.   Illicit birth control.   Pope Paul VI noted that man must live in accord with God’s law in governance over “his own body and its functions; limits which no man, whether a private individual or one invested with authority, may licitly pass.”[37] This 1968 Encyclical is deeply prophetic encyclical about our modern world.


Laborem Exercens. (1981)  John Paul II.  The encyclical is devoted to work, “the fundamental good of the human person, the primary element of economic activity and the key to the entire social question.”


Sollicitudo Rei Socialis.  (1987)  Pope John Paul II noted that true development is more than the multiplication of, or the possession of, goods and services, “but must contribute to the fullness of the ‘being’ of man. In this way the moral nature of real development is meant to be shown clearly.”


Centesimus Annus.  (1991)  John Paul II.   Right to property.  Universal destination of property.  Proper function of government.  An economy that works and provides for the poor. Organization of society.   Free market efficiency, trade unions, and free associations.


Caritas in Veritate. (2009)  The encyclical is concerned with the problems of global development and progress towards the common good, arguing that both Love and Truth are essential elements of an effective response.


Evangelii Gaudium.  (2014) Francis.  Themes include obligations Christians have to the poor, and the duty to establish and maintain just economic, political, and legal orders.  [? Still reviewing].