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By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, Jan. 29, 2022
Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
One of the challenges preventing a wider reception of the Church’s modern social teaching is that there is some confusion about just what Catholic social teaching is. In the most general sense, it’s that particular collection of papal teachings dealing with questions of politics and economics, beginning with Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891) and continuing up through Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti (2020).
Of course, Leo XIII was hardly the first to teach about such things. Anyone with a passing familiarity with Aquinas, or Augustine, or John Chrysostom, or, for that matter, the Scriptures, knows this. Indeed, anyone who reads a social encyclical would know this, since the constant references to Scripture and Tradition are hard to miss. …
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