A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching

Overview

The language of Catholic social teaching emerges regularly in American public discourse, often connected to discussions about religious freedom, abortion, immigrant rights, racism, and capital punishment. In this thoroughly revised volume, Kevin E. McKenna provides a clear, primer-level reference tool to help readers navigate this vast body of Catholic teaching.

Building on the core themes of "human dignity, community, rights and ...

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A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching

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Overview

The language of Catholic social teaching emerges regularly in American public discourse, often connected to discussions about religious freedom, abortion, immigrant rights, racism, and capital punishment. In this thoroughly revised volume, Kevin E. McKenna provides a clear, primer-level reference tool to help readers navigate this vast body of Catholic teaching.

Building on the core themes of "human dignity, community, rights and responsibilities, option for the poor, dignity of work, solidarity," and "care of creation," priest and teacher Kevin E. McKenna expertly distills Catholic social teaching into easily digestible summaries. He sheds light on such issues as religious freedom, rights to privacy and self-determination, and the value of the common good. This newly-updated, practical book includes pertinent material of the past decade from papal documents and the US Catholic Bishops, links to online support materials, an expanded glossary, and new questions for self-study or group conversation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594714382
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/2013
  • Series: The Concise Guide Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 576,915

Meet the Author

Kevin E. McKenna, a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, is pastor of the Cathedral Community in the same diocese. He is past president of the Canon Law Society of America and former chancellor and canonical consultant for his diocese. McKenna's ministerial experience includes service as a parish priest, as a judge in marriage tribunals, and in a diocesan role as director of legal services. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including "A Concise Guide to Canon Law" and "A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching." McKenna also serves as general editor for the Concise Guide Series.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 13
Abbreviations 17
1 Life and the Dignity of the Human Person 19
Brothers and Sisters to Us, U.S. Bishops 19
Racial and Economic Justice 20
The Church and Prejudice 20
Presence of Racism in the United States Today 20
Christian Response to Racism 21
Statement on Capital Punishment, U.S. Bishops 23
Purposes of Punishment 24
Christian Values in the Abolition of Capital Punishment 24
Difficulties Inherent in Capital Punishment 25
Conclusions 25
The Gospel of Life, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II 26
Present-Day Threats to Human Life 27
Attacks by the State 27
Culture of Death 27
The Pro-Abortion Culture 28
The Right to Life 28
The Christian Message Concerning Life 30
Jesus and the Proclamation of Human Dignity 30
God's Holy Law 31
The Death Penalty 31
The Crime of Abortion 32
Embryo Experimentation 33
Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques 33
Euthanasia 34
Suicide 34
Proclaiming the Right to Life in a Democratic Society 35
Toward a New Culture of Human Life 35
Education in Values 36
The Role of Women 36
Reflection Questions 37
2 Call to Family, Community, and Participation 41
The Condition of Labor, Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII 41
Each Family Possesses Certain Rights 41
On Reconstructing the Social Order, Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI 42
Support for the Worker and Family 42
On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II 42
"Human Ecology": The Family 42
The Gospel of Life, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II 43
Role of the Family 43
Mobilization of Consciences 44
Reflection Questions 44
3 Rights and Responsibilities 47
Economic Justice for All, U.S. Bishops 47
The Church and the U.S. Economy 47
The Christian Vision of Economic Life 48
The Various Dimensions of Justice 49
Social Sin 49
Economic Policy Issues 50
Employment 50
Poverty 50
Food and Agriculture 51
The U.S. Economy and Developing Nations 52
Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines, NCCB/USCC 52
Principles for NCCB/USCC Investments 52
NCCB/USCC Investment Policies 54
Reflection Questions 54
4 Option for the Poor and Vulnerable 57
On Christianity and Social Progress, Mater et Magistra, Pope John XXIII 57
The Encyclical Rerum Novarum 58
Development of the Teachings of Rerum Novarum 59
Intervention of Public Authority in Economic Life 59
Concern for the Working Class 60
New Aspects of the Social Question 62
Readjustment of the Relationship Between Workers and Management 62
Concern for the Agricultural Enterprise 62
Concern for Less Economically Advanced Countries 62
Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Among Nations 63
Reconstruction of Social Relationships in Truth, Justice, and Love 64
Role of Religion in Technological and Economic Development 64
The Development of Peoples, Populorum Progressio, Pope Paul VI 65
Universality of the Problem 65
Nature of the Problem 65
The Church's Role in Development 65
Action That Must Be Undertaken 66
A Spirit of Solidarity 67
On Social Concern, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, Pope John Paul II 68
Survey of the Contemporary World 69
Authentic Human Development 70
A Theological Reading of Modern Problems 71
Some Particular Guidelines 73
Reflection Questions 74
5 The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers 77
The Condition of Labor, Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII 77
Purpose for Employment 77
Distinctiveness of the Human Being 78
Proper Order Within Society 78
Rich and Poor Must Not Be Understood as Adversaries 78
Duties of the Worker 78
Duties of Employers 79
The Church Reminds the Rich of the Gospel Mandate 79
How People Are to Use Their Possessions 79
Poverty Is Not a Disgrace 80
The Church Must Tend to Worldly Matters as Well as the Divine 80
The State Must Provide Aid When Needed 80
Peace and Good Order Needed for the State 81
Protection of Rights by the State 81
Payment of Wages 82
Workers' Associations 82
On Reconstructing the Social Order, Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI 82
Partnership Between Employer and Employee 83
Individual and Social Character of Labor 83
Subsidiarity 83
On Human Work, Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II 84
The Dignity of Labor and the Laborer 84
The Individual and Work 84
A Right Order of Values 84
Worker Solidarity 85
Labor and Personal Dignity 85
The Priority of Labor Over Capital 85
Work and Ownership 86
Rights of Workers 86
A Spirituality of Work 88
On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II 89
Toward the "New Things" of Today 89
The Error of Socialism 89
The Use of "Subsidiarity" by the State to Promote Reform 90
Private Property and the Purpose of Material Goods 90
The Gift of Work and Land 91
The Poor and the Modern Business Economy 91
The Role of Profit in Business 92
Relations Between Poor and Wealthy Nations 92
The Danger of Consumerism 93
Respect for the Earth and Environment 93
State and Culture 94
The Development of Authentic Democracy 95
The Economic Activity of the State 95
The Person as the Way of the Church 96
Reflection Questions 97
6 Solidarity 101
Peace on Earth, Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII 101
Order in the Universe 101
Order Between Persons 102
Rights 102
Duties 103
Relations Between Individuals and the Public Authorities 103
Relations Between States 104
Relationship of People and Political Communities 105
Pastoral Exhortations 106
The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response, a Pastoral Letter on War and Peace, U.S. Bishops 107
Peace in the Modern World: Religious Perspectives and Principles 107
Core of Church's Teaching on Peace 107
Theology of Peace 108
"Peace" in Hebrew Scripture 108
"Peace" in Christian Scripture 108
Defense Against Aggression 109
Proportionality and Discrimination in Targets 110
Conscientious Objection 111
Nuclear Arms Race 111
Working to Shape a Peaceful World 113
The Work of the Church in Promoting Peace in the World 114
Challenges to Peace: Persons and Their Roles Specifically Addressed 114
Reflection Questions 115
7 Care for God's Creation 117
Renewing the Earth, U.S. Bishops 117
Effects of Environmental Blight 118
Religious and Ethical Dimensions of the Problem 118
Role of Developed Nations 120
A Christian Response 121
Reflection Questions 122
Appendix 125
Papal Biographies 125
Pope Leo XIII 125
Pope Pius XI 126
Pope John XXIII 127
Pope Paul VI 128
Pope John Paul II 129
Chart of Historic Milestones 130
Homily Guide, Catholic Social Teaching 132
Sample Penance Service 140
Sources 145
Suggested Reading and Resources 146
Glossary 149
Index 157
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