Caring for Our Common Home
The Problems with Democratic Socialism
Forming Responsible Immigration Policies
Abortion is Never Acceptable
We Must Address Today’s Ills
It is our special task to order and throw light upon all the affairs of the world in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ: “let the laity also by their combined efforts remedy the customs and conditions of the world.”
The Church’s Role vs. My Role
The Church’s role is to guide our consciences. “This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place…its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgement and attainment of what is just.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 28)
Our role is to implement Catholic social teaching in the public square. As Pope St. John Paul II said, “To destroy structures and replace them with more authentic forms of living in community is a task which demands courage and patience.” (Centesimus Annus, 38)
There are structures of society that need to be destroyed. There are structures that need to be built. This “Just ordering of society… is proper to the lay faithful”. (Pope Benedict XVI, 29)
Catholic social teaching is not a theory, it is “above all else a basis and a motivation for action.” (Pope St. John Paul II, 57)
“We, Christians, cannot ‘play Pilate’ and wash our hands…We must participate in politics because politics is one of the highest forms of charity because it seeks the common good. And Christian lay people must work in politics.” (Pope Francis)
Indeed, “Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions”. (Pope Francis)
Why These Issues?
Because “decisions which create a human environment can give rise to specific structures of sin which impede the full realization of those who are in any way oppressed by them” (Pope St. John Paul II, 38)
Democratic socialism is much in the news. Several candidates for President of the United States and many in congress espouse it as an alternative model for our country. But, is it clear what, exactly, it is? Here, we attempt to define ‘democratic socialism’ and outline what the Catholic Church has to say about it.
This is a complex issue. It requires weighing the integration of all three Catholic social teaching principles (Human Dignity, Solidarity, and Subsidiarity) and applying them to a thorough analysis of the Common Good. There are few straightforward “answers” here! However, a comprehensive review of the issues based on “principles” rather than “positions” might lead to more effective policies.
One political party committed the US to the Paris Agreement and proposes a “Green New Deal”. Another party has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement and inimically opposes the other’s proposal. Explore what insights Catholic social teaching may contribute to this national dialogue.
Health care in the United States is, in many ways, the envy of the world. Yet: Are needs not being met? Why is it so expensive? Is the health care practitioner pool expanding? How does Subsidiarity inform policy and practice? Is health care a right? Are practitioners happy in their work? This is a complicated topic!
Centesimus Annus Pro Pontificate, Inc (CAPP-USA) is the United States affiliate of Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice at the Vatican.