Monday, August 17, 2009

Freedom, solidarity, subsidiarity

Martin Fitzgerald

Pope Benedict XVI's new encyclical continues 120 years of Catholic social doctrine based on the dignity of the human person and his participation in society.

To understand Pope Benedict XVI’s recent encyclical, Caritas in veritatem (Charity in truth), you need to know something about the history of ideas. This is not a document which the Pope tossed off after a couple of months of reflection. It is the latest instalment of at least 120 years of major documents from popes commenting on social trends especially in the field of economics. Broadly speaking, this is called the “social doctrine” of the Catholic Church. It is a collection of principles governing social development while still respecting the integrity of the human person.

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