Sept. 9, 2015 (Church’s Social Teachings continued)

Over the course of time, Popes have issued encyclicals detailing the Church’s Social Teachings. The landmark encyclical letter by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 called “Rerum Novarum” is the primary document that other Popes have built on. From that point on, a body of social teachings can be referred to. Leo’s encyclical condemned both capitalism and socialism and was based on the teachings of men like St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas. The Church has always condemned any philosophy that exploits the individual which can happen in unbridled capitalism and socialism. Philosophies such as: liberalism, communism. atheism, socialism, fascism, capitalism, and Nazism have all been condemned. All of these can exploit the individual. Social doctrine has always tried to find an equilibrium between concerns for the whole of society, especially the most vulnerable, and respect for liberty, including the right to private property.

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