Author: Matthew Shadle

Fraternity and Solidarity in Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate

The documents of Catholic social teaching are a treasure store that reward repeated reading. I recently learned from reading a commentary on Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate by the Italian economist Stefano Zamagni that in the encyclical, Benedict makes it a point to distinguish the terms “fraternity” and “solidarity,” two terms that on the surface seem fairly similar. In Zamagni’s view, this represents a development in Catholic social teaching. Zamagni describes the difference in this way: “solidarity is the principle of social organization that enables unequals to become equals, fraternity is the principle that allows equals to be...

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The Catholic Church and the Struggle for the Rights of Workers and Immigrants

Today is May Day, and across the country people will be taking to the streets to protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Although May Day has traditionally been considered a day of struggle for the rights of workers, in recent years in the United States it has come to be associated with the rights of immigrants, as well. In 2006, for example, over a million people nationwide joined protests against harsh immigration measures then being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. Although today’s protests are not expected to come close to those numbers, there will be events...

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The Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees and Discrimination Against Muslims

This past Monday President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily halting the issuing of visas to immigrants and refugees from six Muslim-majority nations, and the order will go into on March 16. The executive order replaces an earlier one signed on January 27. This earlier order created confusion at airports across the United States as passengers were detained and questioned for hours by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and others were placed on flights back to the countries they came from, often with no idea where they would stay or what they would do upon arrival. Others...

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Journal of Moral Theology Special Issue: Populorum Progressio: 50 Years

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio, his landmark encyclical on economic and social development. To commemorate this anniversary, the Journal of Moral Theology has published a themed issue on the encyclical. Co-edited by Mari Rapela Heidt and myself, the issue covers a broad range of contemporary scholarship on the encyclical. Several of the essays in the issue provide new insights into Populorum Progressio. Mari Rapela Heidt starts off the issue with an introductory essay providing valuable historical context for the encyclical. In particular, she looks at two important intellectual influences on the document:...

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Martin Luther King: The Divisive Dreamer

In his address to the U.S. Congress in September, 2015, Pope Francis pointed to four great Americans who “shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people”: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton. Although for Americans it was not surprising that King would be identified as a great American whose memory should be honored, it was nevertheless startling for the head of the Catholic Church to put forward a Baptist minister as a model of virtue. Speaking of King, Pope Francis praised him for daring to dream, and goes...

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