Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Author: Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace
Publisher: Burns & Oates
Pages: 426 pp
Ever since Pope Leo XIII in 1891 shocked the wealthy with his call for a just wage and the right of workers to unionise, the Catholic Church has taught that the way societies organise is also a moral matter. Through landmark encyclicals issued by popes since Rerum Novarum, the Church has built up a wide-ranging body of teaching on justice, equality and human rights.
The Church's social doctrine starts from the God-given dignity of each person, an insight that lies at the heart of its systematic doctrine, embracing fundamental principles which the Church believes should underpin a healthy society, politics and the economy. The Church's social doctrine is directed not just at believers, but at all people of goodwill. Its principles are expressed in terms of natural law and are therefore accessible to all in the light of human reason.
Now, for the first time, that doctrine has been distilled in a single compendium compiled by the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace. It is designed to stand alongside the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an authoritative summary of the Church's teaching on what makes for human flourishing.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a treasure trove of radical wisdom offered to the whole of humanity in the interests of the common good.