Catholic Social Teaching and The American Detour
Living and working in the world but not of it may have been the mantra of Catholic thought and education in the first half of the twentieth century, but the tsunami of societal revolution in the 1960s upended rationality in favor of action-oriented programs in the name of social justice. The wisdom of the Church about striving to attain the ultimate Common Good, which is God Himself, was swept into the background as personal responsibility morphed into social sin, the Works of Mercy became government handouts, and the Church in America lost its sense of discernment to tell the difference.
In this, the second of its trilogy on the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church, The Bellarmine Forum examines the American detour away from the Catholic Church’s roadmap for a just society based on the dignity of man.
“Older Catholic Action groups attended Mass together, said communal rosaries or novenas, went together on pilgrimages, and engaged in other traditional spiritual practices that had as their object, the worship of God. This wasn’t to rubber-stamp the program or to ‘create community’ among participants but to foster a deep spiritual life.”–Stephanie Block, “A Study in Contrasts: Catholic Action and Social Justice.”
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