Russell Shaw asks, What is social justice?

"Apart from its failure to match up with the Catholic tradition, the dominant view of social justice has several other problems."

On the CWR homepage this morning, you’ll find Russell Shaw’s essay on social justice – and the implications for how one defines the term – from our August/September 2011 issue. Shaw begins:

What is social justice? In Catholic circles, the expression is much in use these days, but is it used correctly—used, that is, according to its meaning in the Catholic tradition and the Magisterium of the Church? A lot more than you might expect depends on the answer to that….

Shaw draws on the work of theologian J. Brian Benestad, Pius XI’s pivotal encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, and Archbishop Timonthy Dolan’s recent letter to Rep. Paul Ryan in his discussion of the Catholic understanding of that sometimes-loaded term, “social justice.”

Read Shaw’s full essay here.


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About Catherine Harmon 572 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.