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Church Documents on Social Justice

 


Modern Catholic social teaching is the body of social principles and moral teaching that is articulated in the papal, conciliar, and other official documents issued since the late nineteenth century and dealing with the economic, political, and social order. This teaching is rooted in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as well as in traditional philosophical and theological teachings of the Church. 

The following list includes not only the encyclical and conciliar documents that are typically considered to be the core texts, but also some key teaching documents issued by national bishops conferences and Vatican congregations, documents which contribute to the ongoing development of Catholic social teaching.

 


Rerum Novarum  (On the Condition of Labor)  --  Pope Leo XIII, 1891


Quadragesimo Anno  (After Forty Years)  --  Pope Pius XI, 1931


Mater et Magistra   (Christianity and Social Progress)  --  Pope John XXIII, 1961


Pacem in Terris   (Peace on Earth)  --  Pope John XXIII, 1963


Gaudium et Spes  (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) 


Populorum Progressio   (On the Development of Peoples)  --  Pope Paul VI, 1967


Octogesima Adveniens  (A Call to Action)  --  Pope Paul VI, 1971


Justicia in Mundo  (Justice in the World)  --  Synod of Bishops, 1971


Laborem Exercens   (On Human Work)  --  Pope John Paul II, 1981


Solicitudo Rei Socialis  (On Social Concern)  --  Pope John Paul II, 1987


Centesimus Annus  (The Hundredth Year --  Pope John Paul II, 1991


Evangelium Vitae  (The Gospel of Life)  --  Pope John Paul II, 1995


Fides et Ratio  (Faith and Reason)  --  Pope John Paul II, 1998


Caritas in veritate (Charity in Truth) -- Pope Benedict XVI, 2009



Other Papal and Vatican Statements of Note


The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 21, 2002


Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "Theology of Liberation"
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1986


Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media:

A Pastoral Response

Pontifical Council for Social Communications May 7, 1989



U. S. Bishops' Statements


 

Program of Social Reconstruction, 1919


Pastoral Letter of 1919


Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979


Capital Punishment,  1980


Economic Justice All, 1986


The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace, 1993


Communities of Salt and Light, 1993


A Decade after Economic Justice for All, 1996


Called to Global Solidarity,  1997


Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, 1998


Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, 1998


Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice, 2001


Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice, 2001


Cristianos de cada día: tienen hambre y sed de justicia, 2001



Online Documents at US Catholic Conference of Bishops


Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility, 2003



Other Statements of Note


The Common Good and the Catholic Church's Social Teaching
Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, 1996


This Land is Home to Me, Appalachian Catholic Bishops, 1975


Securing our Moral Heritage: Towards a Moral Society

(A Pastoral Exhortation on Proposed Bills on Sex Education and Reproductive Health)

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines


 

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