This website is one of the fruits of the TWCF-sponsored project on freedom, globalisation, enterprise and civil society in 21st century Catholic social teaching. It is part of a range of initiatives that integrates the mission of St. Mary’s University with societal concerns. St. Mary’s research centres such as The Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery, the Centre for Research into the Education of Marginalised Children and Young Adults, the Centre for Bio-Ethics and Emerging Technologies and the Benedict XVI Centre as well as our Art of Dying Well project are other aspects of our work to promote a wider public understanding of cutting-edge research. In addition, our collaboration with the Oxford-based Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics helps bridge the gap between academia and the general public.

Catholic social thought has developed in universities down the ages with the work of St. Thomas Aquinas and the School of Salamanca being especially notable and influential. In the nineteenth century, scholarly activity in this area continued to blossom and the first formal social teaching documents of the Catholic Church were published. These social encyclicals are now supplemented by resources such as The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and the youth version, Docat.

The main pillars of Catholic social teaching are the principles of human dignity, the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity and this website will explore their application to 21st century problems. The site complements the university’s MA in Catholic Social Teaching.

The editors are Philip Booth, Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics and Dr. Andre Alves, Reader in Political Economy at St. Mary’s University. We jointly teach the Global Development, the Environment and the Market module on the MA.

The site will post blogs, videos and podcasts. We welcome submissions from interested readers. Submissions should be between 600 and 1,200 words with a strong intellectual basis whilst being of interest and easily comprehensible to a reader with little or no background in the subject. We very much welcome contributions of people from other faiths or none, especially where parallels or contrasts can be drawn with Catholic social thought or teaching.

Our new online course on Catholic social teaching will be also be available in Portuguese later this year, with the Portuguese versions being co-ordinated by the Catholic University of Portugal.

Pope Benedict XVI said: “The Church does not have technical solutions to present but, as an expert in humanity, she offers to everyone the teaching of the sacred Scripture on the truth about man and proclaims the Gospel of Love and justice.” The Catholic Church’s understanding of the dignity and imperfections of all persons is widely shared and its implications understood and practised by all people of goodwill: it is an inclusive vision. As such, we hope that this will be a resource appreciated by anybody who visits it.