Pope Francis has raised, in several of his talks and encyclicals, the problem of corruption. It is surprising how rarely this has featured explicitly in Catholic social teaching more generally because it is a major driver of poverty, injustice and miserable living conditions.Read more >>
Governments at the recent COP26 conference agreed to accelerate efforts to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. The qualifier is a little worrying, but it is not clear what it means so I will ignore it for the purposes of this article.Read more >>
There is increasing pressure on Christian organisations to disinvest from fossil fuel industries, but there is surprisingly little discussion about whether this is a good idea.Read more >>
There is a temptation to play down those aspects of Rerum novarum which related to private property. This encyclical was really about labour, it is argued. Or it is suggested that the right to property is only a secondary right subject to the universal destination of goods and therefore not important. Still others say it was an encyclical that, in this respect, reflected its time – a period when the Church’s property was under attack from extreme socialists.Read more >>
The top: Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Finland, UK, Holland, Sweden, Canada.
The bottom: Venezuela, Haiti, Turkmenistan, Somalia, North Korea, Cuba, Bolivia, Yemen.
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Pope Francis discusses ecological virtue in Laudato si and provides illustrations of what it might be, in many cases very beautifully; however, he does not provide a systematic account of ecological virtue. That is the aim of this article based on the virtue scheme of Saint Thomas Aquinas. As a prelude to that, it should be noted that all the world religions and many environmental organisations speak in similar terms.Read more >>
In this post, Philip Booth discusses how the language we use in debates can get in the way of agreement and how Catholics interested in environmental issues should study the work of Elinor Ostrom for inspiration.
In the last blogpost on this site, I wrote about the importance of private property rights for environmental conservation. But there is more to this debate. And sometimes semantics gets in the way of reaching a common understanding on these issues. My garden, for example, is private property and nobody would doubt that. However, a community of monks might care for their (possibly very large) grounds, farm, gardens, bee hives, and so on by holding it in common – though they still hold it privately in common. Indeed, property titles can be quite complex. Under English law, there will sometimes be restrictive covenants, nested leaseholder and freeholder arrangements and property held under trust (including by charities such as the National Trust) and many of these devices will be designed to ensure good outcomes when it comes to sustainability.Read more >>
In this week’s post, Philip Booth discusses the papal encyclical Laudato Si, responding to Pope Francis’ desire for dialogue on the issues raised.
Bishop Robert Byrne of Hexham and Newcastle described Laudato Si, published five years ago next week, as a “prophetic document that has given a theological and spiritual framework to the environmental crisis facing our world”. An earlier post on this blog developed a similar point.Read more >>
It seems slightly strange to be posting on this blog in the middle (or, perhaps, at the beginning) of a global pandemic and national emergency about a subject which is not coronavirus. All intellectual and political discussion seems to have converged on that subject. Nevertheless, for those interested in other news, views and topical discussion based in Catholic social thought, we shall continue this blog on a range of issues, though next week we shall look at some aspects of the corona virus crisis.Read more >>
I welcome the development of this new blog on Catholic social thought at St. Mary’s University. It gives us the space to explore and discuss current issues related to Catholic social thought and also promote the research taking place at St. Mary’s to a wider audience.Read more >>