Can we eat, drink and be merry this Christmas?

A quick google search will reveal that Pope Francis warns us almost every year about the commercialisation of Christmas. This year, for example, he was quoted as saying: “The Christmas tree and Nativity crèche should evoke the joy and the peace of God’s love and not the selfish indulgence of consumerism and indifference”. Of course, this message is not unique to Pope Francis: almost every Christian minister warns of this danger.

Read more >>

The meaning of the common good and social justice

What is the common good? The definition that is used in almost all discussion in Catholic circles in the English-speaking world is taken from paragraph 26 of Gaudium et spes which was a document arising from the Second Vatican Council. The common good was defined as “the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfilment”. This is also the definition that is used in the English language translation of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Read more >>

Darkness cannot seize the Light: O admirabile Commercium!

Light

It is sometimes tempting to think of Catholic social teaching as being based in political philosophy, informed, of course, by aspects of theology, whilst forgetting the transcendental aspects of our faith. We cannot, though, divorce any aspect of Christian endeavour from our understanding of God, the Christian mysteries and the incarnation. This includes consideration of the social teaching of the Church. However dark some aspects of the world are today, a light shines in the darkness! In that context, I thought that Fr. William Massie’s sermon at Christmas was an appropriate post on this blog. Fr. William is Catholic Chaplain at the University of Hull.

Read more >>

The truth and freedom

It appears so simple: whoever believes he holds the truth is a threat to freedom. Or, as was stated in Centesimus annus by John Paul II: “…those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends…” (Centesimus Annus, 46).

Read more >>

Catholic Social Teaching in Context – The Conflict in Northern Ireland

Catholic Social Teaching in Context - The Conflict in Northern Ireland

In this post, Maria Power of the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice, University of Oxford, looks at the conflict in Northern Ireland through the lens of Catholic social teaching, drawing on the important research in her new book Catholic Social Teaching and Theologies of Peace: Cardinal Cahal Daly and the Pursuit of the Peaceable Kingdom, available from Routledge.

Read more >>

Utilitarianism’s Epistemic Space

Utilitarianism’s Epistemic Space

I read the previous two posts on this blog with great interest, and I welcome this opportunity to bring a theological perspective to bear on some of those discussions. In this piece, I want to discuss a passing comment from Trevor Stammers’ post, in which he acknowledges the necessity of employing utilitarian reasoning when faced with the ethics of triage. This acknowledges situations whereby an ethical philosophy considered woefully problematic in normal circumstances, might be permitted due to the extreme complexity at play.

Read more >>
© Catholic Social Thought 2020