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Catholicism’s Developing Social Teaching: Reflections on Rerum Novarum and Centesimus Annus

Catholicism’s Developing Social Teaching: Reflections on Rerum Novarum and Centesimus Annus

Robert A. Sirico

| Acton Institute | 2002

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From its beginnings, the Catholic Church’s moral teaching has always had a social dimension. As the centuries have passed, this teaching has developed as the Church has deepened its knowledge of the truth of the Gospel, while simultaneously taking account of social, political, and economic changes in the world.

In this monograph, Robert A. Sirico examines the development of Catholic social teaching following Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical, Rerum Novarum, and considers the manner in which Catholics in the United States assimilated its teaching. In doing so, he brings to light many little known facts about these developments that should encourage renewed reflection upon this tumultuous period in the Church’s history.