Well folks, I’m in day 3 of Acton University. What follows are my notes from a session that took place yesterday, June 17, 2010. The presenter was Rev. Raymond de Souza, Chaplain of the Newman House at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he is also an adjunct professor in the economics department. Prior to attending seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he studied economics at Queen’s, in Manila, Philippines, and at the University of Cambridge. He serves as editor of Acton’s Religion and Liberty and is a regular columnist for Canada’s National Post.
CST 101 Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching, de Souza
Catholic social teaching is broader than economics, but he’s an economist and so will focus on that aspect.
Catholic teaching on the social order. Not (just) the state. Think of all the social relations you’re part of. Many of these have nothing to do with the state.
What we’re really focusing on is reflections on the modern state—from the late 19th century, what does the church have to say about the ordering of society: culture, politics, economics. Dominated a lot by the state, so lots of talk about the states.
Social teaching for the church is a branch of theology. Means it ought to begin with divine revelation.
We can get right into the realm of philosophy, moral philosophy—can seem as if we are leaving God out of it. But it’s a branch of theology: moral theology (to do with human action).
Practical problem: you go to any Catholic University and take degree in moral philosophy: you do all kinds of stuff (he lists), but not much on social doctrine. That’s why the mission of Acton! Continue reading →