in Catholic Higher Education
n insistence on spreading the Church’s socialdoctrine among all Catholics, especially by educational programs or the laity, runs throughoutthe modern papal Magisterium, beginning with Leo XIII’s exhortations to the laity o the late 19
cen-tury. At that time, it was indeed somewhat unusualor a pope to appeal directly to the people and to ask them to acquire the intellectual and moral trainingrequired to conront successully the ever-growingchallenges o the modern world. Yet by the time wereach Pius XI and Pius XII, it is taken or grantedthat the main audience or papal teachings on eco-nomics and politics must be Christ’s lay aithul, whoare striving to impress the divine law upon and apply the natural law to the changing situations o theirtemporal lie. Tus, while even the orward-looking Leo XIII ad-dressed his celebrated 1891 encyclical
on labor and capital (or the rights and duties o workers and employers) to the bishops o the world,Pius XI, commemorating the 40
anniversary o thesame with his 1931 encyclical
onthe reconstruction o the social order, added to hisaddressees “likewise all the aithul o the Catholic world.” Tis is only to be expected, or while theclergy have as their primary task the internal gov-ernance and strengthening o the Church, believersliving in the world have the corresponding task o puriying and sanctiying secular realities with a view to leading souls to salvation in Christ.I there is a denite Catholic doctrine on social, po-litical, and economic lie – and o course there is just
Catholic Social Teaching at the Catholic University
by Peter A. Kwasniewski, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2010 The Center for the Advancementof Catholic Higher Education9415 West Street, Manassas, Virginia 20110703/367-0333 ext. 105www.CatholicHigherEd.org
such a thing: a rich and detailed
o teachingrooted in Scripture and radition, rened by cen-turies o experience – then it only stands to reasonthat educating the Catholic aithul in this body o doctrine is o paramount importance, a basic andnecessary component o their ongoing catecheticaland theological training.Along these lines, Blessed John XXIII’s great encyc-lical
Pacem in Terris
o 1961 stated (and these wordsare representative o many other papal documentsthat might be cited):
We must rearm most strongly that thisCatholic social doctrine is an integralpart o the Christian conception o lie.It is thereore Our urgent desire thatthis doctrine be studied more and more.First o all it should be taught as part o the daily curriculum in Catholic schoolso every kind…Our beloved sons, thelaity, can do much to help this diusiono Catholic social doctrine by studying itthemselves and putting it into practice,and by zealously striving to make othersunderstand it…It is vitally important,thereore, that Our sons learn to un-derstand this doctrine. Tey must beeducated to it.
Te natural conclusion is that Catholic colleges anduniversities (or chaplaincies connected with non-Catholic ones) must make room in their curricula ormandatory instruction and optional specialized work in this crucial area o the Magisterium.