Catholic social teaching—when it is not distorted or misrepresented—is famously confounding to the pundits and politicos, both left and right. How can the Catholic Church simultaneously advocate against abortion and assisted suicide but for immigration reform and attention to the poor? How can it stand against the abuse of the environment and for the free market, against the death penalty and for the family?
This unique Word on Fire Classics collection aims to bring the both/and of the Church’s social teaching into sharp relief. That teaching comes roaring out of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament, into the writings of the Church Fathers, and down through the Church’s encyclicals and in the writings of the saints. The Catholic Social Teaching Collection encompasses all of these different dimensions of the Church’s history.
But its purpose is not just to reveal the ethical and historical breadth of Catholic social teaching; it is to reveal its metaphysical heart—namely, God. With God out of the picture, it is indeed hard to make sense of the array of opinions the Church holds. But with God at the heart of things, the positions fall into harmony, much like the medallions in a rose window. If God exists, then every individual person is a subject of rights, freedom, and dignity. If God exists, then no one is expendable and everyone is equally worthy of respect.