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1. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Christopher J. Beiting

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part i—symposium 1: commentary on the dobbs abortion case

2. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Thomas F. X. Varacalli

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3. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Steven J. Brust

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While the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson is a cause for rejoicing, it is at the same time a cause for frustration, as it is maddeningly incomplete. This article examines a central problem with the Court’s decision in Dobbs: its studied refusal to take up the question of the personhood of a fetus, and thus its entitlement to rights and protections under law. While the Court in Dobbs sensibly demolished the notion that there is some kind of natural right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution, and thus sent the matter back to the states, the problem of abortion in America still remains. This article presents a number of the problems that the Dobbs decision brings in its wake, and indicates that pro-lifers will still have a great deal of work to do to address them.
4. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Joseph S. Devaney

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Another problematic aspect of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson has to do with the legal principle of substantive due process, deriving from the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. This article provided an in-depth examination of the principle of due process, and demonstrates how the Court’s decision in Dobbs winds up restricting that principle, and thus may not provide the strongest legal ground on which to restrict abortion. Instead, the article concluded that interpreting the due process clause according to its original public meaning would resolve a number of the problems associated with the substantive due process doctrine, affecting other matters beyond that of abortion.
5. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Jerome C. Foss

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While the Dobbs decision was a welcome one for many, it was not so for others, dealing as it does with abortion, one of the most contentious issues of an increasingly-divided America. This article considers the Dobbs decision in the light of other divisive legal decisions in this nation’s history. From a legal perspective, the Dobbs decision has some great benefits: it now forces those who wish to defend or expand abortion in this country to have to do so via the legal process (which will be harder for them to do), and should also strengthen respect for the rule of law and the Constitution in our country overall. All of this is contingent on people choosing to maintain civility while moving forward in a post-Dobbs America, of course, which is by no means guaranteed.
6. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Thomas F. X. Varacalli

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The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson is a victory not just for the pro-life movement in particular, but also for sound jurisprudence in general. But how long will this victory last? This article concludes that it will likely be for some time, but also acknowledges a few ways by which Dobbs may be challenged, particularly state politics, public opinion, a biased media, and skewed polling. It acknowledges that while most Americans favor restrictions on abortion, most do not favor its elimination altogether, concluding that the pro-life movement must now work towards what is truly necessary: a cultural renewal in this nation that favors a culture of life.

part ii—symposium 2: national conservatism: catholic perspectives

7. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Casey J. Wheatland

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8. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Thomas F. X. Varacalli

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National conservatism provides an opportunity to realign the conservative movement in useful ways, namely by rejecting neoconservatism in favor of something more genuinely conservative. Catholics should applaud this. However, it must be recognized that national conservativism has its own goals and priorities distinct from Catholic social thought. Several pitfalls may impede the success of national conservatism. Most importantly, national conservatism might ultimately undervalue the importance of natural law and social conservatism.
9. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Bruce P. Frohnen

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Yoram Hazony’s recent book, Conservatism: A Rediscovery, is the closest one gets to a political theory of national conservatism. Hazony recognizes many of the same political goods that traditional conservatives and Catholic thinkers do. However, Hazony’s particular understanding of nationalism undermines these goods by advocating for a centralized state at the expense of healthy regionalism. Hazony overlooks the contribution made by the Catholic Church to restraining modern executive power.
10. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Casey J. Wheatland

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Opposing conservative camps often claim the American Founding as their own. This leads to confusion amongst conservatives: What exactly does the American Founding mean for today’s politics? This article examines this question by focusing on the policy consensus of the Founders on the issues of foreign policy, trade, and immigration, three issues that currently divide the conservative movement. National conservatives are far closer than their opponents to early American policy on these issues.

part iii—articles

11. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Damian Bębnowski

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The aim of the paper is to identify the economic component of Pope Benedict XVI’s Africae Munus exhortation of 2011, and then to relate his reflection to selected elements of contemporary economic thought. This will be done through a critical analysis of the text combined with a discussion of its diagnosis of the most important economic challenges for Africa and proposals for action in this field. The Pope, listening to the voice of the Second African Synod of 2009, treats the continent in a subjective manner, focusing on the tasks of the Church and local authorities and communities. In doing so, he appeals to the international community to respect the sovereignty of the continent and its specificity, and to beware of ideological pressures. The economic problems addressed in the document are shown from an integral perspective, having its source in Catholic social teaching.
12. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Ezekiel Loseke

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Catholic social teaching prescribes decentralized politics and protections for workers, once traditionally provided by associations such as medieval workers’ guilds. The animating principle behind this idea is subsidiarity. This article considers the political actions of Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States (1837–1841), which resulted in the creation of the two-party system now used in America. Van Buren was not Catholic, and his actions were motivated by a desire to prevent the rise of oligarchy in American. Nevertheless, by providing a careful analysis of the term “subsidiarity” and the actions of Van Buren, the author concludes Van Buren’s political actions were a very good illustration Catholic social teaching in action, and, by extension, how deeply (and unwittingly!) the United States has been influenced by Catholic precepts.
13. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Brett G. Roberts

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There is much bad feeling, both real and cultivated, circulating these days between peoples of European decent, and peoples of Native American (both North and South America) descent, especially with regard to recent discoveries of historical events which occurred at schools run by American and Canadian authorities, as well as by the Catholic Church. Such scandals have hampered ongoing reconciliation efforts, and led to accusations of the existence of a concerted program of abuse and subjugation on the part of the Catholic Church. This article explores the issue, by way of a careful examination of the history of natural law thinking, as well as the formal statements of the popes regarding the actions of Europeans in the New World. While not glossing over historical misdeeds, it concluded that papal statements, articulated in the natural law tradition, were consistent in their condemnation of slavery and misuse of native peoples. They were also, sadly, ignored. The author concludes that a better understanding of natural law ideas is needed, both to understand the past, as well as to provide a method of reconciliation and moving forward, for the future.
14. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Brent Withers

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As scholars and academics, members of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists are not immune to the problem of sometimes overlooking our Catholic focus in our analyses of the social events and problems of the day. This article, whose author has a background in psychology and mental health care services, seeks to challenge us on that point. Without denigrating the incredible contributions natural science has made to human life, particular the field of health care, the article reminds us that many human problems stem from supernatural causes, such as sin, and require divine, rather than human solutions. The article gore on to present some speculations about how things will be during two periods of future history—the time of the antichrist and the era of peace—and concludes by reminding us of some of the subtle but significant things that have happened in the field of faith-based healing of late.
15. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Daniel Zoumaya

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Pope Benedict XVI’s Deus caritas est rightly receives much attention for the beautiful discussion of the nature of love in the encyclical’s first part. The second part of the encyclical, however, does not receive the attention it deserves. There Benedict describes the proper role of the Church in bringing about justice, and moreover, teaches that not only a commitment to justice is necessary for the securing of the common good, but also social charity which perfects and surpasses justice. Pope Benedict describes the important role of politics in advancing the common good while also emphasizing the necessity of charity for politics to perform its function well, and ultimately, for a good which transcends the demands of justice to be attained.

part iv—book reviews

16. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Levi A. Russell

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17. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Caleb Henry

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18. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Raymond M. Ruscoe

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19. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
Ronald J. Rychlak

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20. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 28
James R. Kelly

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