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1. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Meghan J. Clark, Anna Rowlands Introduction
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2. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Meghan J. Clark, Anna Rowlands Fratelli tutti: Reading the Social Magisterium of Pope Francis
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This article explores the teaching of Fratelli tutti as an integrating document of the papacy of Francis. Exploring the title as greeting and imperative, the authors make a case for exploring FT as both a development of the themes of earlier social encyclicals and as an attempt to explore an integral humanism for a new age facing economic, environmental, migratory, and social-conflictual challenges. The article lays out a summary of these main themes of Francis’s social teaching. Nonetheless, the authors conclude, the integral planetary humanism that Francis calls for, and is so needed, is itself a radically incomplete project. A common home is not possible without a recognition of a common kinship, yet without deep reflection on women’s experience, the inclusion of women as full subjects and agents of CST, and greater attention to race, the document cannot fully embody the spirit and logic of its own message of gift, inclusion, and co-belonging.
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3. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Kristin E. Heyer Orcid-ID Walls in the Heart: Social Sin in Fratelli tutti
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In Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis probes structural and ideological threats to people’s social instincts and shared good(s) in contexts of fragmentation and false securities (§ 7). His approach to these pervasive temptations to build a culture of walls “in the heart” and “on the land” employs structural analyses but also elevates ideologies abetting the harms these walls wreak, signaling a development in the use of social sin in line with related emerging theological scholarship. This essay traces and contextualizes Francis’s application of interconnected dimensions of social sin in Fratelli tutti; interrogates its oversight of the social sin of sexism; and suggests that practices of encounter and discernment in the pursuit of social friendship serve as apt antidotes to the harmful dynamics identified.
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4. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Helen Alford Orcid-ID Fraternity in Fratelli tutti: A Return to Gaudium et spes?
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The connection between the use of fraternity, love, and justice in Fratelli tutti and Gaudium et spes is explored.
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5. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Emilce Cuda Orcid-ID A Place at the Table for Better Politics: Political Mobilization, Community Social Discernment, and Valorization of the Bodies
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In chapter 5 (“A Better Kind of Politics”) of Pope Francis’s encyclical Fratelli tutti, the “better” politics is based on community social discernment as an embodied expression of the sensus fidelium. From the point of view of Latin American theology, it is reflected in people and populism; creative work and structural unemployment; party and movements; conflict and social friendship; value and discard. Without a categorization of these words in light of the Gospel, it will not be possible to address the threat posed by the ecological, socio-environmental crisis.
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6. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Amy Daughton Paul Ricoeur and Fratelli tutti: Neighbor, People, Institution
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Unusually, Fratelli tutti and Laudato si’ both cite the work of French thinker Paul Ricoeur. It is unusual because reference to individual scholars can be rare in Catholic social teaching, and because Ricoeur was a philosopher, and not a Catholic. Yet Ricoeur’s work, which spanned nearly seventy years and incorporated both philosophy and engagement with religious resources, focused on meaningful communication in text and action for the work of living together. For an encyclical committed to rethinking and rejuvenating attitudes to each other in public life, across disagreement, Ricoeur’s work provides an ideal conversation partner. His approach involves attending carefully to the ethical entanglement of self and other, mediated by the institution. This attention supports the driving concern and reasoning of Fratelli tutti—to recenter the agency of neighbor, people, and institution for the fragile political work of deliberation, cooperation, and action.
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7. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
María Teresa The Political Anthropology of Fratelli tutti: The Transcendent Nature of People’s Political Projects Grounded in History
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In Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis lays out a vision for political life grounded in encounter with the other and as essential for human being and becoming. In this vision, the political projects of specific groups of people, their historical contexts, and their particular identities are an essential element of political projects for the common good. This essay seeks to understand the political anthropology originally developed by Jorge Bergoglio that undergirds this vision. In Fratelli tutti, Francis puts this anthropology at the service of Catholic social teaching, distinguishing him from his two immediate predecessors. Such a political anthropology supports the transcendent value of the person as extending to the people, and, in turn, as extending to political life as well. As such, this becomes an important space from which we extend ourselves toward others as part of the task of humanization.
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8. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Elżbieta Łazarewicz-Wyrzykowska Invisible Solidarity
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In this article the author uses Pope Francis’s understanding of solidarity expressed in the encyclical Fratelli tutti to interpret the hitherto unacknowledged role of women’s invisible work in the Polish social movement Solidarność (Solidarity). The author then juxtaposes their contribution with the work of volunteers involved in helping the migrants in the humanitarian crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus, considered from the perspective of the exegesis of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Fratelli tutti. A postscript places these events in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
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9. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Ellen Van Stichel Orcid-ID Europe’s “Neonationalism” Read through the Lens of Fratelli tutti: A Call to Move from Fear to Fraternity
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The rise of nationalist and populist tendencies and their exclusivist discourse and consequent polarizing effects challenge the Christian narrative, especially if politicians openly look for support within the Catholic Church and Christian churches, thereby referring to Europe’s Christian heritage and Judeo-Christian roots. This article shows how Fratelli tutti can be read as a response to this attempted exclusivist interpretation of Christian identity. Pope Francis is not unaware of the underlying dynamics that lead people to become exclusivist rather than embrace inclusion, as is shown by his remarkable recognition of the sentiments of fear and resentment. As a response, however, he refuses to interpret Christianity so narrowly that it can be used to legitimize the construction of walls to keep “the other” outside enclosed communities. By taking the Good Samaritan as his focal point, Francis reorients Christianity toward its inherent cosmopolitan roots with a call to move from fear to fraternity.
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10. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Léocadie Lushombo Fratelli tutti: Toward a Community of Fraternity with the Wounded Women
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This article expands on Pope Francis’s vision of a community of fraternity. This community is one in which people support each other, identify with each other’s vulnerability, bear one another’s burdens, and embrace collective salvation. Although Francis takes steps forward in considering violence against women, a proper order to which a community of fraternity must turn requires that one draw much more from local narratives of injustice against women. This task can guide the Church’s orthopraxis on women’s suffering, which should consider how psychological or sociopolitical factors doubly wound women, especially in contexts of war and conflict. The effects of these wounds should inform the idea of imputability and responsibility for action regarding absolute moral laws. The article includes narratives affirming Francis’s call for mercy to be put first in accompanying wounded women, who become the locus theologicus on the suffering Christ.
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11. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Simeiqi He Love, Dark Night, and Peace: The Chinese Catholic Church in Dialogue with Fratelli tutti
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The recent social encyclical Fratelli tutti provides the Chinese Catholic Church with renewed hope in a time of sweeping impasses. This article is inspired by Pope Francis’s passionate summons for the centrality of love, a culture of encounter, and a new social and political order. It presents an utterance of a laywoman rising from the Chinese Church, aspiring to dialogue with the encyclical. By weaving Francis’s vision together with the wisdom of Carmelite saints and my personal knowledge of the Chinese Church, I call upon the Chinese Church to deepen its roots in the soil of love and to journey through the dark night. I urge the Chinese Church to re-encounter atheism and to become a beacon of peace in Chinese society. I conclude the article with an appeal for authentic solidarity from the world Church and all concerned parties of the Chinese Church.
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book reviews
12. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Lorraine Cuddeback-Gedeon Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice: Praxis of US Health Care in a Globalized World; The Cry of the Poor: Liberation Ethics and Justice in Health Care
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13. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Ryan Service Peacebuilding and Catholic Social Teaching
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14. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Barbara E. Wall Introduction
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fiftieth anniversary of justice in the world
15. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Thomas Massaro Justice in the World, Then and Now: How Pope Francis Carries Forward the Agenda of the 1971 Synod of Bishops
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Many of the social concerns treated in the document Justice in the World are also addressed in the social teachings of Pope Francis. This is no coincidence, especially given the background and commitments of Francis—an innovative church leader from the periphery of Latin America who has emerged as a powerful voice for global justice. The seeds of faith-based advocacy for a liberative and just economic development, which were planted by the 1971 Synod of Bishops, continue to be cultivated by Francis in both words and deeds of solidarity with the poor. While Justice in the World and the social teachings of Francis display certain differences in focus, rhetoric, and vocabulary, the common message of these two Catholic voices demanding structural reform of the global economy remains striking. Half a century apart as they are, both serve as influential agents of change for church and world.
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16. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Martin Owhorchukwu Ejiowhor Orcid-ID Pope Francis’s Culture of Encounter as a Paradigm Shift in the Magisterium’s Reception of Justice in the World: Implications for the Church’s Social Mission?
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The statement that “action on behalf of justice” is a “constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel” in the 1971 Synod of Bishops’ Justice in the World (JW) has been widely debated in Catholic social teaching. Popes, beginning with Paul VI, have tactfully, albeit indirectly, responded to it as they reflected on the theme of evangelization. This article traces the history of the magisterium’s reception of JW with special attention to this controversial statement. An analysis of JW in juxtaposition with succeeding papal documents on evangelization reveals that Pope Francis’s culture of encounter introduces a paradigm shift while rehabilitating the original ideas of JW. In conclusion, this article sheds new light on evangelization and the Church’s social mission, wherein both charity and justice are constitutive.
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17. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Clemens Sedmak, Mathias Nebel From Where Do We Speak? Enacting Justice with a Wound of Knowledge
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In this article, the authors articulate the question “From where do we speak?” They explain the status of this question and then discuss the question “From where do the authors of the document Justice in the World speak?” They identify four reference points: a pneumatologic commitment, a perception of injustice, a belief in the Gospel basis of action on behalf of justice, and a recognition of self-involvement. This part of the text has been written by Clemens Sedmak. In the second part, they ask the question: “From where do we speak now?” After a few remarks on the climate crisis and the sexual abuse crisis, they focus on “the wounded sociality” of the present day. They explore the relationship between justice and this wounded sociality, taking the categories of social friendship and fraternity as points of reference (from Pope Francis’s encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti), and enter a conversation with three authors: Michael Sandel, Teresa Godwin Phelps, and Paul Ricoeur. This section has been authored by Mathias Nebel.
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18. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Kathleen Bonnette Orcid-ID “Habits of the Flesh” and the Call to Conversion: How Augustinian Ecology Can Illuminate Justice in the World
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In this essay, the author “scrutiniz[es] the ‘signs of the times’ and seek[s] to detect the meaning of emerging history” to explore the call to conversion issued by the 1971 Synod of Bishops in Justice in the World (JW). In that document, they condemn oppressive systems of domination that hinder authentic human development and urge people toward conversion of the Spirit, which “frees [them] from personal sin and from its consequences in social life.” To determine what it is that people are to convert from, this essay builds on an evolutionary framework—developed through Augustine’s ecology and contemporary scientific theory—and explores how this framework can help limit the pursuit of domination in favor of promoting a more integrated and just world. Doing so contributes to the dialogue concerning how Christians can “work out their salvation by deeds of justice,” in light of the prescient framework delivered in JW.
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19. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Gabriel Tumba Hassan The Burden of Antidevelopment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Toward an Integral Human Development
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Despite the universal similarities of antidevelopment problems, the problems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are unique, intense, and multifaceted. They oscillate from incompetent and corrupt government plagued with violent conflict, to the lack of provision for social needs, to ethno-religious bigotry, and result in the lack of conditions and expanded opportunities for people to pursue their well-being. Though these problems have links to the colonial era, I argue, using qualitative and historical approach methods, that the bulk of them are with postcolonial and contemporary state actors; here the search for solutions must begin. I proposed a target-approach strategy that blends Amartya Sen’s capability approach and Catholic social teaching to facilitate an integral human development in SSA.
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20. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Tebaldo Vinciguerra Contributive Justice and Ecology: A Contribution after the Encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti
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This paper reflects the viewpoint of a member of the ecology and creation desk of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Contributive justice is proposed as a beacon that should guide all actions that aim to address the injustices in the world—chiefly, the challenges related to natural resources and the care for the environment. This care requires an enabling context: being cautious with the meritocratic narrative; implementing good governance; avoiding a paternalist stance according to which one relies totally on the state’s action and, instead, going beyond what is a strictly legal requirement and even beyond reciprocity for the sake of solidarity and for protecting the commons. In conclusion, genuine gratuitousness—in this case, as applied to water management—is presented as a key contribution for society. The text is rooted in the recent magisterium and in the 50-year-old synodal document Justice in the World.
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