Sunday, November 26, 2006

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

At the news conference for the presentation of the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church," Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino stated:
I am particularly pleased to make public today the long-awaited document "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church". This document has been prepared - at the request of the Holy Father, to whom it is dedicated - by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which is fully responsible for its content. It is now made available to all - Catholics, other Christians, people of good will - who seek sure signs of truth in order to better promote the social good of persons and societies. This work began five years ago under the presidency of my venerated predecessor Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. An unavoidable delay in the work was caused by the sickness and death of Cardinal Van Thuan and by the subsequent change in presidency of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The drafting of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church was not a simple undertaking. The most complex problems that had to be dealt with were essentially those determined by: a) the fact that this amounted to compiling a text that had no precedent in the Church's history; b) the attempt to bring into focus certain complex epistemological questions inherent in the nature of the Church’s social doctrine; c) the need to give a unified and universal dimension to the document notwithstanding the countless facets and unlimited variety of social realities in the world and of the world; and d) the desire to offer a teaching that loses nothing of its lustre over time, in an historical period marked by very rapid and radical social, economic and political changes.

The rest of the Cardinal’s comments can be read here.

The on-line version of the Compendium is available here. Of course, this Christmas, you can always give the book, or ask someone to give it to you. If you want to order a copy for yourself or someone else, you can find more information here.