AMERICAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING edited by Thomas J. Massaro, SJ and Thomas A. Shannon ($29.95)*

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Whenever a homily about justice and charity is preached, whenever a union leader or politician inspired by papal pronouncements about just wages stands up to help poorly paid workers, whenever a diocesan newspaper publishes an article advocating creative ways to battle injustices of any sort—these are the ways Catholic social teachings are realized in the everyday world.

"Catholic social teaching" is usually applied to approximately a dozen documents from Vatican sources—popes, councils, and synods of bishops. These "social" documents deal primarily with issues of life in modern society, including economic and political realities facing all people.

A more expansive understanding of "Catholic social teaching" would extend the conventional definition of the phrase in three ways: first, to consider how Church leaders and theologians addressed social realities in eras prior to the advent of modern social teaching; second, to include developments on the local level, including statements by individual bishops in their dioceses and regional groupings of bishops such as national episcopal conferences; third, to include various types of "applied Catholic social teaching."

In American Catholic Social Teaching, a CD-ROM and book, Massaro and Shannon focus on the second definition listed above—efforts at the local level—and address the role of the laity and the concrete application of social teachings on the part of the laity.

The documents and resources in American Catholic Social Teaching present the core of the social teaching of the American Catholic Church. Volume I: The Documents, is a CD-ROM containing twenty-three documents of social teaching from bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States written between 1829 and 1999. Volume II: Analysis of the Tradition, is a book containing twenty essays on the same social issues addressed by the bishops' statements in Volume I.

Volume I: The Documents contains the following documents on CD-ROM:

  1. "Pastoral Letter: John Carroll, 28 May 1792,"
  2. "Pastoral Letter: First Provincial Council of Baltimore, 17 October 1829,"
  3. "Pastoral Letter: Second Plenary Council of Baltimore, 21 October 1866,"
  4. "Pastoral Letter: Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, 7 December 1884,"
  5. "Program of Social Reconstruction, National Catholic War Council, 12 February 1919,"
  6. "Present Crisis, Bishops' Conference, 25 April 1933,"
  7. "Statement on Church and Social Order, National Catholic Welfare Conference, 7 February 1940,"
  8. "God's Law: The Measure of Man's Conduct, National Catholic Welfare Conference, 18 November 1951,"
  9. "Discrimination and Christian Conscience, National Catholic Welfare Conference, 14 November 1958,"
  10. "Human Life in Our Day, National Conference of Catholic Bishops,15 November 1968,"
  11. "This Land Is Home to Me, Catholic Bishops of Appalachia, 1975,"
  12. "The Economy: Human Dimensions, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 20 November 1975,"
  13. "Brothers and Sisters to Us, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 14 November 1979,"
  14. "The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1983,"
  15. "'What We Have Seen and Heard,' U.S. Black Catholic Bishops, 1984,"
  16. "Economic Justice for All, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1986,"
  17. "One in Christ Jesus: Toward a Pastoral Response to the Concerns of Women for Church and Society, National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee, 1992,"
  18. "Putting Children and Families First, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1992,"
  19. "Moral Principles and Policy Priorities on Welfare Reform, United States Catholic Conference, 19 March 1995,"
  20. "A Decade After Economic Justice for All: Continuing Principles, Changing Context, New Challenges, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1996,"
  21. "An Economy of Paradoxes, Labor Day Statement by Bishop William Skylsatad, 1996,"
  22. "Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, USCC Task Force on Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic Education, 1998,"
  23. "Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium, United States Catholic Conference Administrative Board, 1999."

      Volume II: Analysis of the Tradition contains the following discussions:

      1. "The Church—The Strong Safeguard of the Republic," by Archbishop William H. O'Connell;
      2. "Is Catholic Education a Waste of Time and Money?" by Bishop John G. Gunn;
      3. "Catholicism and Americanism," by Bishop John Ireland;
      4. "The Needy Family and Institutions," by Richard H. Tierney, S.J.;
      5. "The Eight-Hour Day," by Joseph Husslein, S.J.;
      6. "A Living Wage," by John A. Ryan;
      7. "What Is Social Justice?" by George Higgins;
      8. "Catholic Union Theory," by George Higgins;
      9. "This Matter of Religious Freedom," by John Courtney Murray, S.J.;
      10. "The Encyclicals and Social Action: Is John A. Ryan Typical?" by Francis L. Broderick;
      11. "Episcopal Teaching Authority on Matters of War and Economics," by James Heft;
      12. "Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker," by The Catholic Worker;
      13. "Lay Movements in the United States Before Vatican II," by Gary MacEoin;
      14. "Feminism and Sharing the Faith: A Catholic Dilemma," by Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J.;
      15. "Under the Cross and the Flag: Reflections on Discipleship and Citizenship in America," by John A. Coleman, S.J.;
      16. "The Public Life and Witness of the Church," by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin;
      17. "'Economic Justice for All': Ten Years Later," by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland;
      18. "Racism: A Tarnished Reflection of Ourselves," by Bishop James Griffin;
      19. "Ten Building Blocks of Catholic Social Teaching," by William J. Byron, S.J.;
      20. "The Crisis of American Democracy: A Catholic Perspective," by Kenneth R. Himes, OFM

      System requirements:
      WINDOWS 95/98/NT

    1. i486 or Pentium processor-based personal computer

    2. Microsoft Windows 95 or 98 or NT (with Service pack 3 or later)

    3. 8MB of RAM on Windows 95 and Windows 98 (16MB recommended)

    4. This application is designed to be completely self-contained. Nothing will be loaded onto your computer system; everything needed to run the application software is on the CD-ROM. The CD is an “autoload” CD. Insert the CD into your CD reader and Adobe Acrobat Reader will start and display a catalog of images.

      Thomas J. Massaro, S.J., Ph.D., is assistant professor of moral theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the author of Catholic Social Teaching and U.S. Welfare Reform published by The Liturgical Press, as well as numerous other works.

      Thomas A. Shannon, Ph.D., is professor of religion and social ethics in the Department of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of several titles on bioethics and many articles on Catholic theological ethics and bioethics.

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