Philosophy, Ethics & Theology

Capitalism & Catholic Social Teaching

This short article is a general overview of the Catholic social teaching and the Catholic Church. Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed from the Catholic Church. Matters of focus include poverty and wealth, equality or economics, social organisations and the state. As you can see these topics are subject to wide debate from all sides and biases, unique in criticisms of all modern social and political ideologies. Such ranging from the most obvious to the more not so educated: socialism, feminism, fascism, atheism, and of particular note capitalism. Capitalism states production processes should be owned by private institutions and not the state, see my video post on Dr Thomas Woods speaking on the church and the market, see video one Everything You Love You Owe To Capitalism Source: (Rockwell, 2008).

When I say criticisms of ideologies that have been condemned by several popes. Originating from Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical letter Rerum Novarum, in discussing capital and labour mutuality’s under government and citizens. Advocating  economic distribution though dissing Capitalism and Socialism. Influencers on this letter were the Sacred Scripture and Catholic thinkers such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine.

“Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”

Source: (St Augustine, 354-430 AD).

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, both spoke often on the church foundations and how it should contribute in developing rational argument in reason and rest on solidarity. Concerns present in the Old Testament and elements of law, in that justice and liberty should be acknowledged as distinct from one another to prevail and prosper. Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament teaches social justice, see this Wikipedia article on Catholic Social Teaching.


The Mises Institute <>.

St. Augustine. 1887 (354-430 AD). City of God and Christian Doctrine. Retrieved [11/03/2016] from <>.

Featured image suppled from Unsplash.

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