The Capital Market and Catholic Social Thought

Patrick Nolin


The Church’s doctrine regarding its Catholic Social thought and its continual reflection

on national and international economics has been repeatedly rejected by modern market theories for nearly a century and a half since Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum. The disdaining voices of Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Charles Wright Mills are a few that stand out when examining 20th century economic theorists, on the subject of the Papal office’s written reflections on economics. Many of these theorists declare that the Catholic Church’s teachings have no place in the new economic and technologically advanced nations of the secular Western world. However, can this Western society mutually agree upon an overall conceptualized ideal of a social morality within the marketplace without the reflection from a third party? All people of good will, both of faith or not, can identify the individual moral conditions that seem innate to the human person,1 yet the individual often has difficulty identifying these moral conditions when it concerns elements or practices of a shared universal culture. In a society not based on the foundation of a moral consciousness, “structures of sin” are easily developed without a critical or observant response. 

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