Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching
Publication Date: October 20, 2014
Many claim that Catholic Social Teaching implies the existence of a vast welfare state. In these pages, Anthony Esolen pulls back the curtain on these false philosophers, showing how they've undermined the authentic social teachings of the Church in order to neutralize the biggest threat to their plans for secularization the Catholic Church.
With the voluminous writings of Pope Leo XIII as his guide, Esolen explains that Catholic Social Teaching isn't focused exclusively on serving the poor. Indeed, it offers us a rich treasure of insights about the nature of man, his eternal destiny, the sanctity of marriage, and the important role of the family in building a coherent and harmonious society.
Catholic Social Teaching, explains Pope Leo, offers a unified worldview. What the Church says about the family is inextricable from what She says about the poor; and what She says about the Eucharist informs the essence of Her teachings on education, the arts and even government.
You will step away from these pages with a profound understanding of the root causes of the ills that afflict our society, and, thanks to Pope Leo and Anthony Esolen, well equipped to propose compelling remedies for them.
Only an authentically Catholic culture provides for a stable and virtuous society that allows Christians to do the real work that can unite rich and poor. We must reclaim Catholic Social Teaching if we are to transform our society into the ideal mapped out by Pope Leo: a land of sinners, yes, but one enriched with love of God and neighbor and sustained by the very heart of the Church's social teaching: the most holy Eucharist.
Fr. George Rutler
"The lively mind of Professor Esolen is incapable of cliché, and he is artful in detecting the platitudes which have misled much of our culture's understanding of the social order.
Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. Editor-in-chief, Magnificat
Anthony Esolen s brilliant analysis of liberty, marriage, family, and other key issues of Catholic Social Teaching deserves to be a standard text in moral theology and catechesis.
Robert Royal, Faith and Reason Institute
"Freshness and insight are always evident in Anthony Esolen's writing. It's nothing less than a minor miracle that he's maintained those rare qualities in this illuminating treatment of one of the most poorly understood subjects: Catholic Social Teaching. This is a splendid — an essential — book."
Fr. C.J. McCloskey
"An unapologetic defense of marriage and family by America's best Catholic writer."
I am surprised that no one has reviewed this book yet. Anthony Esolen is a genius whose knowledge spans the length and breadth of literature, classic philosophy, and Catholicism. This book focuses on Pope Leo XIII's encyclicals, and Esolen illustrates the truth of Catholic social teaching by drawing on stories from his own life and the great books. Anyone who wants to see what the path to a restored social order looks like should obtain this book.
The best thing about reading this book is that it allows one's frame of reference to see beyond the paradigm of Republican vs. Democrat. Neither one of them embraces the fullness of Catholic teaching--though Republicans are obviously closer. (That is to say, Republicans are closer to reality than those throwing Pro-Life activists in jail and promoting sins which cry out to God for vengeance.) But, Republicans see things through a Protestant, Capitalistic, and--dare I say--Americanist lens. To point out how far off this vision is, I might quote either Hilaire Belloc or G. K. Chesterton, who refer to Capitalism as evil. I have no doubt that this book will make the reader want to research more of Pope Leo XIII's encyclicals and make him a better citizen for knowing what a true Catholic social order looks like.