The Roman Catholic Church And The Economic System: A Review Essay

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Journal Of Comparative Economics


This essay focuses on the economic doctrines propounded in a number of papal encyclical letters on the economy and other church documents. I pay particular attention to Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II′s most recent encyclical letter dealing with economic issues. After a brief survey of church doctrine on the economic system and the various desiderata for judging economic systems, the analysis focuses on the Church′s views toward basic institutions of capitalism, its judgment of the system as a whole, its beliefs on the proper role of the government in the economy, and some of its views about certain specific economic policies. J. Comp. Econom. March 1993, 17(1), pp. 129-150. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081.

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