The Bishops' Letter "Economic Justice For All": Twenty-Five Years Later

In November 1986, in the midst of an economic expansion, the bishops of the United States published a pastoral letter on Catholic social teaching and its policy implications. They gave it the title “Economic Justice for All.” A quarter century later, the economy is stagnating, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall St. have emerged, and we are in the midst of a prolonged budget crisis.
  • How well do the bishops' analysis and prescriptions hold up after 25 years?
  • How relevant is Catholic social teaching to today's economic and budget crisis?
  • Does the current political deadlock on the budget reflect different views of economic justice? 

The Berkley Center and the Governance Studies Program at Brookings convened a roundtable of four experts to address these questions: E.J. Dionne (Brookings Institution and Georgetown), Ross Douthat (New York Times), Christine Firer Hinze (Fordham), and Rev. Robert Sirico (Acton Institute). Center Director Tom Banchoff moderated. 

This event was made possible through the generosity of the Ford Foundation and co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Woodstock Theological Center.

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