Catholic Ethics and Social Justice: Natural Law and Beyond

Author: José Casanova

January 1, 1992

In "Catholic Ethics and Social Justice: Natural Law and Beyond", José Casanova analyzes the pastoral letter of the United States Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice for All. Casanova notes that the bishops move away from trying to develop a third path of social development between capitalism and socialism, instead supporting whatever action better preserves human dignity. In addition, Casanova also supports the bishops' assertion that while there may be different paths to preserving human dignity, the need to preserve human dignity must be the ultimate goal of policy. While some progressive Catholics criticized the letter for being light on actual policy recommendations, Casanova supports the choice of the bishops, saying that their willingness to enter the public sphere and to encourage others to do so was a more important and beneficial measure than recommending policies. This article was published in the Winter 1992 issue of the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society.

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