Is Catholic Social Teaching (CST) starting to capture the political imagination? In Thinking Faith, Dr Anna Rowlands explores the increasing interest of UK politicians in the Church's 'best-kept secret', and discusses initiatives that are already underway to bring politicians and advocates of CST into conversation.
It is increasingly acknowledged, indeed by some surprising sources, that CST offers one of the most persuasive and morally interesting responses to the recent financial crisis.
Figures including Labour peer, Lord Glasman, and Jon Cruddas MP, head of Labour’s policy review, have found themselves drawn to the resources of CST on themes as wide ranging as the dignity of labour, the right to a living wage and the vision of a civil economy.
For these politicians, and a growing number of economic figures who speak of their interest in these ideas more privately, CST envisions a world of value, relationship and social creativity beyond the narrow confines of a framework couched primarily in the language of profit, marketisation, choice and endless consumption.
The opportunity to make the case for a Catholic vision of economic life is currently great: many of the alternative narratives have run into moral cul-de-sacs and there is a greater openness to a degree of reflection on the last three or four decades of policy-making, its social impact and the model of the human person at its heart.
Given the power of money to generate well-being or misery, to enable or frustrate the conditions for solidarity, is it not almost self-evident that the monetary system is a public not a private good? Whilst Pope Benedict’s encyclical, Caritas in Veritate spoke directly to the earlier stages of the financial crisis, it did not deal so clearly with these issues as they were manifest in the subsequent sovereign debt crisis.
Too often Catholics have the conversation about economic life and practices without the politicians in the room.
FULL STORY Catholic Social Teaching (Thinking Faith)