…the Church offers an elegant, sustained diagnosis for a profound human crisis, but her remedies mostly rely on philosophical and theological foundations that the same crisis has rendered unintelligible. Insofar as people find social teaching unintelligible (or, at best, arbitrary) they simply stop paying attention.
Those less inclined to dismiss the Church’s teaching can make a different mistake, common even in Catholic circles. The Church’s social teaching is perceived to be as a collection of prohibitions and affirmations – policy positions, essentially – cobbled together by various popes over the years, to let Catholics and others know what we are for and what we are against. Such a collection of moral policies can change from one pontificate to the next the way a political party’s platform changes from one convention to the next or one administration to the next.
But the Church is not a political convention; her social teaching is not a party platform. When Catholics treat the social magisterium in this way, they only reinforce the notion that doctrine is at best a species of moralizing, at worst an act of power and manipulation, rather than what it is: an account of reality…
Read the whole post at THE CATHOLIC THING.