IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Law


  • Woods Thomas E.

    (State University of New York)


Since Pope Leo XIII wrote Rerum Novarum (1891), the Catholic Church, while opposing socialism, has adopted a skeptical and suspicious posture with regard to the free market. The popes have supported labor unions, the idea of a "just wage," and a variety of other interventions. Yet the economic recommendations of the Church have consistently proven counterproductive, and have apparently been devised without recourse to economic law. Papal economic teaching is filled with unstated assumptions (for example, that using the state to coerce employers into raising wages or increasing benefits) which, if false, throw into question the moral analysis based on them.Depuis que le Pape Léon XIII a écrit Rerum Novarum (1891) léglise catholique, bien quopposée au socialisme, a adopté une attitude sceptique et suspicieuse à légard du libre marché. Les papes successifs ont soutenu les syndicats, lidée de « juste salaire », et une variété dautres interventions. Jusquà présent les recommandations économiques de lEglise ont constamment été contreproductives et ont été promulguées sans égard vis-à-vis des lois économiques. Lenseignement économique des Papes est rempli dhypothèses non formulées (comme celle dutiliser lEtat pour forcer les employeurs à augmenter les salaires ou les bénéfices) qui, si elles sont fausses, mettent en question lanalyse morale quelles sous-tendent.

Suggested Citation

  • Woods Thomas E., 2003. "Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Law," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-25, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:2:n:11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Roover, Raymond, 1958. "The Concept of the Just Price: Theory and Economic Policy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(04), pages 418-434, December.
    2. Murray N. Rothbard, 1995. "Economic Thought Before Adam Smith," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 377.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:2:n:11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.