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US bishops call for ‘new social contract’ based on Pope’s latest encyclical

August 25, 2010

In their annual Labor Day statement, issued on August 24, the bishops of the United States said that the time is ripe for a new social contract, with Pope Benedict’s 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate providing needed guidance.

Much as Pope Leo XIII brought the light of the Gospel to bear upon the new economic realities of his day, Pope Benedict has done the same in our time, writes Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Citing passages from the encyclical, Bishop Murphy reflected upon work, workers, and the economy; the market, the state, and civil society; and wage fairness and a new social contract. “While it is not the role of the Church to propose a concrete economic blueprint for the future,” he writes, “the words of Pope Benedict should remind us that a key, perhaps the key, to overcoming the current economic situation is to unleash the creative forces of men and women.”


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  • Posted by: Samsung - Aug. 25, 2010 3:17 PM ET USA

    Everytime I hear bishops say "social contract" all I can do is cringe because of their push for socialized healthcare and other government-run charity. I don't want to be this cynical, but I can't help myself. Capitalism, letting people decide what to do with their own money, is the best way to "unleash the creative forces of men and women"

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 25, 2010 10:19 AM ET USA

    The bishops need to lead by example and put their own house in order first. The social and economic challenges expressed by every pope since Leo XIII have never been implemented by the Church itself.