Monday, February 6, 2012

Ross Douthat on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Bishops

Uploaded by  on Jan 11, 2012

[PA: The title of the clip is meant to be Ross Douthat on the Origins of Catholic Neo-Conservatism.  The topic discussed is the response of orthodox (not neo-) Catholic thinkers like Michael Novak, George Weigel, and Richard John Neuhaus to the U.S. Bishops' pastoral letter, Economic Justice for All, published in 1986.  The letter expressed a statist conception of economics and public policy neither called for by Catholic social teaching, in the view of its critics, nor within the competence of the bishops.  Douthat points out that the kind of liberal-statist conception espoused by the bishops was not only in direct opposition to President Reagan's (and Margaret Thatcher's) policies, but also was rejected by governments of all political persuasions, including the European social-democratic parties, in this period.]

December 6, 2011 | This video is an excerpt from the Berkley Center event The Bishops' Letter 'Economic Justice For All': Twenty-Five Years Later. The basis of the event originated from a letter written in November 1986, in the midst of an economic expansion. The Bishops of the United States published a pastoral letter on Catholic Social Teaching and its policy implications. They gave it the title "Economic Justice for All." A quarter century later, the economy is stagnating, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall St. have emerged, and we are in the midst of a prolonged budget crisis. How well do the Bishops' analysis and prescriptions hold up after 25 years? How relevant is Catholic Social Teaching to today's economic and budget crisis? Does the current political deadlock on the budget reflect different views of economic justice?

The Berkley Center and the Governance Studies Program at Brookings convened a roundtable of four experts to address these questions: E.J. Dionne (Brookings Institution and Georgetown), Ross Douthat (New York Times), Christine Firer Hinze (Fordham) and Rev. Robert Sirico (Acton Institute). Center Director Tom Banchoff moderated. In this video, columnist Ross Douthat discusses the Bishops' letter and its influence on Neo-Catholic conservatism.

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