Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tony Magliano

6/19/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Catholic social teaching is unfortunately the church's best kept secret.

Pope Benedict signs a bound copy of his encyclical.

Pope Benedict signs a bound copy of his encyclical.


By Tony Magliano

Catholic Online (

6/19/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Christ, social justice, peace, economic disparity, economic injustice, Catholic social teaching, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, love in truth

But because it directly addresses the world's most pressing social justice and peace issues, Catholic social teaching instead needs to come out of hiding and be discovered, read, preached, proclaimed and lived in our parishes, schools, universities, media, homes and society.

Five years ago, a very valuable contribution to Catholic social teaching was given to the church and world by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

His encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate ("Charity in Truth") was given a respectful but short hearing, and then put on the shelf to gather dust.


Let's shake off five years of dust, and really begin to appreciate this gem.

Foundational to all just solutions to the world's ills is unconditional love. And as our retired Holy Father wrote, "Love - caritas - is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth."

Benedict insists that authentic charity or love needs the assistance of truth. "Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way," he wrote.

He taught that the truth contained in the values of Christianity, are "essential for building a good society and for true integral human development."

He emphasized "the truth of Christ's love in society." And added, that "Development, social well being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. .

"Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present."

Pope Emeritus Benedict's insights are right on the mark.

Because the quest for love, a love influenced by truth, is not on the agenda of so many individuals - especially so many individuals who hold political and corporate power - social action is indeed largely serving private interests and the logic of power.

Just consider how income and wealth over the last 30 years have dramatically increased for a tiny percentage of the population, while the working-class' share of the economic pie has stagnated, and various programs to assist the poor have significantly been cut.     

While some claim that the Great Recession is over, that claim is of no consolation to countless human beings who are struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness, unemployment and underemployment. And all of this painful injustice continues while corporate profits are at or near all time highs, and CEO's are racking in astronomical salaries.

A greedy, unjust toxic economic atmosphere is suffocating countless brothers and sisters. Social conscience and responsibility are not in the air. 

Although the atmosphere is foul, as disciples of the Lord we are called to be men and women of hope.

For just as air pollution can be reversed, so too, economic pollution can be cleaned up. As Christians, we have the ultimate remedy: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For as our retired Holy Father wrote: "The Gospel is fundamental for development, because in the Gospel, Christ, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals humanity to itself."

Christ became human to show us what true humanity should reflect: Divine Love and Absolute Truth.

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist.

Invite Tony to speak at your next diocesan or parish gathering.

In his challenging keynote address "Advancing the Kingdom of God in the 21st Century," Tony clearly explains how prayerful reflection upon the ancient teachings of the Gospel and the modern principles of Catholic social teaching can effectively guide a consistent, logical and life-affirming approach to the moral issues - everything from abortion to war - facing humanity in the 21st century.

Tony's enthusiastic, informative and inspiring presentation has been well received by diocesan gatherings from Salt Lake City to Baltimore.

To invite Tony, email him at


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

Come together this Thanksgiving with a beautiful prayer Watch

Image of Each year thousands of families celebrate Thanksgiving, but make the food their priority. This year, make God and all He has given us your priority.


Each year, millions of people across the United States rush to grocery stores and prepare to visit their families in celebration of Thanksgiving. Visiting loved ones and enjoying a specially prepared meal are both wonderful parts of celebrating, but don't forget to ... continue reading

Pope Francis: Jesus is weeping over a WORLD AT WAR

Image of Pope Francis mourns a world at war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made it clear, Jesus is weeping over a world at war. It has become obvious that this is a time of extreme danger for all people around the globe. No population is safe from terror. The threats aren't just from terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al ... continue reading

Oxford to begin study of Catholic relics. Here are 5 macabre relics people venerate from around the world Watch

Image of The skull of St. Thomas Aquinas.


The veneration of relics in the Catholic Church has been one of the most debated practices in the faith. While such veneration is actually common in the human experience -even Communists did it with the body of Lenin, the veneration of relics in the Church is the ... continue reading

Nine bishops, one abbot, dine and dialogue with peace activists Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, decided to skip dinner at the downtown Marriott Waterfront hotel, and walked several blocks to an inner city parish to share a simple meal with about 30 peace ... continue reading

Woman turns her cancer over to Jesus Christ - survives, thrives Watch

Image of Heather King shares her struggles in her new memoir,

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

Heather King never cared much for doctors. Los Angeles, CA (CNA) - It's an attitude she partly inherited from her mother, "who classified ginger ale as a medicine, considered Novocain a snobbish extravagance" and somehow managed to avoid a visit to the doctor's office ... continue reading

Top 5 ways to find joy Watch

Image of Find happiness in spite of the darkness.


It is easy to fall prey to depression and sadness with everything that has been going on in the world these days. The trick to maintaining a positive attitude and living in the joy God has for us is as easy as following five simple steps. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent Watch

Image of What millions of Christians do a day after expressing thanks for what they already have.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent. We Christians have gone out of our minds, arguing about Starbucks cups and greeters who (correctly) say "Happy Holidays" in place of "Merry Christmas." In all the bustle of the season, we have forgotten that Advent ... continue reading

Cardinal Sarah releases new book, 'God or Nothing,' on civilization's fall from grace Watch

Image of Without God, the cardinal said,

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

At the presentation of his new book, Cardinal Robert Sarah said that Western society is rapidly forgetting God, and expressed his desire to help people rediscover him through both prayer and witness. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "I would like to help people ... continue reading

Holy Door in St. Peter's basilica to open for first time in 15 years for Holy Year of Mercy Watch

Image of The rite of the opening of the Holy Door is intended to symbolically illustrate the idea that the Church's faithful are offered an

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Hidden since the Jubilee of 2000, the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica was revealed Tuesday as the brick wall covering it was removed in anticipation of the Holy Year of Mercy launching next month. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the ... continue reading

5 powerful Bible verses you need when fear and terror strike Watch

Image of


Fear is a powerful thing. Fear can completely cripple the body and soul. Since the terrifying Paris terrorist attacks last week the news has been full of death, terrorists, murder and fear. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Those not in power are left wondering ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:15-27
15 'I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
82 Bless the Lord, all the human race: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:34-36
34 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, ... Read More