Saving liberalism from itself

Pope Francis’ third encyclical ‘poses an incremental expansion of the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching which carefully lays bare its logic and gently radicalises some of its implications’, writes Damian Howard SJ. In Fratelli tutti, how does the pope respond to a confused and troubled world which is struggling to articulate a vision for its future, with a gospel-centred narrative which is both practical and ambitious?

Catholic Social Teaching just keeps coming these days. That should be no surprise at a time of such upheaval. Only five years ago, in what seems like a different world, Laudato si’ prophetically placed the ecological crisis centre stage for the Church and the world. The enormous agenda that teaching document mapped out seemed at the time more than enough to be getting on with. Since then a whole new vocabulary has come into being, expressive of a set of new social and political challenges: Brexit, MAGA, Covid-19, BLM, fake news, lockdown, cancel culture, QAnon … Pope Francis is surely right to think that a confused world urgently needs some Catholic common sense, and that is precisely what Fratelli tutti provides... 

Read the rest of Fr Damian Howard's article here