chapter  Chapter 5
25 Pages

Justice in the World

WithMichael M. Winter

Justice in the papal encyclicals is developed largely from rational considerations, an ethical system with embellishments from the New Testament. The choice of the word 'liberation' was fortunate since it does justice to the Greek and Hebrew biblical terms which have been debased by their earlier translation as ‘salvation’. In 1931 Pius XI developed the ideas of social justice in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno. As a programme of ideals in the realm of social justice, the document could hardly be bettered. The French Revolution, which gave the Church a severe shock, was repudiated by the senior clergy throughout the world, as were the reforms of the nineteenth century. In spite of that inauspicious background, there have been some truly edifying efforts by the Catholic Church to secure justice among the most exploited people of the world, thanks to the influence of Liberation theology in the main.