A merry dance of Catholic social doctrine, permaculture, distributism, and other odd answers to pressing questions

Key Texts for Social Justice

2008 Sep 20, 7:54 Sat tags:

Daily Quotes on Twitter: @socialteaching

For a daily quote from these documents, follow @socialteaching on Twitter, or use the RSS feed.

Naturally, the quotes have to be edited slightly to fit into 140 characters. :) Ellipses (…) are used only to connect tweets; there simply isn't room to use them to indicate edits. But you can use the citation, and the links on this page, to find each quote in full. The bold acronym before each title is the abbreviation I use on Twitter. For instance, MM is for Mater et Magistra. MM74 means the quote is from Mater et Magistra, paragraph 74.

Social encyclicals and other major documents of the Magisterium on the Catholic social doctrine


Pius XI

Pius XII

Pius XII wrote no social encyclical, but gave many speeches on social teaching, perhaps the most noted being on on Pentecost, June 1, 1941, for the fiftieth anniversary of Rerum Novarum. The Vatican site lists it here, but currently only has translations in Italian, Portugese, and Spanish.


Vatican II

Paul VI

John Paul II

(CCC) Catechism of the Catholic Church

Benedict XVI

Major distributist texts available online

The Servile State, by Hilaire Belloc

The Outline of Sanity, by G. K. Chesterton

What's Wrong with the World, by G. K. Chesterton

Guilds, Trade, and Agriculture, by A. J. Penty

Fields, Factories and Workshops, by P. Kropotkin

The Acquisitive Society, by R. H. Tawney (other formats)

Do We Agree? by G. B. Shaw and G. K. Chesterton

Texts by "non-distributist" folks who had similar ideas

Major distributist texts I haven't found yet online

Economics for Helen, by H. Belloc

Restoration of Property, by H. Belloc

Liberty and Property, by H. E. Humphries

Primer of Social Science, by H. Parkinson

The Church and the Land, by Vincent McNabb, O.P.

The Change, by G. C. Heseltine

Most of the above distributist titles were on the recommended reading list in G.K.'s Weekly, the distributist paper which Chesterton edited.

« Chesterton: A real vote or a lord's jest?
  • Update

    Penny Justice is not currently active, but you can still browse the back issues. For a daily quote from the social documents, follow @socialteaching on Twitter, or use the RSS feed. You may also enjoy reading the Distributist Review.

  • Ezine

    Penny Justice is a free bimonthly ezine featuring thoughts, news, resources, and concrete ideas on how to live justice right now, one penny and one moment at a time.

  • Pennies

    Life is made of pennies. We think in terms of dollars: thousands of dollars, millions, billions, trillions. You might not even pick a penny off the ground. But the most gigantic corporation would wither and die without pennies. And for many a man, woman, and child, a few hundred pennies is the work of a day.

    We don't control great fortunes, but we do control our pennies. We don't control our years, but we do control this moment. Billionare or beggar, we live one instant at a time.