Publication of "Economic Justice for All"
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"Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy" (1986) called for society to guarantee all citizens a sufficient standard of living. The United States Conference of Catholic bishops believed that the commandment to "love thy neighbor" applied to caring for the poor in a broader social context. "The needs of the poor take priority over the desires of the rich; the rights of workers over the maximization of profits," the bishops wrote. In protecting the rights of the workers, the bishops supported the right for workers to form unions, engage in collective bargaining, and to go on strike when needed.

When the letter was published, conservatives were outraged, similar to the response of "The Challenge of Peace" (1983). The letter seemed to challenge the laissez-faire capitalism of the Reagan administration. Nonetheless, the letter connected moral teachings to public policy in keeping with the Catholic Church’s social justice tradition.
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Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
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Economic Justice for All, first page- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Gathering of Catholic Bishops- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-hec-35576

USCCB building- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Farragutful (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Glazier, Michael, and Thomas Shelley, 1997. The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press..
Web Source(s)
Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 1986 United States Catholic Bishops
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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