Compendium of Church's Social Doctrine Is Due Out

Written by Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 10, 2004 ( The Holy See this month plans to publish its long-awaited “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.”

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, announced that the compendium will be published Oct. 25.

The document, written by the pontifical council and introduced by a letter of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, will present in a systematic manner the principles of the Church’s social doctrine in diverse areas of public life.

The announcement of the forthcoming publication, which will take place with the opening of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, was made by Cardinal Martino on Friday, during the Social Week of Italian Catholics held in Bologna.

The cardinal explained that the compendium is “divided in three parts, which address the principles, content and pastoral perspectives” of Church teaching, in order to address appropriately “the social questions of our time.”

It marks the first time the Church is publishing a compendium of these characteristics on social doctrine.

“I have no doubt that the compendium will be a useful instrument for the moral and pastoral discernment of the complex events that characterize our days,” Cardinal Martino said during a lecture in Bologna.

He called it “a guide to inspire — at the individual and collective level — conduct and options that enable one to look to the future with confidence and hope.”

The document address critical current issues, such as globalization, the international financial system, the role of the international community in the era of global economy, the relation between the Church and religious communities, and the struggle against terrorism.

The compendium was initiated by Cardinal Martino’s predecessor, Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuán, who died in September 2002.

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