Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Maguire, Daniel C.

Second Advisor

Kelly, William J.

Third Advisor

Hinze, Christine Firer


As the twenty-first century approaches, a growing consciousness is evident regarding the crucial importance of social justice for the effective ordering and operation of human society. This concern for social justice is being addressed by theistic and atheistic scholarship alike. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church has increasingly entered into the public debate by means of Papal Encyclicals and Episcopal Letters. However, an important, though neglected, source of social justice understanding is the pastoral pronouncements of the U.S. Catholic Bishops prior to Vatican II. This valuable source is in danger of being lost due in part to a lack of awareness on the part of non-Catholics and in part to an under-evaluation on the part of Catholics who tend to be more focused on post-Vatican II documents...



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