Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Duffy, Michael

Second Advisor

Carey, Patrick

Third Advisor

Hughson, Thomas


A consistent principle in Catholic thought from early times to the present is that the goods of creation are to be used for meeting the needs of all men and women. St. Ambrose wrote in the fourth century: "You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich."' The ethical distribution of wealth and resources has been a major topic addressed in the modem era of official Catholic social teaching. This period is generally acknowledged to have begun with Pope Leo XIIl's encyclical Rerum Novarum issued in 1891 and continues to the present. In papal encyclicals and other documents the church has offered its remedy or solution to the problems of what was termed the 'social' or 'worker' question...



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