MO720CE The Social Teaching of the Catholic Church





Catholic Social Teaching (CST) may well be the Church’s “best kept secret.” CST is rich in political insight. Yet, Catholics in recent years have had considerable difficulty reconciling their faith, including the explicit teachings of CST, with the political choices offered in American politics. This course introduces Catholic Social Teaching, its place within Catholic doctrine, and its response to contemporary challenges of society, politics, and economy. It also considers Catholic Social Teaching’s relation to contemporary American ideologies. The course is designed as a core intellectual component of deacon formation. However, any deacon candidate, deacon, or colleague in ministry may find this course useful for ongoing formation in Catholic teaching.

Course Goals:

  • To gain greater insight into the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church
  • To be able to contextualize Catholic Social Teaching (CST)in the evangelical mission of the Church
  • To develop the skills to reconsider contemporary social issues in light of CST
  • To deepen the capacity to present the CST in a manner that is inviting, challenging, and true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • To more adequately integrate CST into responsible missionary discipleship and spirituality

Course Syllabus

Pontifical College Josephinum Diaconate Institute

Catholic Social Teaching

Syllabus

Course Goals:

  • To gain greater insight into the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church
  • To be able to contextualize Catholic Social Teaching (CST)in the evangelical mission of the Church
  • To develop the skills to reconsider contemporary social issues in light of CST
  • To deepen the capacity to present the CST in a manner that is inviting, challenging, and true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • To more adequately integrate CST into responsible missionary discipleship and spirituality

Class Schedule: 

Class Week Content Assignment for week
Module 1

1/16/18

Conference Call

Lecture

●      Overview of Class

●      Assignments / Grading

●      The context for CST in God’s mission of love (Evangelii Gaudium)

  1. Read/viewing:
    1. Overview Quiz
    2. Evangelii Gaudium Chapter 1
    3. Video: USCCB, In the Footstep of Jesus
Module 2

1/23/18

●      Catholic Social Tradition - Principles/Themes

●      Charity (direct service) compared to Justice

●      PowerPoint Lecture

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 1
    2. Evangelii Gaudium  Chapters 2 and 4
    3. Video:  Life and Dignity https://youtu.be/ufIywz_bnAs
    4. Video:  Call to Family, Community https://youtu.be/9mGxEAtVGcU
  2. Assignment
    1. Journal Assignment
Module 3

1/30/18

●      Catholic Social Action -Methodology

●      CST and Diaconal Identity

●      PowerPoint Lecture

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 2 and 11
    2. Compendium of CST (familiarize/browse)
  2. Assignment
    1. Forum Assignment
Module 4

2/6/18

 

●      Overview of Scriptural Foundations for CST

●      PowerPoint Lecture

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Scriptural Foundation Reader
  2. Assignment
    1. Journal Assignment

 

 

Module 5

2/13/18

Conference Call

●      Beginnings of Modern CST - Rerum Novarum

 

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 3
    2. Video:  Dignity of Work https://youtu.be/G2G8jGOva7Y
Module 6

2/20/18

●      Personalism and Human Rights - Pacem et Terris           
  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 4
    2. Video:  Rights and Responsibilities https://youtu.be/nOXVx3sMeHU
  2. Assignment
    1. Written Assignment
Module 7

2/27/18

●      The Church in the World - Vatican II

●      PowerPoint

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 5
  2. Assignment
    1. Written Assignment
Module 8

3/6/18

●      Proclaiming Liberty - Justice in the World
  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 6
    2. Movie:  Last Journey of Óscar Romero
  2. Assignment
    1. Forum Assignment
Module 9

3/13/18

Conference Call

●      Human Work and Migration - On Human Work

●      Conference Call:  Presentation of Final Project Concepts

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 7
    2. USCCB:  Strangers No Longer Together on the Journey of Hope
    3. Movie:  The Other Side of Immigration
    4. OPTIONAL:  USCCB:  Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity
  2. Assignment
    1. Forum Assignment
Module 10

3/20/18

 

●      Solidarity and Justice - On Social Concern

●      Capital Punishment and Consistent Ethic of Life

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 8
    2. Video: Solidarity https://youtu.be/A2DjhDMyoLg
    3. Video: Option for the Poor https://youtu.be/cWuoECvwjUA
    4. Video:  Field Afar Video (Bob McCahill/Bangladesh)
  2. Assignment
    1. Journal Assignment

 

 

Module 11

4/10/18

●      Laudato Si

●      Conference Call

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Chapter 10
    2. Laudato Si
    3. Video:  The Story of Stuff https://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-stuff
    4. Video:  Care of Creation https://youtu.be/TCcl7DoGRW0
  2. Assignment
    1. Forum Assignment
Module 12

4/17/18

 

●      Creating a Culture of Peace

●      Conclusion and Final Project

●      Final Project Papers Due

  1. Reading/viewing
    1. Brady Brady Chapter 9 and Conclusion
    2. Pope Francis, Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace
  2. Assignment
    1. Final Projects

 

 

Grading

  • 25% Journal Reflections
  • 25% Forum Participation
  • 25 Written Assignments
  • 25% Final Project

 

Written assignment:

Pick a contemporary CST issue relevant to your diocese or community and apply the Pastoral Circle methodology discussed in class to write a 5 page reflection that includes a proposed pastoral response.  Identify which of the key themes of CST apply to the issue and note references to particular CST documents.

 

Required Texts: 

  1. Essential Catholic Social Thought, Bernard V. Brady, 2nd Ed. ORBIS 2017
  2. Evangelii Gaudium (available online)
  3. Laudato Si (available online)
  4. USCCB, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (available online)

 

Required Videos:

  • USCCB CST 101 videos (online)
  • Footsteps of Jesus (provided)
  • Field Afar: Bangladesh (provided)
  • Last Journey of Óscar Romero *
  • The Other Side of Immigration **

* and ** Students are to rent or purchase these videos.

* Last Journey is available on Amazon and iTunes

** The Other Side is available on Netflix, Amazon and iTunes

 

 

 

Suggested Additional Resources:

  1. David J. O'Brien, Thomas A. Shannon, Catholic Social Thought: Encyclicals and Documents from Pope Leo XIII to Pope Francis 3rd Edition
  2. DeBerri, Catholic Social Teaching
  3. USCCB, In The Footsteps Of Jesus (DVD and Study Guide)

 

Suggested Outline to Use for Writing Your Reflection Paper

  1. Identify a contemporary CST issue facing people in your parish or diocese.
  2. Reflect briefly on your own experience and connection with the issue, noting subjective judgments and biases you may have.
  3. Apply social analysis and research to better understand and explore the objective nature of the issue,  roots causes, social-political-economic factors, etc.  For example, what are 3-5 facts you learned about the issue you didn’t know before?
  4. Using the principles of CST from class, identify the relevant the CST theme(s) and reflect theologically on the issue.  How is God inviting a justice based response?
  5. Suggest a potential pastoral plan for the community to respond to the issue.

 

 

 

Assignments

 

Mod 2

Journal

  1. What theme of Catholic Social Teaching are you most comfortable with? Explain.
  2. What theme of Catholic Social Teaching do you find most challenging? Explain.
  3. From pages 15-22, which CST practitioner resonates with you the most?  Why?
Mod 3

Forum

  1. Generally what do you personally find more challenging, engaging in charity (direct service) or justice work?  Why you think that is?  Why do think as Church, particularly at the parish level, we tend to have more engagement in charity (direct service) as compared to social justice ministries?
Mod 4

Journal

  1. Reflect on the various characters of the Old Testament that God called upon to participate in the mission of Love.  Which one do you resonate or connect with most.  Explain.
Mod 6

Written Assignment

  1. Reflect on the U.N. Declaration of Human Right: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
  2. For each of the 30 Articles indicate which (if any) of the themes of CST relate to that article.
Mod 7

Written Assignment

  1. Vatican II uses the image of pilgrim people to describe us as a Church.  Write a 3-5 page paper that articulates your understanding of interreligious dialogue as a path of mission and share a story of an encounter you that have had with someone from another faith perspective and how that influenced what it means to you to be a pilgrim people.
Mod 8

Forum

  1. Share what touched you the most about the story of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Mod 9

Forum

  1. Ponder the Story of Good Samaritan.  Briefly share a story of your encounter with a migrant to this country.
Mod 10

Journal

  1. The African concept of Ubuntu is that “I am because we are.”  Discuss briefly what you think are the major challenges in U.S. culture that impede communities of missionary disciples from practicing solidarity both within the U.S. and abroad.
Mod 11

Forum

  1. What are three concrete ways in which you and your family can simplify your life this week that would implement Laudato Si in you life?
  2. What is one concrete way that your parish could implement Laudato Si?
Mod 12

Final Project

 







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