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CENTESIMO ANNO: THE SOCIAL ENCYCLICAL OF MAY 1991

Thomas O. Nitsch (Department of Economics, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

Humanomics

ISSN: 0828-8666

Article publication date: 1 April 1991

Abstract

Introduction On 15 May 1891 Pope Leo XIII issued what has become known as “the Great Social Encyclical”, Rerum Novarum: De Conditione Opificum; or, “Revolutionary Change: On the Condition of the Working Classes”. Forty years thereafter, Pope Pius XI issued the second GSE, Quadragesimo Anno: On the Restoration of the Social Order (15 May 1931); and, in a string of papal pronouncements (allocutions, encyclical epistles and letters, etc.) and related Vatican documents ranging from Pius XII's brief Sertum laetitiae (1 Nov. 1939) and Radio Address of Pentacost 1941 celebrating the 50th anniversary of RN, e.g. via John XXIII's Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris (1961; 1963), …, John Paul II's Laborem Exercens: On Human Work and Sollicitudo Rei Socialis: On Social Concern (1981; 1987), official “Social Catholicism” has continued to address itself to the so‐called “social question” over this near‐century. It is thus with some anticipation, and the prediction of a prominent US ordinary, that we await a major social encyclical letter on the 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, perhaps with the opening words and title, Centesimo Anno: On the Social Question Today.

Citation

Nitsch, T.O. (1991), "CENTESIMO ANNO: THE SOCIAL ENCYCLICAL OF MAY 1991", Humanomics, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 15-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb006122

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited