Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics is a refereed academic online journal published semi-annually to provide a forum for the discussion of social ethics, social justice and Catholic social thought. The journal promotes ethical reflection and stimulates dialogue on a range of topics and issues of practical and international import as well as of theological and secular significance.


The library contains articles of Solidarity as of vol. 1(2011) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Gender Reality

    Allen, Sr. Mary Prudence (ResearchOnline@ND, 2014-04-16)
  • Business Ethics: Diagnosis and Prescription in Caritas in Veritate and Vocation of the Business Leader

    Wishloff, Jim (ResearchOnline@ND, 2014-04-16)
    An examination of two recent documents of Catholic Social Doctrine, Caritas in Veritate and Vocation of the Business Leader, is undertaken to uncover their assessment of our current cultural and moral crisis, of which our present economic distress is but one aspect, and their proposal for cultural renewal including a return to sound economic decision making. The intellectual commitments of molders of the modern mind such as Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes severed morality at its metaphysical roots. Destroying the anthropological underpinnings of ethics catapults the contemporary world into a state of nihilism. In such a condition economic disorder is inevitable. The human person is crushed in a regime that searches for more relentlessly. The demand for metaphysical and moral reconstruction is met by Pope Benedict XVI with his insistence on receptivity to what is. Contemplation of an ultimate reality given to us takes us to the Person of Jesus Christ. The Christian faith is the context of authentic integral human development. Being made in the image of God gives every human person an inviolable dignity and makes every person subject to transcendent moral norms. A truth-filled love informs the conduct of enterprise. Goods that are truly goods and services that truly serve are produced or supplied. Promotional efforts are conducive to the pursuit of wisdom. People are given meaningful work that utilizes and develops their higher faculties and are let in on the financial success of the venture. The environment is respected as a home place ought to be. The Christian business leader can have a transformative effect on the business world through the power of grace.
  • Climate Justice: The Cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor (The Case of the Yolanda/Hayain Tragedy in the Philippines)

    canceran, delfo cortina (ResearchOnline@ND, 2018-12-20)
    In the Encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis relates the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. Literally, cry is a metaphor pregnant with meanings. It can mean the feeling of pain and suffering, the experience of sadness and loss calling out for relief and sympathy. The earth and the poor have equally endured this tears of lamentation. The cry is not just an expression of pain but also an appeal to responsibility. Thus we need to take seriously the groaning of our ecology and humanity. In the context of climate change, the global warming affects the whole world but it specifically affects the poor more. The poor people vulnerable to exposure to disaster as demonstrated by the supertyphoon - internationally known as Haiyan and locally known as Yolanda - tragedy that worsens the poverty of the already poor. The poor daily depend on the earth for their sustenance and livelihood. Moreover, they are mostly endangered in times of disaster. Since they are made from light and cheap materials, their properties are easily damaged or even totally destroyed in times of disaster. Scholars argue that climate change is an issue of justice. Thus, they propose climate justice in distributing responsibility caused by global warming and eventually taking responsibility to the earth as a common home.
  • Catholic Treatment Ethics and Secular Law: How Can They Cohere?

    Balch, Thomas J (ResearchOnline@ND, 2016-12-22)
    Central elements of Roman Catholic treatment ethics include: 1) that rejection of treatment with the intent of hastening death (even for a good end) is ethically equivalent to active euthanasia with the same intent; 2) a distinction between morally obligatory “ordinary” treatment and morally optional “extraordinary treatment”; 3) that the quality of the patient’s life is not be a legitimate basis for rejecting treatment; and 4) that extraordinary treatment is not forbidden, but optional, and that it is the patient or the patient’s legal surrogate–not the doctor– who has the right to choose or reject it. Despite these principles, even in a cultural climate fully sympathetic to Catholic treatment ethics, it is appropriate as a legal matter to maintain the doctrine of informed consent under which it is possible for patients or their surrogates to reject life-preserving treatment, including for unethical reasons. It is normally impossible to enforce in practice in the external forum a differentiation between rejection of treatment for ethically acceptable and ethically unacceptable reasons. By contrast, in cases of direct killing, such as assisting suicide, the intent to cause death is unmistakable (as opposed to accepting an increased risk of death as a foreseeable but unintended consequence of pursuing a good end). In a pluralistic society Catholic ethics cannot be legislatively enforced on the ground that they are compelled by Catholic teaching. However, the basic principles of Catholic treatment ethics may be justified based on logic and widely accepted norms of human equality independently of revelation or ecclesiastical authority. Particularly in protecting the right of individuals to choose and obtain life-saving medical treatment regardless of their “quality of life,” and in suicide prevention, secular law can and should be congruent with key aspects of Catholic health care ethics.
  • Promoting what we Oppose - Part 2

    Tilley, Robert (ResearchOnline@ND, 2014-04-16)
    In the first part of this series it was argued that there is an inextricable bond between economic and cultural liberalism such that when Catholics identify the faith with the defence of neoliberal economics, even though they may oppose abortion, they end up promoting exactly that which they oppose. In this the second part this point is expanded upon and the argument made more explicit and that by reference to Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudium Evangelii. The Exhortation evidences a view of matters economic that sits ill with capitalism, a point understood by Catholic commentators who champion Neoliberalism. This essay argues that Francis’ comments are nothing new, especially when compared to what John Paul II and Benedict XVI have written on the subject; indeed, that Francis’ Exhortation can be seen as a tempering of their critique of economic liberalism. The essay attempts to tease out what it is that informs the critique of the popes and shows that it has to do with what flows out from the rejection of metaphysics proper, a rejection that defines Modernity, and which ends in the deracination of all things such that even the very concept of ‘substance’ is dissolved and, thereby, all is made plastic and malleable, including human life. The important point the essay wishes to make is this: the popes are quite clear that the form a culture’s economy takes can both ground and exacerbate this anti-essentialist logic, what’s more the economy above all others that does this is the one they identify with neoliberal capitalism. As a consequence, Catholics who champion this form of economic theory must think seriously as to whether or not they or the popes are wrong on this matter.
  • A Woman in Stone or in the Heart of Man?

    Schumacher, Michele M (ResearchOnline@ND, 2014-04-16)
  • Review: Laudato Si’: Love of God, Love of Neighbour, Love of Creation

    Smith, Father Peter (ResearchOnline@ND, 2015-12-23)
  • Catholic Education and the Bureaucratic Usurpation of Grace

    Rowland, Tracey A (ResearchOnline@ND, 2014-04-16)
  • Review: The Logic of Gift – Rethinking Business as a Community of Persons

    Drummond Young, Elizabeth (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
  • Promoting What We Oppose: Faith, the Free Market, and First Things

    Tilley, Robert (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
    Of increasing influence in the Australian Catholic Church is the kind of orthodoxy associated with American conservatism in which the defence of life and family against the depredations of cultural liberalism is tied to the defence of the free market and the promotion of economic liberalism. The clearest example of this thinking being the magazine First Things, a magazine with great influence both in American and in Australia. The argument of this paper is that there is an organic and determinative link between economy and culture such that economic liberalism will inevitably give rise to, and promote, cultural liberalism. In short, that if the Church identifies herself with the promotion of economic liberalism she will find herself promoting that which she rightly opposes, namely what John Paul II referred to as the culture of death.
  • The Cathedral of Being: Re-enchantment and the Writings of the Popes

    Tilley, Robert (ResearchOnline@ND, 2015-12-23)
    A rarely discussed issue that bears upon the topic of education is that which takes seriously the relationship between medium and message; how is the content of what is taught shaped by the way in which it is taught? It is a question of especial pertinence today when in all areas of pedagogy we find people advocating the use in education not only of computers but on-line access and the wonders of the virtual world as well. The argument of this paper, via the writings of the recent Pontiffs (and more secular authors with a philosophical and political interest in the area), is that the use of computers and on-line technology is deleterious to all education, but especially to Catholic education. This is because, while the understanding of real presence and mediation are fundamental to the faith, the idea of insubstantiality and friction-free immediacy are of a piece with virtual technology. As a medium of dissemination the latter cannot help but invest the content of the former with its understanding of presence. The paper also touches upon the economic factors at play in the use of virtual technology as well as the utopian hopes this technology gives rise to, hopes that are fundamentally inhuman and therefore at odds with the Catholic faith. The paper argues its point using the trope of fairyland and the opposition between, on the one hand, enchantment, and on the other, glamour.
  • Jacques Maritain and a Spirituality of Democratic Participation

    Ogilvie-Ellis, Chantelle (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
    The contribution of Jacques Maritain to twentieth century political philosophy has been widely noted. This paper explores the implications of Maritain’s work and life for contemporary spirituality, in particular, for a spirituality that might nourish and shape democratic participation. It finds the roots of such a spirituality in Maritain’s integral vision of the person, and his view of saints as those persons who alone have fully resolved the human condition. Maritain argues that while sanctity so defined is universal, it must be adapted to the changing conditions of history. Contemporary democracy, in particular, has expanded the possibilities of the human being’s temporal task, and so calls for new styles of sanctity to embrace the new range of human activity. This paper explores the characteristics of sanctity in a democracy, according to Maritain. It finds that the defining features of such sanctity are solidarity, embodied in suffering and fraternal love, and contemplation diversely expressed through both prayer and action. Finally it explores the implications of Maritain’s spirituality for contemporary Catholic citizens.
  • Review: The Preferential Option for the Poor

    Giddy, John Patrick (ResearchOnline@ND, 2015-12-23)
  • Book Note: Our God is Undocumented

    Pickens, Donald K (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
  • Universalism in Catholic Social Thought: 'Accompaniment' as Trinitarian Praxis

    Roberts, Kathleen Glenister (ResearchOnline@ND, 2012-04-24)
    Cosmopolitanism is an ancient concept whose meaning and significance have shifted over the last two millennia. Most recently, cosmopolitanism has been resurrected to mean “world citizenship” – a renunciation of one’s national identity for the sake of the universal human family. While such an endeavor seems as though it should correspond to Catholic social thought, its iterations in academia and elsewhere have resulted in a preoccupation with personal identity and political doctrine rather than love. Cosmopolitanism is complex and harbors many weaknesses in both theory and practice. Considered in relation to universalism in Catholic social thought, one weakness is thrown into specific relief: cosmopolitanism as a personal identity or political doctrine lacks a unified philosophy of the human person. This essay recasts the desire to form solidarity across national boundaries as universalism within Trinitarian anthropology and discusses accompaniment as exemplary of the love this thought system requires.
  • Review: Belle

    Ekman, RSM, Sister Mary Julian (ResearchOnline@ND, 2015-12-23)
  • Review: The Ultimate Price

    Fox, Brian (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
  • Abortion in/as a Consumer Structure

    Tan, Matthew (ResearchOnline@ND, 2014-04-16)
    This article argues that the contemporary acceptability of abortion is not solely due to the Liberal imperative to exercise individual choice. Rather, abortion's acceptability needs to be explained with reference to the techniques of consumer culture. This article will begin by explaining how practices in general predispose one to gravitate towards one form of practices rather than another. It will then look at how consumer practices generate a biopolitics of economic efficiency and corporeal commodification which culminates in a politics of visibility. Under such conditions, even basic categories like mere existence is dependent on its ability to be displayed for public view. This article will conclude by reflecting on the necessity of forging the Church not as a subsection of a public framed by consumerism, but as an alternative public in its own right.
  • The Principle of Subsidiarity as a Social and Political Principle in Catholic Social Teaching

    Evans, Michelle, Dr (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
    The principle of subsidiarity is a multi-layered and flexible principle that can be utilised to empower, inform, enhance and reform scholarship in a range of significant areas, however, it has been somewhat overlooked in recent scholarship. In order to highlight the continued relevance and potential applications of the principle, this, the first of two papers, will provide a detailed analysis of the meaning and application of the principle of subsidiarity in Catholic social teaching. In doing so, the interplay of the principle of subsidiarity and other key principles of catholic social teaching such as dignity of the person, solidarity, and the common good will be highlighted. The second part of this paper discusses the political applications of the principle, including its ability to inform scholarship on the allocation of governmental powers (including federalism), democracy, and individual participation in government. This leads to a discussion in the second paper, of the Catholic aspects of subsidiarity in the governance of the European Union.
  • Socialism for the Natural Lawyer

    Undercoffer, Ryan (ResearchOnline@ND, 2013-11-21)
    Increased participation in public affairs by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the highly contentious 2012 Presidential election has seemingly brought the traditions of Catholic social teaching and socialism into a high profile conflict. While it is clear that President Obama is not what most academics would consider a “socialist,” modern discourse still presents what I argue is a false dichotomy- one can be either endorse natural law (especially of the Catholic variety) or socialism, but not both. While my goal in this article is to refute the alleged incompatibility, not to determine its historical roots, some speculation about its origin may be illuminating. Recent work on religious identity in the United States suggests that Americans largely identify Christianity with the right wing of the American culture war. Additional research is required to fully grasp where this perception comes from, but one can venture several guesses: the rise of the “Christian Right” in Republican Party politics of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the concept of “social justice” being lampooned by Right-wing talk show hosts, and decades of a Catholic Church that firmly opposed Cold War-era Soviet Communism. The contrast between left-wing and right-wing thought on social issues (same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.) is very well documented and widely discussed. Differences between leftists and natural lawyers on economic issues, however, are more often assumed than argued for. Perhaps this is a matter of “guilt by association,” with those arguing that leftist social policy is at odds with natural law simply assuming that the same must be the case with leftist economic policy as well. Thus, natural law, long tied to Christianity throughout its history, is gratuitously appropriated by right-wing political ideology. Against this claim of incompatibility, I argue that one can rationally hold both socialism and natural law to be true. In his landmark Natural Law and Natural Rights, John Finnis offers what is arguably the twentieth century’s most complete theory of natural law. I will argue that the conception of socialism laid out by G.A. Cohen in his Why Not Socialism? is compatible with Finnis’s account of the human goods, and that natural lawyers can therefore reasonably endorse Cohen’s prescription for socialism.

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