Catholic Social Teaching & Political Revival

Catholic Social Teaching & Political Revival November 6, 2012
Matthew Taylor of the BBC’s Radio 4 has today provided a nuanced analysis of a recent resurgence within British political circles of Catholic Social Teaching. This resurgence has been driven by the advocacy of  Philip Blond’s “Red Tory” and Maurice Glasman’s “Blue Labour” campaigns, and given further intellectual traction by Adrian Pabst’s The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Pope Benedict XVIs Social Encyclical and the Future of Political Economy.  
As a result, Catholic Social Teaching is gradually being given another look by both intellectual and political elites in parts of the Anglosphere facing the prospect of European-style austerity measures. Once thought of as the impractical screeches of priests sticking their noses in politics, Catholic Social Teaching is now being regarded as a grammar to an alternative to the tired bipolarity between “big government” and “big market”, one that could be broadly called “communitarian”.
Whilst a full-blown debate on the place of Catholic Social Teaching in public life is yet to occur within Australia, readers in Melbourne might be interested to hear what a revitalisation of politics by Catholic Social Teaching might sound like in the 2012 Rerum Novarum Oration, organised by the Archdiocese of Melbourne. 
Victorian Senator John Madigan and The Divine Wedgie’s blogger-at-large, Matthew Tan of Campion College, will be co-orators at this year’s event. This year’s oration runs under the title “Labouring for the Common Good: the Significance of One“.
The Rerum Novarum Oration will be held on Tuesday, 13th November in the Lecture Theatre of the Daniel Mannix Building, located in the Melbourne Campus of the Australian Catholic University (15 Young Street, Fitzroy). The event begins at 7pm for a 7:30pm start, with light refreshments provided from 7pm. Those interested would need to RSVP by 9 November to Mark Clarke at +613 99265727 or at


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