Sort of a 'companion piece' to my post on The Feast of Christ the King, from One Peter Five.
Pope Pius XI, who reigned from 1922 to 1939, and who did much to develop the social thought of his predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, at the very beginning of his papacy in his first encyclical, Ubi Arcano, made an interesting statement which might set us thinking a little bit differently about Catholic social teaching. Too often the Church’s social doctrine is dissected and criticized by various pundits and columnists as if it were merely some kind of political commentary. Even worse are those Catholics who think that they can persuade the reigning pope to embrace their special brand of economic thinking or at least convince the rest of us that that has occurred. But Pope Pius, author of the extremely hard-hitting encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno (1931), which bitterly criticized free-market economics and its excesses, did not see the Church’s social teaching as an exercise in political punditry. Rather, he saw her social teaching as ultimately a part of the homage due to Jesus Christ, King of both men and nations. In that first encyclical, Pius, wrote the following: