Secular concern about "Zoe’s Law", a Bill before the NSW Legislature which proposes viewing unborn foetuses as persons for the purposes of criminal charges against crimes which result in the death of the unborn, rests on bodily autonomy and choice as values that trump respect for the ontological status of the unborn. Does the free-market mentality provide the horizon within which such arguments seem well grounded? Robert Tilley thinks so and is surprised that Catholic academics are just as blind to the connection as are those who favour a Marxist approach to society.

The Church’s Social Teaching gives a preferential priority to the poor and asks that we live solidarity with all human beings as brothers and sisters who have the innate dignity of children of God. The economy was made for man, not man for the economy. Indeed, the business of heaven is often portrayed by Jesus in opposition to the worship of Mammon! How we frame our approach to the market influences every other aspect of social life and thus the commodification of human life is a natural by-product of capitalism.

Although the last few decades have witnessed the triumph of consumerism, the GFC has renewed interest in “socialism”. Ryan Undercoffer shows how some versions of socialism are compatible with a natural law approach to the economy. A worldview shaped by the Bible leads us to welcome the stranger and Frederick W. Guyette charms us with the story of Ruth and Boaz as a model for how we should behave to immigrants. Nevertheless, Catholic Social Teaching differentiates itself from socialism per se in that it also maintains a concern for personal freedom alongside solidarity and concern for others. Michelle Evans outlines the Magisterium’s teachings on subsidiarity and provides us with positive applications in European Law. Further aspects of Catholic Social Teaching concern participation – commented on by Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis - and religious freedom – which Francois A. Fontaneau speaks to as a Student Submission. We sincerely hope you enjoy this open issue of Solidarity - we eagerly await your feedback, and hope for further submissions in future.


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