Capitalism and Catholic Social Ethics: From Benedict XVI to Francis, with a Sideways Glance at Augustinian Liberalism
Msgr. Peter Schallenberg
Chair of Moral Theology and Ethics
Theological Faculty Paderborn
Schallenberg will discuss the evolving understanding of capitalism through the lens of Catholic social teaching. He will place the capitalism with qualifications that John Paul II promotes in Centesimus annus (1991) — that is, a capitalism based on free entrepreneurship, a social capitalism, or ordo-liberal capitalism — in the context of Augustinian liberalism. In this Augustinian approach, love dressed as justice is the primary virtue of any political and economic order, the individual has priority before the state or any collective order, and virtue has priority before political institutions. He will explain how Benedict XVI follows in this tradition with his two encyclical letters Deus caritas est (2005) and Caritas in veritate (2009), as does Pope Francis with his encyclical letter Laudato si' (2015), while developing a new ecological perspective of universal and integral justice.