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By Michael P. Hornsby-Smith

Michael Hornsby-Smith bargains an outline of Catholic social notion rather in fresh a long time. whereas drawing on reputable educating resembling papal encyclicals and the pastoral letters of bishops' meetings, he is taking heavily the necessity for discussion with secular notion. The e-book is geared up in 4 levels. half I outlines the diversity of household and overseas injustices and seeks to provide a social research of the reasons of those injustices. half II deals a theological mirrored image at the features of the dominion of God which Christians are instructed to hunt. half III studies Catholic social notion in six major components: human rights, the family members and bioethical matters, financial existence, social exclusion, real improvement, and struggle and peace. half IV completes the cycle with a attention of applicable social motion responses to the injustices which the writer has pointed out and analysed.

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Are they the inevitable consequence of placing too much reliance on Adam Smith’s ‘hidden hand’ which supposedly promotes the good of society? The answer that they are simply the consequence of individual greed, selfishness, violence and evil is incomplete and fails to take account of the social dimension of all human action. An individual immigration officer at Gatwick operating the regulations of the state as a dutiful bureaucrat might do so in a way which respects the dignity of the traveller in a polite and sensitive way.

At the Second Vatican Council even the Catholic Church finally affirmed the primacy of the individual conscience, even though it insisted that such a conscience ought to be ‘informed’ by an awareness of official Church teaching. People are less likely to make decisions on difficult moral issues on the basis solely of what authority figures, such as the Pope or parish priest, might tell them. Part of the contemporary reality, therefore, is a strong element of subjectivism based on real or imagined experiential knowledge.

POWER Held et al. note that ‘Globalization concerns the expanding scale on which power is organized and exercised, that is, the extensive spacial reach of networks and circuits of power. 18 We may not like it but military, economic, political, social and cultural power differentials are facts of life. Any attempt to redress injustices must face the fact that prolonged struggle against the entrenched forces of domination is inevitable. What is ‘power’? Essentially, as Max Weber pointed out, power is the possibility of imposing one’s will over others.

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