"'Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church' is a one-stop resource for all that the church teaches...It is packed with information that can be used as a tool for building 'a civilization of Hope.'"
Crux of the News
"Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church was published to serve as a tool to inspire and guide the Catholic community through the moral and pastoral challenges that confront the Church today. The informed and informative text is organized into specific sections dedicated to revealing God's plan of love for humanity; the family as the vital nucleus of society; the relationship between social doctrines and ecclesial actions; and the fundamentals required for developing and maintaining a 'civilization of love'. Enhanced with extensive 'Index of References' and an 'Analytical Index', Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is an appropriate and strongly recommended addition to personal and clerical reference collections, seminary and academic library reference shelves, and supplemental reading for pastors and active laity within the Catholic communities throughout the country."
John Taylor--Reviewer's Bookwatch
The "concise but complete overview of the Church's social teaching" runs some 225 pages. The principles of the many facets of Catholic social work are specified "to sustain and foster the activity of Catholics in the social sector, especially the activity of the lay faithful." There's no guidance on the practicalities or pragmatics of realizing the principles; the "Compendium" is not a how-to. Parts of it are almost theological in tone, e. g., "God's Plan and the Mission of the Church." And other parts such as those dealing with the "way of love" or alluding to the "new heaven" and the "new earth" are visionary and inspirational. Half a dozen or more footnotes on every page point to historical or doctrinal bases for the principles; most of which are found in papal encyclicals. The family, peace, human rights, work, and politics are major sections. An "Analytical Index" of 150 pages takes one to any particular topic one is looking for. The format is each of the numerous social principles in italics followed by brief commentary in regular type. The "Compendium" is not only a comprehensive new edition gathering Catholic doctrine relating to social work. With recurring references to moral issues raised by advances in medicine, globalization, and other contemporary matters, it carries these principles into today's world and its central social developments.
Henry Berry--The Midwest Review of Books
"Simply put, this book belongs in every Catholic library. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has done a magnificent job of compiling what amounts to a "social catechism," in which all of of the Church's teachings on social matters are clearly laid out, explained, and backed up by references from the Bible, councils, papal documents, congregations and Church writers. There are multiple indexes, so that locating teachings on specific authors is efficient. And what a wealth of teachings! The book takes the reader on a step-by-step journey from God's creation of the world and humanity in God's image, through salvation history and into modern concerns. Having established the foundation of Natural Law, the book lays out Catholic teachings on economic topics, politics at all levels, the family, the sanctity of life, environmental degradation, globalization and such modern concerns as terrorism and cloning. War and abortion draw careful attention. Human rights are delineated, starting with the right to life and to work, but rights are also, in a way not often seen these days, consistently entwined with duties. The book aims to provide "the principles for reflection, the criteria for judgment and the directives for action," and does so unambiguously. While this compendium is intended especially for bishops, it will be invaluable to all church leaders and anyone interested in the topic. Most highly recommended to all academic, school and parish libraries."
Daniel Boice--Catholic Library World