Rerum Novarum – The Condition of Labor
Pope Leo III, 1891
Addresses: Industrialization, urbanization, poverty, family wages, worker and employer rights and responsibilities
Quadragesimo Anno – After Forty Years, or The Reconstruction of the Social Order
Pope Pius XI, 1931
Addresses: The Great Depression, Communism and Fascist dictatorships, subsidiarity as a guide to government interventions
Mater et Magistra – Christianity and Social Progress
Pope John III, 1961
Addresses: Technological adances, global justice between rich and poor nations
Pacem in Terris – Peace on Earth
Pope John XXIII, 1963
Addresses: Arms race, the threat of nuclear war. A philosophy of human rights and social responsibilities
Gaudium et Spes – Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
Second Vatican Council, 1965
Addresses: Younger generations questioning traditional values. The Church must scrutinize external “times of the times
Populorum Progressio – The Development of Peoples
Pope Paul VI, 1967
Addresses: Widening gap between rich and poor nations. “Development is a new word for peace.”
Octogesima Adveniens – A Call to Action on the 80th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum
Pope Paul VI, 1971
Addresses urbanization marginalizing vast multitudes. Lay Catholics must focus on political action to combat injustices
Justitia in Mundo – Justice in the World
Synod of Bishops, 1971
Addresses: Structural injustices and oppression inspire liberation movements. “KJustice… is a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the
Evangelii Nuntiandi – Evangelization in the Modern World
Pope Paul VI, 1975
Addresses: Cultural problems of atheism, secularism, consumerism. The salvation promised by Jesus offers liberation from all oppression
Laborem Exercens – On Human Work
Pope John Paul II, 1981
Addresses: Capitalism and Communism treat workers as mere instruments of production. Work is the key to “the social question” and to human
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis – On Social Concern
Pope John Paul II, 1987
Addresses: Persistent underdevelopment, division of world into blocs. “Stuctures of sin” are responsible for global injustices
Centesimus Annus – On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum
Pope John Paul II, 1991
Addresses: Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. Combat consumeristic greed in new “knowledge economy”
Major Themes Addressed by Document
1) The Dignity of Every Person and Human Rights
a) Pacem in Terris (8-38)
b) Gaudium et Spes (12-19
c) Centesimus Annus (6-11)
2) Solidarity, Common Good and Participation
a) Pacem in Terris (98-108)
b) Gaudium et Spes (26-32, 68-75)
c) Sollicitudo rei Socialis (35-40)
3) Family Life
a) Gaudium et Spes (47-52)
b) Octogesima Adveniens (13)
c) Laborem Exercens (10, 19)
4) Subsidiarity and the Proper Role of Government
a) Quadragesimo Anno (76-87)
b) Mater et Magistra (51-77, 122-77)
c) Pacem in Teris (140-41)
5) Property Ownership in Modern Society: Rights and
a) Quadragesimo Anno (44-52)
b) Mater et Magistra (51-67, 104-21)
c) Centesimus Annus (30-43)
6) The Dignity of Work, Rights of Workers, and Support for
Labor Unions
a) Rerum Novarum (1-3, 20-21, 31-38)
b) Mater et Magistra (68-81)
c) Laborem Exercens (1-27)
7) Colonialism and Economic Development
a) Mater et Magistra (157-211)
b) Pacem in Terris (121-25)
c) Populorum Progressio (1-87)
8) Peace and Disarmament
a) Pacem in Terris (109-119)
b) Gaudium et Spes (77-90)
c) U.S. Bishops’ The Challenge of Peace
9) Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
a) Gaudium et Spes (1)
b) Octobesima Adveniens (23)
c) Centesimus Annus (11)

the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum