.- Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented the 500-page "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" in the Holy See Press Office this morning. He called the volume "an instrument for the moral and pastoral discernment… and an aid to the faithful concerning the Church's teaching in the area of social morality."
The volume, published in Italian and English, consists of an introduction, three parts and a conclusion. The first part “deals with the fundamental presuppositions of social doctrine,” said Cardinal Martino. The second, with the “classical themes of social doctrine - the family, human work, economic life, the political community, the international community, the environment and peace.” The third part consists of recommedations for the application of the Church’s social doctrine in pastoral activity.
The Compendium "is made available to all - Catholics, other Christians, people of good will,” and serves as "an instrument for fostering ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue on the part of Catholics with all who sincerely seek the good of mankind," said the Cardinal.
Cardinal Martino said that the Compendium is hoped to respond to three major challenges: "the cultural challenge, which social doctrine deals with by keeping in mind its constitutive interdisciplinary dimension”; the challenge of “ethical and religious indifference and the need for renewed inter-religious cooperation”; the third challenge is the pastoral challenge of showing “how the Church’s social doctrine “is connected with all aspects of the Church's life and action."