Vatican City, Jan 16, 2011 / 05:42 am
Catholic economist and sociologist Giuseppe Toniolo's influence a century ago opened the door for important changes in Italian society. Because of his dedication to politics, Italian Catholics were able to fight Freemason efforts to keep them out of government.
Pope Benedict XVI decreed on Jan. 14 that Toniolo will be beatified for his exemplary life of holiness and for a recent miracle attributed to his intercession.
Toniolo was born in 1845 in Treviso, Italy. He received a law degree in Padua in 1867 and remained in the academic sphere, teaching economics for more than 40 years.
His landmark teachings on sociology and economics were recognized by the likes of Popes Leo XIII and Pius X.
His advocacy of increased protections for workers is considered an important forerunner to the Church's historic document on the subject, called "Rerum novarum." This 1891 Vatican text collects the teaching of Leo XIII on the "Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor."