Two Jesuit priests win 2021 Centesimus Annus prize for Catholic social teaching

Pope John Paul II circa 1992 Credit   LOsservatore Romano CNA 5 21 15 St. John Paul II, founder of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, circa 1992. | L'Osservatore Romano.

Two Jesuit priests have been named the winners of the 2021 edition of the Centesimus Annus Foundation’s prize for writing on Catholic social teaching.

Father Patrick Riordan and Father Jaime Tatay will each receive the “Economy and Society” award from the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation in a ceremony in Rome presided over by Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Dec. 16.

The 20,000 euro award is granted every two years to works that stand out for their original contribution to the deepening and application of the Social Doctrine of the Church, according to the foundation. 

Riordan received the prize in recognition for his 2017 book “Recovering Common Goods”. The book is focused on the application of the principle of the common good in the public sphere.

The priest from the Jesuits’ Irish province is a senior fellow in Political Philosophy and Catholic Social Thought at the University of Oxford. 

He previously worked in the Philippines for two years and served as a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of London, where he taught classes such as “Marx and Marxism,” “Introduction to Value,” and “Ethical Issues for Today.” 

Tatay, a Spanish Jesuit, was selected as a recipient of the 2021 prize for his 600-page book “Integral Ecology: The Catholic reception of the challenge of sustainability from Rerum Novarum 1891 to Laudato Si 2015”, published in Spanish in 2018.

He teaches Ecology, Ethics, and Catholic Social Doctrine at the Comillas Pontifical University, a Jesuit university in Madrid. 

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich and Freising, and Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the special delegate of the Sovereign Order of Malta, will be speakers at the award ceremony in the Palazzo della Cancelleria, a Renaissance palace in Rome.

The Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation was established by Pope John Paul II in 1993. It is named after the ninth encyclical by St. John Paul II, which addressed the social teaching of the Church, particularly in regard to workers and the economy, and the relationship of the state to society.

For the first time this year, the foundation will also award two scholarships worth 10,000 and 20,000 euros to researchers under the age of 35 enrolled in an academic institution studying the “application of new models of socioeconomic development which, in line with the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church, are inclusive, supportive and sustainable.”

This year’s scholarship winners are Sofia Horsfall for her research on financial institutions at La Sapienza University in Rome and Erminia Florio, a postdoctoral fellow at HEC Montreal, for a project focused on Senegalese migrants.

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