Every election cycle affords us an opportunity to reflect on the role of citizen Catholics and our voting.
Addressing divisions between developed and underdeveloped nations, Pope Paul promoted a demanding concept of integral development that invited the reader to imagine two foci of progress: the whole person and every person.
Catholic thought has evolved from an orientation toward merely helping people who are poor and marginalized to an updated orientation that emphasizes promoting their empowerment as “artisans of their own destiny” —individually, as workers and citizens, and as poor nations.
Like all forms of human wrongdoing, corruption may take many forms. These include outright bribes to law enforcement officers, kickbacks from successful contractors to public officials awarding contracts, theft of public or private funds by insiders, and campaign contributions specifically targeted to influence the legislative or administrative decision-making process in self-serving ways.
In modern Catholic social thought, Pope John XXIII (in his 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris) enumerated a number of human rights including, “the right to a basic education and to technical and professional training in keeping with the stage of educational development in the country.