Faith Meets World is one of three books featured in a new article by Catholic News Service’s Regina Lordan. Under the headline “Books offer insight into church’s role in international development,” Lordan notes that each of the three books “explain that the church long has been a formal presence in international development and that individuals rooted in Catholic tradition, prayer and Catholic social teaching can change the world.”
She turns first to Faith Meets World, writing:
But fair warning: Readers might feel inspired and uncomfortably challenged while reading these books, for answering the call of Catholic social teaching, the books point out, is not an easy task.
Hudock explains this last point best in “Faith Meets World.” Catholic social teaching, based on the two principles of human dignity and solidarity, encourages Catholics to be with and live among the poor and destitute. One must see the image of God in everyone: the oppressor and oppressed, those born and unborn.
These are not new concepts to the church, and have been realized and expanded since Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical “Rerum Novarum” (on capital and labor), a response to the Industrial Revolution and document in support of just conditions for workers. Blessed John XXIII not only addressed human rights in 1963 with “Peace on Earth” (“Pacem in Terris”), Hudock writes, the pope also directly intervened in successfully ending the Cuban missile crisis. The list of official contributions to Catholic social teaching goes on and on.
Without being wordy or dense, Hudock clearly marries the historical background of Catholic social teaching to its practical application into society. To illustrate his points, he addresses modern-day affronts to human rights in Vietnam and Syria, and highlights Cesar Chavez and Dorothy Day as true champions of solidarity and human dignity.