Radical Catholic teaching

By Frank Wessling

When we think of morality, or a moral life, it’s usually personal behavior that comes to mind. A moral person tells the truth, does not steal what belongs to someone else, doesn’t purposely hurt others, and generally contributes to harmony in life rather than confusion and conflict.
These are stones in the foundation of a good human life. They are understood everywhere as the basis of good relationships and written in codes of conduct from Moses to Confucius.
But what about life beyond immediate personal behavior? Is anything more needed for a good community life? What are the virtues that make up a properly human, or moral, city and nation? The Catholic Church in its 2,000-year history has thought a lot about both forms of morality — personal and social, or communal.

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