Journal article Open Access
Catholic social teaching as a discipline of knowledge in theological studies
Catholic social teaching is one of the disciplines of knowledge taught in the semina- ries and other theological universities. The so-called “social issue” became the subject of the Churchs moral teaching only at the end of the 19th century, with the first encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Rerum novarum, published in 1891. The study of the Churchs social teachings leads to an understanding of its nature, purpose and essential elements of this scientific discipline. The justification for the need to study the Churchs social teachings
in the seminaries and in Catholic theological faculties can be found, among others, in the encyclical of Pope John XIII, Mater et magistra. The curriculum and teaching content of Catholic social teaching are closely embedded in the Churchs expectations for the for- mation of alumni in seminaries as those called to the priesthood in the Church. Catholic social teaching, as a discipline of knowledge, is first of all of a theological nature. Today, the literature on Catholic social teaching is quite extensive. The interdisciplinary nature of social teaching reveals the particular links between this discipline of knowledge and sociology. The development of Catholic social science as a discipline of theological knowledge had a significant impact on social and political transformations in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, which until recently belonged to the block of communist countries. The lecturing staff at the Major Seminary in Janów Podlaski and Siedlce was comprised of priests with high qualifications, both scientific and educational, who enjoyed great authority among the alumni.