Roman Catholic Approach To Poverty

1581 Words 7 Pages
Second, during the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to the issue of poverty shifted to include institutions and church-run programs in delivering charity. This shift, evident in a variety of sectors, was advantageous as it allowed more control and efficiency in the delivery of poor relief. For example, “the Quebec model, in which the church rather than the state provided social services, included an array of institutions from schools and hospitals to shelters for the poor, foundlings, prostitutes, and the aged (Hick, 2014, p. 36). Although the Roman Catholic Church was still the primary giver of poor relief in Quebec, institutions helped to provide relief during this era. The Roman Catholic …show more content…
Social, cultural, and political changes challenged the Roman Catholic Church, transforming the traditional Catholic role of delivering poor relief (Adloff, 2006, p. 14). Throughout the 19th century, the American Catholic church had developed many local, church-run social services to care for impoverished Catholics (Adloff, 2006, p. 9). However, the increasing predominance of and restrictive policies of the welfare state forced Catholic charities to restructure their organizations, change their policies, and incorporate a more inclusive approach to delivering poor relief (Adloff, 2006, p. 16). Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church retained some power, and still influences the delivery of American social welfare today. Adloff (2006) described the situation, saying, “a network of cooperation between the state and Catholic Charities and other non-profit organizations was created, which eventually fostered organizational interests in maintaining this relationship and its financial sources” (p. 17). Although traditional Catholic poor relief was replaced with the introduction of the welfare state, Catholic churches retained the ability to deliver some services with financial support from the …show more content…
They changed with time, and the opinions of different religious orders could be at variance” (Pullan, 2005, p. 441). The Roman Catholic Church’s approach in addressing poverty considerably transformed throughout history. Prior to and during the Reformation, the Church delivered poor relief based on the principle of caritas. The idea of charity was still prominent throughout the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, however assistance shifted to include more structured programs delivered through institutions like hospitals. Although the Roman Catholic Church initially resisted the creation of the welfare state, they did eventually accept government intervention without completely surrendering their ability to provide assistance. Historically, the Catholic church faced many challenges and obstacles in delivering assistance to the poor. However, the Catholic commitment to compassion and charity allowed for an overall success. There are advantages and disadvantages to both church-run and state-run social programs. Therefore, it is beneficial for individuals to study and understand the history associated with the birth of state-run social welfare as one can learn from the difficulties that the Roman Catholic Church experienced. Social, political, and economic changes continually affect society, forcing social assistance programs to change

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