On October 26, at a dinner held by the Society of Catholic Social Scientists at St. John’s University School of Law in New York, Bill Donohue received the group’s Pope Pius XI Award for his “contributions toward the building of a true Catholic social science.” The dinner was organized by three distinguished men, all associated with the Catholic League: Stephen Krason, the society’s president, is a member of the league’s board of advisors and a professor of legal studies and political science  at  the Franciscan University of Steubenville; Joe Varacalli, also on the board of advisors, is a professor of sociology at Nassau Community College; and David Gregory, the league’s general counsel, is a professor of law at St. John’s University.

The crowd was greeted with opening remarks by the Most Rev. William F. Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Center. Bishop Murphy introduced the Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver. Archbishop Chaput’s talk, which he titled “Church and State Today: What Belongs to Caesar and What Does Not,” drew parallels between the challenges faced by the first Christians and those we face today. His Excellency delivered a call to action with his words, “In the end, if we want our lives to be fruitful, we need to know ourselves as God intends us to be known—as his witnesses on earth, not just in our private behavior, but in our public actions, including our social, economic and political choices.”

Kenneth Whitehead, of the Catholic League’s board of directors, then introduced Bill Donohue, who delivered a talk he called “Uncommon Alliance: Religious Conservatives Unite.” Donohue discussed the close working relationship that has developed between Catholics, Evangelicals and Orthodox Jews in the fight over the culture, as well as a number of current issues familiar to Catalyst readers, such as the then-ongoing boycott against Miller Brewing and “The Golden Compass.”

The assembled guests all enjoyed the evening and the good work of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists was once again evident.

About the Society…

The contemporary social sciences are primarily dependent on secular assumptions, concepts, and theories. Consequently, the role of faith and Catholic social teaching is hardly considered in today’s body of social science.

The Society of Catholic Social Scientists (SCSS), founded in 1992, boldly challenges this secularized approach to the social sciences by combining objective scholarly analysis with fidelity to the Magisterium.

Through a collegiality of Catholic professors,  practitioners, scholars,  researches,  and writers, the SCSS brings rigorous, credible scholarship to political, social and economic questions. SCSS members always  approach their work in both a scholarly and evangelical spirit. They are expected to strictly observe the highest scholarly and professional requirements of their disciplines, as they examine their data in light of Church teaching and the Natural Law. In this way, the Society seeks to obtain objective knowledge about the social order, provide solutions to vexing social problems, and further the cause of Christ.

Membership in the Society of Catholic Social Scientists is open to Catholics involved in the social sciences or disciplines concerned with social questions (e.g. moral theology, ethics) and who possess an advanced degree (i.e., beyond a bachelor’s). Members must demonstrate fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and a reasonable knowledge of and interest in deepening their understanding of the Church’s social teachings.

Non-Catholics who are knowledgeable about and support the Catholic Church’s teachings and the purpose of the Society may become special associate members. Annual dues are $25, and include a subscription to The Catholic Social Science Review, the scholarly journal published once each year by the SCSS. For additional information, visit www.catholicsocialscientists.org

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