On April 1, 2016, thirty Catholic institutions and ten other faith-based organizations filed an amicus curiae in support of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Clean Power Plan is the EPA’s proposed restriction on carbon pollution that has been stayed by the US Supreme Court in response to legal challenges by industry and Republican attorneys general from twenty three states. Behind some of the opposition to the plan has been an ideological attack on the legitimacy of the state restricting the free market in this way.
In view of persistent efforts to blend Catholicism and libertarianism (which have been subject to strong criticism from Catholic leaders, scholars, and writers), some Catholics likely disagree with the signing of the CPP amicus curiae by Catholic institutions based on an ideological aversion to state intervention in the free market. In response to this, it is essential to look at what Church teaching actually says about the role of the state and the market. When understood within the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, it becomes clear that Catholic support for the Clean Power Plan fits naturally into the framework of Catholic teaching about government and economics. Read More