Fr Brad Elliot O.P. talks to our Faith, Freedom and Catholic Social Teaching group, which meets at St Jerome Convent in El Cerrito. He has written a paper, which is attached here, on this topic, and is currently expanding this into a book for publication.
This is an important topic. As he points out, many people think that the ideas of self-love or self-interest is at best a necessary evils, and at worst sinful and contrary to Catholic teaching. Similarly many say that the principle of the private property is in some way contrary to the idea of working towards the common good and as both are enshrined within Catholic Social Teaching, leave us searching for an elusive middle ground when trying to do what is right in real-life situations.
These ideas have particular relevance in consideration of capitalism, free markets and their value in creating a just society in which man can flourish and do what is best for the poor.
Citing St Thomas Aquinas, Fr Brad argues that in fact what might be a surprise to some: self-interest is a higher love than love of neighbor, and principle of private property is in harmony, not contrary to, the principle of acting for the common good.
His paper, submitted for a class just prior to his ordination this past June is here: