Over the past fifty years, increasing numbers of American Catholics have abandoned the economic positions associated with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and chosen to embrace the principles of economic freedom and limited government: ideals upheld by Ronald Reagan and the Tea Party movement but also deeply rooted in the American Founding. This shift, alongside America’s growing polarization around economic questions, has generated fierce debates among Catholic Americans in recent years. Can a believing Catholic support free markets? Does the Catholic social justice commitment translate directly into big government? Do limited government Catholic Americans have something unique to contribute to the Church’s thinking about the economic challenges confronting all Catholics around the globe?
Samuel Gregg is research director at the Acton Institute. He is the author of many books, including his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), The Modern Papacy (2009), and Becoming Europe (2013). He lectures regularly in America and Europe on topics encompassing political economy, Catholicism, and morality and the economy. His writing has appeared in academic journals and magazines including National Review, The American Spectator, Foreign Affairs, and Crisis Magazine, as well as newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, and the New York Post.