Charitable services are sometimes held up as a “shop window” and Catholic social teaching as the “best kept secret” of the Church. Reaching far beyond the usual writings on this topic, the authors from four European topic relevant institutes attempt to formulate the inter-relation between these two spheres or missions of the Church in relation to the outside world, the importance of which is only tentatively questioned. Giampietro Dal Toso, current secretary of the Papal Council COR UNUM, points to the theological inspiration of the Motu Proprio “Intima ecclesiae natura” to show the dramatic change in the position of the charitable service within the Church Magisterium. Heinrich Pompey, distinguished scholar and proponent of Charitable Service Studies (Caritaswissenschaft) in Freiburg (Germany) and Olomouc (Czech Republic) presents an exquisite model for conceptualisation of Charity-Theology. Rainer Gehrig, representative of Charitable Service Studies in Murcia (Spain) delivers a survey of the details and differences in emphasis put on the charitable service and Catholic Social Teaching, as well as a summary of academic institutes which offers an opportunity to study and explore the charitable services. Jakub Doležel, representative of Charitable Service Studies in Olomouc (Czech Republic) tables a model of integral caritas practice which maintains the balance between both courses of socio-pastoral mission.
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