About the book
Writing in everyday language for the non-scholar, award-winning writer Mark Shea concisely describes the roots of Catholic social teaching in Scripture and Tradition and gives simple, practical examples of how it works in ordinary life. Sketching the meaning of the Dignity of the Human Person, the Common Good, Subsidiarity, and Solidarity, Shea bridges the gulf in our politics and cultural warfare to make the case that Catholic Social Teaching, properly understood, is common sense, as well as the path to living a happier and more just common life for each human person.
The social teaching of the Catholic Church shows how universal the faith really is, touching all people regardless of age, social status, or ethnicity. By introducing us to this social teaching Mark Shea has invited all Catholics to deepen their faith in practical ways, and to put aside individualism and tribalism and open their hearts to everyone just because they are fellow human beings.
The Church’s Best-Kept Secret is Mark Shea at his best: winsome, very accessible, thought-provoking, and seriously and holistically Catholic. Read this book, discuss it with friends and fellow parishioners, and then set out together with a journey of discipleship that reveals the goodness and love of God in ways that 21st century skeptics can hear.
In The Church’s Best-Kept Secret, Mark Shea provides a faithful and spirited overview of Catholic social teaching grounded in Scripture, Vatican II, and papal writings since Leo XIII. He clearly explains the key principles of Catholic social teaching—human dignity, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity—and he shows that some Catholics, while rightfully opposing abortion and euthanasia, mistakenly reduce Catholic teachings on capital punishment and the environment to mere “prudential judgments” that can be ignored or opposed.
In a style that will engage a broad range of people, Shea's faithfulness to the tradition (and rejection of the tired political idolatry on both the right and the left) is precisely what we need at this moment of realignment and creative destruction. Read this book if you want to know where and how the Church should speak to the signs of our times.
Mark Shea’s succinct primer brings us into the heart of the Church’s thinking on society and the economy — needed now as never before
In The Church’s Best-Kept Secret, Mark Shea has written an accessible and essential primer for anyone interested in learning about Catholic teaching on human dignity and the common good rooted in the Gospel and Sacred Tradition.
A book like this has been needed for a long time. Short but comprehensive, well-written with good examples. I hope this becomes a resource at the parish level.
Mark Shea has a gift for making official Catholic teaching accessible in a manner that displays not only its truth but also its beauty. In The Church's Best-Kept Secret, he shows that Catholic social doctrine challenges us to go beyond "liberal" and "conservative" distinctions. I recommend this book for all who seek to understand the fundamental principles behind that doctrine and apply it to their everyday lives, including their spiritual lives.
In an increasingly polarized Church and world, we are accustomed to apologias and manifestos, jeremiads and rants. The word "catechesis" means to echo or resound and this resonance must be pastoral, in the voice of the Good Shepherd. Mark Shea captures this catechetical tone and pastoral spirit, eschewing polemics and hyperbole. His book echoes Catholic Social Teaching from our mother and teacher, the Church. It is a resounding success.