Pope Leo XIII & Contemporary Catholic Contentions

Given everything else going on these days, it may seem strange that a 129-year-old encyclical by Pope Leo XIII, founding father of modern Catholic social doctrine, should have become a shuttlecock in the volleys exchanged by conservative American legal theorists and commentators. But there it is. And it's imperative that the record about Leo XIII's political theory be clarified before Professor Adrian Vermeule of the Harvard Law School misrepresents the great Leo further -- and Vermeule's critics continue to make matters worse by swallowing the misrepresentation.

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