Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo:

"Accordingly, twin rocks of shipwreck must be carefully avoided. For, as one is wrecked upon, or comes close to, what is known as "individualism" by denying or minimizing the social and public character of the right of property, so by rejecting or minimizing the private and individual character of this same right, one inevitably runs into "collectivism" or at least closely approaches its tenets."

Quadragesimo Anno Issued

May 15, 1931

Pope Pius XI issued this encyclical on social issues in commemoration of Leo XIII's first modern social encyclical forty years earlier. Confronting severe world economic conditions (the Great Depression), the pope's message included a censure of the capitalist order and a recommendation to move toward a more corporatist system. In the United States, it was received especially favorably by the many Catholics (e.g., John Ryan and Francis Haas) who supported President Franklin Roosevelt's reforms and who perceived the encyclical to be in line with measures such as the National Recovery Administration. At the same time, the letter also included a reiteration of Leo's condemnation of socalism and a strong statement against excessive extension of state power (articulating what became known as the principle of subsidiarity).


Full text of Quadragesimo


D. O'Brien, American Catholics and Social Reform: The New Deal Years 

K. Schmiesing, Within the Market Strife : American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II