The social doctrine of the catholic church as a foundation for the emergence of the legal regulation in the area of social protection in Europe

Keywords: social rights, social protection, the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, a papal encyclical


The social doctrine of the Catholic Church is an indication of the active involvement of the Church in disseminating the ideas of
the welfare state and it reflects its attempts to establish ideals of the welfare state through an external influence on the ideology of countries
that belong to Christendom.
Furthermore, one cannot ignore the fact that encyclicals had a direct or indirect influence on the adoption of the first social protection
acts in Catholic Europe where encyclicals played an important role.
As a result, the Holy See aligned itself with the labour movement.
Considering the fact that papal encyclicals covered the entire Catholic World, these documents can be viewed as an example of
international soft law.
The first social rights, principles, and values in the area of social protection were enshrined in the encyclicals.
Social rights belong to second-generation human rights the legal basis for which comprises international instruments adopted
after the Second World War (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms (1950), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the European Social
Charter (Revised) (1965–1996), the European Code of Social Security (1964), meaning 50 years after these rights were enshrined in
papal encyclicals.
There is an indisputable fact that has still not been discussed in scientific research on social protection and according to which
the social doctrine of the Catholic Church can be viewed as an inherent part of the process of occurrence, formation, and development
of social protection, and it can be regarded as an ideological framework, a source of social rights and principles of social protection.
Considering the above-mentioned findings, the social doctrine of the Catholic Church can be defined as the body of legislation
adopted by the Holy See regarding the status and development of social and labour rights, their place in a person’s life and in public
life. Papal encyclicals form the basis of that legislation and they are addressed to believers, bishops, and archbishops.


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3. Encyclius «Rerum Novarum» 15.05.1891. URL: [in English]
4. Encyclius «Quadragesimo аnno» 15.05.1931. URL: [in English]
5. Encyclius «Mater et Magistra» 15.05.1961. URL: [in English]
6. Encyclius «Centesimus Annus» 1.05.1991 URL: [in English]
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9. The Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation URL: [in English]
How to Cite
Shumylo, M. (2020). The social doctrine of the catholic church as a foundation for the emergence of the legal regulation in the area of social protection in Europe. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, 1(3), 353-357.
The legal system of Ukraine and international law, comparative legal studies