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John Francis Maxwell, Slavery and the Catholic Church: The History of Catholic Teaching concerning the Moral Legitimacy of the Institution of Slavery


Embedded in the text above is a link to a book pub-lished in 1975 by Barry Rose Publishers, Chichester (UK) in association with the Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights with a foreword by Lord Wilberforce. It is a .pdf made from scans of photocopied pages.*

Interested readers are, of course, glad to have this long-out-of-print study in any decent form, for until the project of a documentary history has been fi-nanced, undertaken, completed, and published, this is the best window we have into a significant area of what is called Catholic Social Teaching.

It also provides ample material for testing the pro-position that official Catholic teaching never changes or, if it does, the change amounts to merely a development or explication, but never a reversal, of earlier teaching. Such testing is one of the unintended but happy consequences of my (now-deleted) blog, anarcho-catholic (2011-2012), whose posts now form the chapters of my Christ, Capital & Liberty: A Polemic (2019).

Anthony Flood

September 24, 2011

Updated August 8, 2019


* Due to my technological limitations, I had posted a dozen links to the book in consecutive .pdf segments, but Daniel Coleman rendered the whole book for me in a single document. Thanks, Daniel.