We’re delighted to learn that Fr. John McNerney, the Ciocca Center’s Novak Distinguished Visiting Scholar for 2019-20, has been nominated to receive the “Economy and Society” International Award for his book Wealth of Persons: Economics with a Human Face.
The Economy and Society International award is offered every other year by the Centesimus Annus- Pro Pontifice Foundation (FCAPP) in recognition of outstanding contributions to the understanding or application of Catholic social doctrine. Prizes will be awarded for expressing “with prophetic force a Christian commitment in economic and social activity.”
Our modest Fr. McNerney winks and says it’s an honor just to be nominated. But he adds: “My colleagues and I greatly appreciate this nomination. It is an indication of how seriously the pontifical foundation takes the social question of the fundamental equality of persons, who cannot be valued in purely economic terms. It is a great encouragement to me and other scholars who explore and continue to write on the contributions of Pope John Paul II and others.”
What is Wealth of Persons about? Maybe we’ll let Wall St. Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady tell you. In a forthcoming review she writes, “In a world of endless debate about wealth redistribution as a moral imperative, the essence of wealth creation is too often left behind. Monetary reward is part of what drives economic man and woman. But there is also high value derived from the dignity of work, the contribution that innovation makes to social progress and the creative expression, in exchange and collaboration with others, that is central to what it means to be human.”
Wealth of Persons explores the way the entrepreneur and the businessman function not as isolated individuals, but as persons in community. Ms. O’Grady concludes: “There is ‘power and truth’ in this ‘person-centered’ understanding of economic development, Father McNerney writes and it is needed more than ever.”
Congratulations, Fr. John!