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“Kind of a Secular Sacrament”: Father Geno Baroni, Monsignor John J. Egan, and the Catholic War on Poverty

From: The Catholic Historical Review
Volume 99, Number 2, April 2013
pp. 298-317 | 10.1353/cat.2013.0110



The author argues that social activist Catholic priests such as John J. Egan and Geno Baroni created a Catholic War on Poverty through Catholic civil rights organizations that included the National Catholic Conference of Interracial Justice and the development of community antipoverty organizations. Informed by the theology and social teachings of the Second Vatican Council, Egan, Baroni, and others saw the national War on Poverty as an extension of the civil rights movement. Their efforts led to the eventual formation of the Campaign for Human Development, the Catholic Church’s official antipoverty organization that continues to fight poverty in the twenty-first century.

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