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Pope Francis has come out in support of Universal Basic Income multiple times throughout his Papacy, being the first Pontiff to do so. Despite a wide-ranging support base, Universal Basic Income (UBI) has never been embraced by Catholic orthodoxy. Although some scholars have discussed the theological compatibility of UBI with Catholic Doctrine, there has been no review to date of the history between the two traditions. This paper therefore offers a historical and empirical review of the relationship between Catholic Social Teaching and UBI proposals, focusing on how the Catholic understanding of property rights influenced the development of both the clergy and lay Catholics’ stances on Basic Income proposals and the relations between land reformer movements and the Catholic Church.



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On Earth As It Is In Heaven? Toward a History of Catholicism and Universal Basic Income