Though quite conservative on certain issues, the Catholic Church has in many ways led the struggle for social justice and rights for the poor in our age. But this concern was not always a top priority. In fact, at the time of the French Revolution the Catholic Church was among the most conservative and reactionary of the world's institution. This book deals with the interesting historical question: How did the Catholic Church move from being a defender of the status quo to becoming a progressive force in world affairs? The author traces the movement of social justice in the Church over two hundred years since the French Revolution. Those portrayed include Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, Irish emancipator Daniel O'Connell, founder of the American Catholic Worker movement Dorothy Day, and Polish electrician and activist Lech Walesa.