Catholic Social Teaching
Respect for the person; the social well-being and development of the group; peace.
We Must Address Today’s Ills
It is our special task to order and throw light upon all the affairs of the world in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ: “let the laity also by their combined efforts remedy the customs and conditions of the world.”
Candidates for President of the United States and many in congress espouse this as an alternative model for our country. What, exactly, is it? What does the Catholic Church have to say about it?
One political party committed the US to the Paris Agreement and proposes a “Green New Deal”. Another party withdrew from the Paris Agreement and inimically opposes the other’s proposal. What does Catholic social teaching have to say?
The belief humanity can be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities with some races innately superior to others. This leads to personal and societal prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity. What does Catholic social teaching have to say about such an insidious “ism”?
National Health Care
US health care is, in many ways, the envy of the world. Would a national health care program improve it? See how Catholic social teaching can inform the discussion!
A right? How much? Who? What are immigrants’ duties? This is complicated! Catholic social teaching can help sort through the issues.
“The greatest challenge of our time”! Why? Radical secularism holds that there is no such thing as an objective truth. But, “Without truth, without trust and love for what is true...social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 5) Sound familiar?
One of the most divisive issues during the past 50 years! Why is the Church so one-sided (and must always be so)?
Explore the Three Principles of Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic social teaching is built on three foundational principles - Human Dignity, Solidarity and Subsidiarity. Human Dignity, embodied in a correct understanding of the human person, is the greatest. The others flow from it. Good governments and good economic systems find ways of fostering the three principles.
This means a correct understanding of the human person and of each person’s unique value. All Catholic social teaching flows from this: the inherent dignity of every person that comes from being made in God’s image.
Solidarity is not “a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of others. It is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good”. (Pope St. John Paul II, 38) Love of God and love of neighbor are, in fact, linked and form one, single commandment.
Subsidiarity “is a fundamental principle of social philosophy, fixed and unchangeable, that one should not withdraw from individuals and commit to the community what they can accomplish by their own enterprise and industry. So, too, it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and a disturbance of right order to transfer to the larger and higher collectivity functions which can be performed and provided for by the lesser and subordinate bodies”. (Pope Pius XI)