Catholic Social Teachings covers all spheres of life – the economic, political, personal and spiritual. With human dignity at its centre, a holistic approach to development, founded on the principles of Catholic Social Teachings is what Pope Paul VI called ‘authentic development’.
We are called to protect the dignity of every person. All people are created in the image and likeness of God.‘Every person has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are necessary and suitable for the proper development of life; primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and the necessary social services.’( Pacem in Terris, (Peace on Earth), John XXXIII, 1963 ,n.9 )
Community and the Common Good
We are called to contribute to the good of the whole of society, the common good. How we organise our society, in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in society.
We are called to work globally for justice. We are one human family. Our responsibilities to each other cross national, racial, economic and ideological differences.
Rights and Responsibility
We are called to defend the rights of all people to participate in decisions that affect their lives. All people have a fundamental right to life, shelter, healthcare, education and employment.
Preferential Option for the Poor
We are called to look at decisions in terms of how they affect the poor. The moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.
Stewardship of the Earth’s Resources
We are called to care for the goods of the earth as stewards and trustees, not only as consumers and users.
“God destined the earth and all it contains for all people and all nations so that all created things would be shared fairly by all humankind under the guidance of justice tempered by charity.” (Gaudium et Spes, Vatican Council II, 1965, n.69)