2 Catholic Social Teaching What is Catholic Social teaching?Where can we find CST?What are the principles of CST?
3 Catholic Social Teaching (CST) refers to the substantial body of writings that the Catholic Church maintains concerning important social, economic, and political issues.It is the systematic face of human rights: the right to life, food, health, decent housing, education, work freedom and so on
4 Catholic Social Teaching They are ours by birth and arise out of our creation by the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God.They are inalienable which means they are not earned and cannot be discarded or taken away.They come from various sources, popes, bishop conferences on national and international levelsTheir purpose is to demonstrate how we are called to live our Christian faith in the world.
5 Hebrew ScripturesThe Hebrew Scriptures uses terms like mispat and sedaqah, which translated in Hebrew means “justice” and “righteousness.”
6 The Hebrew Scriptures clearly teach that God expects the people to act justly in their dealings with one another. For the Israelites and us today practicing justice is essential for anyone who claims membership in the “people of God.” Jer. 22:3 : “Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow.”
7 Christian ScripturesJesus also offers numerous teachings that deal directly with how we are to live in right relationship with both God and one anotherHe ministers to the poor, the blind, the lame, the sinners, and calls each of us to do the same.
8 The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures offer two great values that are relevant for us today. Faith is not simply a private affair between oneself and God. Jesus healed to demonstrate his solidarity with the poor, powerless, and the outcasts of society. We are called to exemplify this type of solidarity as well.A vision of what we might term a contrast society. It is a society where people recognize that their individual goods are intertwined with the good of the community and the needs of the poor and powerless become the touchtone of a right relationship with God.
10 A number of important conclusions can be drawn from the Church Fathers: God gives all material goods to us for the benefit of all. Each person has a duty to share his or her possessions in times of great need.Although nothing is inherently wrong with the possessions of material goods, problems arise in terms of their use.We are not to view wealth as the measure by which we judge people. Wealth is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve a greater good in society. Christians are called to renounce wealth and power as the ultimate value in their lives. CST teaches that true human fulfillment is not found in what we have, but who we are. We are called to seek happiness in the love of God and others.
11 Modern TimesRerum Novarum; (On the Condition of Labor); Pope Leo XIII; 1891Quadragesimo Ano (After Forty Years); Pope Pius XI; 1931Pacem in Terris; (Peace on Earth); Pope John XXIII; 1963Gaudium et Spes; (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World; Vatican II; 1965Octogesima Adveniens; (A Call to Action); Pope Paul VI; 1971Justice in the World; the International Synod of Bishops; 1971
12 On the 100th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum; 1991 John Paul IIOn Human Work; 1981On Social Concern; 1987On the 100th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum; 1991
13 USCCB Statement on Capital Punishment; 1980 Economic Justice for All; 1986The Challenge of Peace; 1983The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace; 1993
14 Principles of Catholic Social Teaching Life and Dignity of the Human PersonCall to Family, Community and ParticipationRights and ResponsibilitiesOption for the Poor and VulnerableDignity of Work and Rights of WorkersSolidarityCare for God’s Creation
15 Human Dignity“The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Our beliefs in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and assisted suicide. The value of human life is being threatened by increasing the use of the death penalty. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.”…USCCB
16 Human DignityHuman life is sacred at all moments.
17 Human DignityThis is the foundational principle of all CST. If we don’t respect life, then the other teachings have nothing to stand on. This teaching encompasses both the intentional taking of human life and the cold disregard that devalues human life.
18 Human DignityBecause we are created in the image and likeness of God and because God became a human being in Jesus Christ, each individual maintains an inherent dignity and an infinite worth.
19 Human DignityHuman dignity upholds the sacredness of human life at all stages, from conception until the moment of natural death. “Pro Life” means the dignity of every human person, the elderly, the poor, the condemned, the unborn, the young, the minority, the discouraged, as well as the rich, the powerful and the strong.
20 Human DignityCatholics oppose acts considered as attacks and affronts to human life, including: abortion, euthanasia, genocide, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, torture, the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war, and every deliberate taking of a life.
21 Call to Family, Community and Participation “The person is not only sacred but social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. The family is the central social institution that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.”… USCCB
22 Family, Community, Participation Marriage and Families are the first and fundamental unit of society. They must be supported , strengthened and not undermined.
23 Family, Community, Participation We are family and we need one another. Physically we are depended on one another to meet our basic needs. We are not isolated individualists. Participation in family and community gives meaning to our lives.
24 Family, Community, Participation Together families form communities, communities a state, and together all across the world each human is part of the human family. How these communities organize themselves politically, economically and socially are of highest importance.It is not sufficient to just participate, however, our participation must be grounded in the common good.
25 Rights and Responsibilities “The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.”…USCCB
26 Rights and Responsibilities In our political arena, liberals traditionally focus on rights and conservatives traditionally focus on responsibilities. The church teaches that we need both.
27 Preferential Option for the Poor “A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our traditions recall the story of the Last Judgment (Matt. 25: 31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and the vulnerable first.”…USCCB
28 Preferential Option for the Poor The rationale for this principle is that as Jesus and the prophets of the Old Testament championed the cause for the poor, so too are we called to do the same.
29 Preferential Option for the Poor Economic policy decisions must be judged on what they do “for the poor, to the poor, and what they enable the poor to do for themselves.”The wealthy and the strong are able to care for and defend themselves. But the poor and the vulnerable lack the voice, the strength, or the resources to defend themselves.
30 Preferential Option for the Poor These are: all who are marginalized in our nation and beyond, the unborn, persons with disabilities, the elderly and terminally ill, and victims of injustice and oppression.
31 Preferential Option for the Poor The Day of Judgment…God will ask each of us what we did to help the poor and needy. God stands on their behalf and any attack against them is an attack against God.
32 Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers “The economy must serve the people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and to join unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.”…USCCB
33 Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers Work is a fundamental part of the human condition. It is the way most people receive income to support themselves and their families. Work and income must be balanced. Wages must be sufficient for workers to support their families at a decent level.
34 Solidarity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9tJW9MDs2M&feature=related “We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers, wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Learning to practice the virtue of solidarity means learning that “loving our neighbor” has global dimensions in an interdependent world.”…USCCB
36 SolidarityEntails the recognition that we are one human family. It calls us to see beyond our borders. We are responsible for the well-being of all and cannot turn our backs on one another and become “isolationists” in the face of global difficulties.
37 SolidaritySolidarity involves “compassion”: meaning “feeling with”; a spontaneous desire to let the other know that he or she is not alone. A sense of mutuality.It involves a conscious decision to form community with the ones who are suffering.It takes place when one recognizes the other’s need and then commits to action with the intent of making a positive change in the suffering person’s life.
38 God’s Care for Creation (Stewardship) “We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge had fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.”…USCCB
39 StewardshipMeans accepting full responsibility for that which has been entrusted to out care.As the earth and everything contained in it are gifts from God. We have a moral obligation to use these gifts responsibly.
43 StewardshipImportant environmental implications. God has made us stewards of the created order and has given us the privilege of using the world’s resources to improve upon human life.We must use resources prudently by cutting waste and over consumption, and not harm the environment through pollution or other means.
44 Strengths of CSTCST is grounded in practical reality. These documents addressed specific issues and to the author’s own audience. It was the author’s attempt to articulate the Church’s response to important issues as they actually existed.These principles apply to all people, not just Catholics. They apply to everyone because they can be understood both through human reasoning as well as theologically.CST does not tell people exactly how they should act in a particular situation. This means that faithful Catholics and non-Catholics can disagree as to how the principles should be applied in specific situations.