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Four Key Principles of Catholic Social Teaching Sandie Cornish.

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1 Four Key Principles of Catholic Social Teaching Sandie Cornish

2 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Four Key Principles The Pontifical Council for Justice & Peaces Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, identifies four principles of Catholic Social Teaching that are valid always and everywhere: The Pontifical Council for Justice & Peaces Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, identifies four principles of Catholic Social Teaching that are valid always and everywhere: Human dignity.Human dignity. The common good.The common good. Subsidiarity.Subsidiarity. Solidarity.Solidarity.

3 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Human Dignity Every human being is made in the image and likeness of God and has an inalienable and transcendent human dignity which gives rise to human rights. Every human being is made in the image and likeness of God and has an inalienable and transcendent human dignity which gives rise to human rights. People are always more important than things. People are never a means or an instrument to be used for the benefit of another. People are always more important than things. People are never a means or an instrument to be used for the benefit of another. Each person is equal in dignity and rights, and every human community, every race and culture is equal in dignity and rights. We are one human family because we are all children of the one God. Each person is equal in dignity and rights, and every human community, every race and culture is equal in dignity and rights. We are one human family because we are all children of the one God.

4 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Related Themes & Ideas in CST Unity of the human family Unity of the human family Defense of life Defense of life Human rights Human rights Non discrimination Non discrimination Priority of labour over capital Priority of labour over capital Integral human development Integral human development

5 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Human Dignity … Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority; by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy... Catechism of the Catholic Church, n 1930

6 Human Dignity © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Key Question: What is happening to people?

7 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October The Common Good We are all really responsible for each other and must work for social conditions which ensure that every person and every group in society is able to meet their needs and realize their full potential. We are all really responsible for each other and must work for social conditions which ensure that every person and every group in society is able to meet their needs and realize their full potential. Every group in society must take into account the rights and aspirations of other groups, and of the well being of the whole human family. Every group in society must take into account the rights and aspirations of other groups, and of the well being of the whole human family. God intended the goods of creation for the use of all, and so everyone has a right to access the goods of creation to meet their needs. God intended the goods of creation for the use of all, and so everyone has a right to access the goods of creation to meet their needs.

8 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Related Themes & Ideas in CST Universal destination of goods Universal destination of goods Option for the poor Option for the poor Integrity of creation Integrity of creation Role of the state Role of the state Promotion of peace Promotion of peace

9 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October The Common Good … To love someone is to desire that persons good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good. It is the good of all of us, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society... To take a stand for the common good is on the one hand to be solicitous for, and on the other hand to avail oneself of, that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically and culturally, making it the polis, or city. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n 7

10 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October The Common Good … The dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n 1926

11 The Common Good © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Key Questions: Is every group able to share in the benefits of life in society? Are some groups excluded?

12 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Subsidiarity Responsibility should be kept as close as possible to the grassroots. The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role. Responsibility should be kept as close as possible to the grassroots. The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role. More encompassing groups should only intervene to support smaller, more local groups in case of need, and where this is necessary in order to coordinate their activities with those of other groups in order to promote the common good. More encompassing groups should only intervene to support smaller, more local groups in case of need, and where this is necessary in order to coordinate their activities with those of other groups in order to promote the common good.

13 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Related Themes & Ideas in CST Participation Participation The role of the State The role of the State International community International community

14 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Subsidiarity … Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance to the human person via the autonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always to achieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility. Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognising in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others... It is able to take account both of the manifold articulation of plans – and therefore the plurality of subjects – as well as the coordination of those plans. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n 57

15 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Subsidiarity …... the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the later of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good. John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, n 48

16 Subsidiarity © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Key Questions: Who is making the decisions? Can everyone participate?

17 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Solidarity Human beings are social by nature. We can not survive without others and can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Human beings are social by nature. We can not survive without others and can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Our salvation is bound up with that of each other. Our salvation is bound up with that of each other. Solidarity is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. Solidarity is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good.

18 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Related Themes & Ideas in CST Role of the economy Role of the economy Integral human development Integral human development Option for the poor Option for the poor

19 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Solidarity … Solidarity helps us to see the other - whether a person, people, or nation - not just as some kind of instrument, with a work capacity and physical strength to be exploited at low cost and then discarded when no longer useful, but as our neighbour, a helper (cf Gn 2:18-20), to be a sharer, on a par with ourselves, in the banquet of life to which all are equally invited by God. John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, n 39

20 © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Solidarity … Today we can say that economic life must be understood as a multi- layered phenomenon: in every one of these layers, to varying degrees and in ways specifically suited to each, the aspect of fraternal reciprocity must be present… Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n 38

21 Solidarity © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October Key Questions: Who do we really care about? Would we like this to happen to us?

22 For Reflection For each key principle, think of an example where: For each key principle, think of an example where: The principle was respected or put into action?The principle was respected or put into action? The principle was not respected or put into action?The principle was not respected or put into action? How might these principles be better integrated into decision making in your family, workplace or community life? How might these principles be better integrated into decision making in your family, workplace or community life? © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, October 2009.


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