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Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person: “The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.” Advocacy1

    Do I respect all of life’s dimensions? Can I be pro-life and pro-death penalty?

  • Call to family, Community, and Participation: “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.”

    Does Gospel Justice permit me to accumulate goods beyond my need without sharing with those who are in need?

  • Rights and Responsibilities: “Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.”

    Do I demand the best in health care while others, even my family, must do without because of inequitable distribution of resources?

  • SOA1 Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: “A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring... Our tradition leads us to put the poor and vulnerable first.”

    Do I welcome immigrants as brother or sister while working toward more equitable and humane immigration laws?

  • Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: “The economy must serve the people, not the other way around.  If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be protected - the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.”

    Do I seek to purchase the cheapest item or consciously ensure fair trade for workers?

  • Solidarity: “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences.  We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever we may be.  At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of peace and justice.”

    Do I speak out against injustice and unfair laws to my legislators?

  • WSSD1 Care of God’s Creation: “We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.  Care for the Earth 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.”

    Do I actively recycle, reuse, and live simply?




Text is taken from “Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions” (Washington, DC: USCCB, 1998) and “Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility” (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2003


Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis
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