Catholic Social Teaching

What is Catholic Social Teaching?

Jesus ate with tax collectors and rowdy fishermen. He rescued an adulteress from an angry crowd attempting to stone her. Jesus healed the sick, and he fed the hungry. Likewise, Jesus warned against indifference toward the marginalized – the poor, the sick, the hungry, the homeless. It was the words and examples of Jesus which laid the foundation for Catholic Social Teaching.

According to Sister Rita Geoppinger of Covington, Kentucky, “The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching are at the heart of the Gospel. The Church has continued over the centuries to delineate and expand our understanding of each one as it pertains to our particular time, enriching our appreciation of the core values of our faith.”

"Let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream."

– Amos 5:24

7 Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching Include:

1. Respect for the Life and Dignity of the Human Person

2. The Call to Family, Community, and Participation

3. Rights and Responsibilities

4. The Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

6. Solidarity

7. Care for God’s Creation

“These seven principles lay the groundwork for our work – the people who are poor and marginalized,” says Ann Clark, Co-Director of the SND USA Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) National Office. “These principles help us focus and frame our efforts, working for peace and justice by tackling the issues of the times, like poverty, racism, and things that work against human dignity.”


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