Catholic social teaching

On behalf of the poor and vulnerable in our Archdiocese, Catholic Charities advocates for policies and programs that support the life and dignity of every human person, from conception through natural death. 

We believe that every person is created in God’s image and, without exception, possesses dignity and value.  Our public policy positions are rooted in Catholic social teaching and serve to uphold the sanctity of life, lift up the poor and vulnerable, and help promote the common good.

Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents.  The key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social teaching tradition are as follows:

Life and Dignity of the Human Person – The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of the moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.

Call to Family, Community and Participation – The human person is not only sacred, but also 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.

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.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable – A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers – The economy must serve 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.

Solidarity – We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences.  We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be.

Care for God’s Creation – We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.  We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) provides information on Catholic social teaching and its seven themes. Please visit their site to learn more. 

The USCCB is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place.

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