Catholic Social Teaching
The Caritas in Action scheme has been produced by Salford Diocese as a response to Catholic Social Teaching, which calls us all as Catholics to work for the common good, help build a just society, uphold the dignity of human life and work for justice and the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, especially those in the greatest need.
These themes are as follows:
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5.
Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, every person’s life and dignity must be respected and supported from conception until the end of their natural life on earth.
And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. I John 4:19
The human person is not only sacred, but social. How society is organized, be it socially, economically, legally or politically has a direct impact on the dignity and growth of every human person and community. Marriage and family should be supported and strengthened. Every person has a right to work to support themselves and their families as well as the building up of the common good for all.
In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me. Matthew 25:40
We are all People of God, one family. Therefore what happens to one has an impact on all, locally, nationally and globally. At the heart of solidarity is the pursuit of peace and justice. Our love for all calls us to work for a peaceful and just society where everyone has a fair share of the goods needed for a sustainable life, and opportunities for growth and development are offered equally. The dignity of every person is respected.
A small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the labouring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself. Rerum Novarum, 1891
Work is a way in which we can continue to participate in God’s creation. Work gives dignity to life and must be carried out in such a way that the basic rights of workers are respected. Everyone has the right to productive work, to fair and liveable wages, and to organize and join a union. The economy must be conducted so that it serves the needs of the people.
Faith without works is nothing. James 2:17
Every person has a fundamental right to life. It is this right that makes all other rights possible. Everyone has the right to food, health care, housing, education and employment. We all need to strive to secure and respect these rights for others both locally and globally.
The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me… to let the oppressed go free. Luke 4:18
Society is judged on how it cares for the poor and vulnerable – our brothers and sisters. We read in scripture how God has a special concern for the oppressed, poor, vulnerable and those forced to the margins of society. The Church calls us to respond to the cry of the poor and put their needs first. This preferential treatment for the poor and vulnerable must be seen in action in our daily lives.
Who turned the wonder world of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of colour and life? Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, 1988.
The world God has created for us has been entrusted to everyone and we are responsible and accountable to God as stewards of the earth. The world has been given to us as a gift, to enjoy and care for so that future generations can enjoy it too.