We have even hinted at the promotion of a new, more consistent, more active Christian life,which ought to be reflected, especially in the public sphere in a better way of understanding and managing our collective existence—the way which has taken the bold name of
the civilization of love.
-Pope Paul VI
Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching
Building a just society is central to our lives as Catholics and Christians. Our faith informs how we make decisions and live in the midst of today’s world. The Church has amassed a treasure of wisdom from study, prayer and the statements of our leadership. Here are the seven key themes that have emerged as the heart of Catholic social tradition.
- Life and Dignity of the Human Person —The measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. Wherever human life is under direct attack, we must stand for the belief that every person is precious: unborn children, the ill and infirm, those on death row and victims of war and terrorism. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.
- Call to Family, Community and Participation — Marriage and the family are central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. Everyone has the right and duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good, especially for the poor and vulnerable.
- Rights and Responsibilities — We must protect the human rights of every person and see to it that human decency is extended to all.
- Option for the Poor and Vulnerable — Our most basic test of morality is how we treat the people living on the edges of our human family. We must put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
- The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers — Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. We protect the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization of unions, to private property and to economic initiative.
- Solidarity — We are one human family regardless of national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. We seek a global community that pursues justice and peace and rejects violence and conflict.
- Care for God’s Creation — We are called to live our faith in relation to all of creation. Care for the earth, its creatures and the environment is an essential part of our stewardship.
Speaking Up For Justice
As Catholics, we are called to be faithful citizens. This means that we take an active role in the public policy debate by speaking out to defend the dignity and rights of all people. The Diocese participates in a grassroots advocacy network that provides information and education about key issues and lifts our collective voice to state lawmakers. We invite you to put your faith into action by joining the Legislative Advocacy Network.