Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
We must recognise we are all brothers and sisters which requires us to respect, value and uphold a common dignity for ourselves and each other. As human beings we are created in the image and likeness of God so therefore we have an inherent worth and distinction.
As humans we were are not created to live alone, community is clearly linked in the history of humankind. One way for Catholics to practise solidarity is to participate in pursuing the common good for a community. Every member of society has a duty to develop this common good and every member has a right to enjoy the benefits brought about by it.
Respect for human life means respecting all of God’s creation. We must re-engage with our environment and take responsibility for it; live sustainably, live so that there are enough resources for everyone. Our environment influences almost all of our lives, and Catholic Social Teaching recognises that undervaluing makes us all poorer.
This theme looks at the importance of work, the dignity of work and the value of balance in our home and work lives. Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is not to be drudgery, but creative, positive and an intrinsic good. It is not however, all for yourself, ways to accumulate power and influence, but is rather to play our part in being co-creators in God’s loving act of creation.
The Church teaches us that peace is central to the gospel and represents a challenge to many contemporary attitudes and assumptions. Pope Benedict XVI has challenged Christians to be true peacemakers bringing forgiveness and non-violent solutions to situations of hurt and violence.
Solidarity is an important concept for Christians and is one of the most mystical and deeply human founding concepts of the social teaching of the Church. It is based on the belief that together we can make a difference and together we are much stronger. When we value fellow human beings we respect each other as unique individuals and we can stand up for what is right for one another.