The Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

From the Gary  Diocesan on Peace and Social Justice

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 a moral vision of society.

Call to Family, Community, and Participation – Marriage and family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened.  People have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and the vulnerable.

Rights and Responsibilities – Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency.  Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities – to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable – A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.  In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt:25:31-46), and instructs us to 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.  If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected – the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.

Solidarity – We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences.  At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers.  Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.

Care of God’s Creation – We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.  Care for the earth is a requirement of our faith. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored