Our parish outreach ministries address the needs of the poor, the lonely, the weak, the marginalized, and the vulnerable in our community, our neighborhood, and around the world. Jesus rescued the adulteress from stoning, ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, and healed the sick and the sinner. He promised severe punishment for those who were indifferent to the plight of the poor. Christians through the ages have sought to take the example and words of Jesus to heart and to live them in social settings very different from ancient Palestine. Catholic social teaching is an offspring of this effort.
Catholic Social Teaching is the Church’s teaching about the attainment of social justice of the individual as a single entity as well as within a society. Catholic social teaching is central to our faith and calls us to work for the common good, help build a just society, uphold the dignity of human life, and lift up our poor and vulnerable brothers and sisters.
In 1891, Pope Leo XIII released his encyclical Rerum Novarum (“Of New Things”), where he addressed the new issues facing European society as a result of the Industrial Revolution and the social transformation this brought about. This was the first of the great social encyclicals of the Church and a watershed in the life of the Church because it began a tradition of engagement with the socioeconomic and political forces shaping the modern world.
Key principles of catholic social teaching which have developed since Rerum Novarum center on:
• Human Dignity
• Community and the common good
• Rights and responsibilities
• Option for the poor and vulnerable
• Dignity of work
• Care for creation
• Global solidarity
• Role of government and subsidiarity
• Promotion of peace