Catholic Social Teaching & Love in Action
Catholic Social Teaching (CST)
CST sits at the center of the work of Caritas Diocese of Plymouth. We have taken 8 core themes to inform our work.
1. Dignity of the Human Person
This principle recognises that all human beings are our brothers and sisters belonging to one race and one human family. This includes those living in poverty and on the margins of society. “Every human being has the right to live with dignity and to develop integrally.” Fratelli Tutti #106
2. Family and Community
People are social beings made for community and communion with one another, living and sharing our daily lives, hopes and dreams. This principle invites us to reflect on how society organises itself to support family and community life by putting the dignity and the value of the unique individual person at its heart.
3. Preferential Option for the Poor
Poverty is defined as being prevented from living a life worthy of the dignity of a human being because of one’s inability to provide for basic needs. Extreme inequality causes many people to suffer varying conditions of poverty and this has negative impacts on the whole of society. Jesus puts the poor, the marginalised and the vulnerable as a top priority and so must we. “The social doctrine of the Church has unceasingly highlighted the importance of distributive justice and social justice” Caritas in Veritate #35
4. Dignity of Work
The Church teaches about the dignity of work and the full humanity of the worker. Workers are not commodities to be hired and fired at will. Workers have rights but they also have
responsibilities to their employer. Both parties must act honestly and justly by exchanging a fair day’s work for a fair wage and in doing so together contribute to the common good. “A small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.” Rerum Novarum,1891,#3
5. Solidarity and the Common Good
Solidarity is based on the belief that we are all responsible for one another because we all belong to the one human family and must unite against dividing forces. Common Good is what
we must aim for – through each person working for what builds up the whole human family.
6 Rights and Responsibilities
Every human being, regardless of background or circumstances, has equal rights as a person. Along with rights to a life where basic needs are met, come responsibilities to respect the
rights of others. We are challenged to share what we don’t need when there are people who lack the necessities to live a dignified life. Subsidiarity means that we should support
people to accomplish things by their own initiative and efforts.
7 Care for Creation
Jesus invites us to be stewards of Creation. We know that all life on earth is sacred and holy and we are responsible and accountable for it. Respect for the dignity of life extends not just
to every human being on earth but to the universe in its entirety. Caring for this earth and creation is part of what it is to be a Christian. ‘The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.’ Laudato Si’ #13
8 Peace and Reconciliation
Peace can only come about when we learn to treat each other as brothers and sisters and recognise our shared vocation as children of God. “Peace is not merely the absence of war; nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies; nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called an enterprise of justice.” Gaudium et Spes
♥ Love in Action ♥
What is Love in Action?
Love in Action is a parish programme designed by the Diocese of Westminster, to introduce your congregation, youth, school or faith-sharing group to the principles of Catholic social teaching (CST). After completing the programme, you will have the tools to reflect on the needs of your community and start your own social outreach projects.
How does Love in Action Work?
Love in Action introduces Catholic social teaching (CST) through Sunday Liturgy, group activities, and school assemblies. The programme uses a three-step process to help people to engage with CST:
- Six principles of CST are explored in the Sunday liturgy and in parish life: parish groups, families, with children and young people
- People are invited to go deeper, to meet together for a workshop on CST and social action.
Discern and Plan
- People can then embark on a creative process to develop an Action Plan to discern their community response and to put love into action.
- Want to learn even more about Love in Action check on the Diocese of Westminster Caritas Site here. And make sure to check back with this site soon to see updates from Caritas Plymouth.
Want to learn even more about Love in Action check out the Diocese of Westminster Caritas site here.