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