Catholic Social Teaching & Love in Action

Catholic Social Teaching (CST)

CST sits at the center of Caritas Plymouth, it comprises of 6 core themes detailed below. Information below is sourced from the CST website.

  • Human Dignity 

Human dignity is something that can’t be taken away. Catholic Social Teaching states that each and every person has value, are worthy of great respect and must be free from slavery, manipulation, and exploitation.

“Catholic social teaching believes that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), have by their very existence an inherent value, worth, and distinction”. Daniel Groody “Globalization, Spirituality and Justice”

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

  • Community and Participation 

We are not created by God to live alone. Living in community is an essential expression of who we are. But Community does not just happen – it is something that men and women must work together to develop.

“…A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people must give it this soul.” John Paul II

“Participation is a duty to be fulfilled consciously by all, with responsibility and with a view to the common good.” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

  • Care for Creation 

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.

The relationship between human activity and global warming must be constantly monitored for “the climate is a good that must be protected”. Vatican’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, para 470

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.” Pope Francis

  • Dignity in Work 

Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is dignified and an intrinsic good, and workers must always be respected and valued

Jesus became “like us in all things, devoted most of the years of his life on earth to manual work at the carpenters bench” Saint John Paul II – Laborem Exercens, On Human Work

[The state] “has also the duty to protect the rights of all its people, and particularly of its weaker members, the workers, women and children. It can never be right for the State to shirk its obligation of working actively for the betterment of the condition of the workingman.” John XXIII – Mater et Magistra

  • Peace & 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

  • Solidarity