THE SEVEN THEMES OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

That human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.

The person is not only sacred, but social and that how we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy, directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. People have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and the well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, 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.

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 Judgement (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and the vulnerable first.

The economy must serve people, not the other way around. 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.

We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world.

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is a requirement of the Catholic faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.