Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Clear Account of Catholic Social Teaching

The Catholic Church's "Best Kept Secret" keeps coming out!

This blogger offers a respectable summary:

Many popes ago in the Vatican far, far away, writings were published describing the position of the Catholic Church on different issues. When it comes to justice, there are 9 basic issues or "themes" in what is known as Catholic Social Teaching:

Disclaimer: This is how I personally interpret these themes and does not fully express what the Church says specifically. For a more "scholarly" explanation, read "Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action" by Thomas Massaro, S.J.

1-The Dignity of Every Person and Human Rights- Okay, so there's more to this than just being used by some in pro-life arguements. This means that because we were created in the image of God, we are all sacred and have dignity. Therefore, we have certain rights as human: food, clothing, health care, freedom of thought and religion, a just wage, etc. This goes for EVERYONE, regardless of race, class, gender, etc.

2-Solidarity, Common Good and Participation- It sounds like a lot but it's simple. To get by, we work together. Everyone on Earth is a member of a huge family, as corny as that may sound. We constantly rely on others, whether it's eating fruit picked by laborers or wearing clothes made by factory workers. If something happens to them, it affects us so help them out!

3-Family Life- This is where everyone starts out. Regardless of how close a family is, it's where we get our morals and it affects how we see the world.

4-Subsidiarity and the Proper Role of Government- Yeah, it sounds like some boring stuff you learn in class but it simply means that we split up responsibilities. Sure, we want to shut down the new meth lab that was set up down the street but we don't go down there ourselves (at least we better not). We find ways to let those in the right positions do it. We write letters, we campaign, they set up laws, they enforce them.

He has five more summary points. Check it out!

If our leaders took leadership more seriously, they'd consider their policies in the light of these principles. People of all faiths or none can see the truth of them. It's open to anyone that reasons with a mind committed to truth, not agendas.

More witnesses, please!