Catholic Identity » Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching

“If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you.”  – St. Thomas of Villanova

The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and Episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition. (

Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Dignity of Human Person: We are all made in the image of God, therefore all life is sacred.

Option for the Poor: Deprivation and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community. We are morally obligated to respond to the most vulnerable members of society.

Rights and Responsibilities: We have a fundamental duty to see that every person’s basic needs are met…food, clothing, shelter, healthcare & education.

The Dignity of Work and Rights of the Workers: All workers have a right to productive work, fair wages & safe working conditions.

Stewardship of God’s Creation: We have a responsibility to care for the earth and her goods as stewards & trustees, not just consumers.

Call to Family, Community, and Participation: The family is the central social institution, which must be supported and strengthened. We achieve fulfillment in community.

Solidarity: We are one human family. We are called to work globally for justice. We are our brothers’ & sisters’ keepers.