Catholic Social Teaching

What is Catholic Social Teaching?

Catholic social teaching is based on and inseparable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment.

Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.

(From Sharing Catholic Social Teaching:  Challenges and Directions, USCCB)

7 Key Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Life and Dignity of the Human Person: Every human life is sacred and should be treated with great dignity.

Call to Family, Communion and Participation: We are called to communion with one another in the family and in society. The family in particular, as the first human community, must be supported and strengthened.

Rights and Responsibilities: Every person has a right to live, as well as the responsibility to fulfill our duties to our family, neighbors and society.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: Both individuals and society are called to treat the poorest and the most vulnerable with special attention and compassion.

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: Work is one of the ways in which men image God, the Creator, and is meant for the good of men; men are not for the good of work.

Solidarity: As one human family, we are obliged to pursue peace and justice for all.

Care for God’s Creation: We show our respect for God’s creation by exercising good stewardship.

For a more in-depth look into the 7 Principals of CST

CST 101

CST 101:  7 Part Video and Discussion Guide

CST 101 is a collaborative 7-part video and discussion guide series presented by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services on Catholic social teaching. The videos bring the themes of Catholic social teaching to life and inspire us to put our faith into action. Some suggested uses of the videos and discussion guides include adult faith formation settings, high school theology classes, in lay ministry formation and to prepare groups for service trips. The series also includes downloadable posters and handouts for adults and kids, in English and Spanish. The images featured in the videos and accompanying videos are courtesy of Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person     Solidarity     Care for God's Creation

Call to Family, Community and Participation     Option for the Poor and Vulnerable     Rights and Responsibilities

Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers

You can also view the videos on YouTube - Catholic Relief Services Channel.

Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples

Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being DisciplesThis guide is for priests and lay ministers, teachers and students, adults and young people, and those who are preparing for the sacraments. It is for all Catholics who seek to better understand the connections between the celebration of the sacraments and our social mission as followers of Jesus and members of the Body of Christ.

Booklet Form:  Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciplesen Espanol

List of Individual Sacraments

Additional CST Resources:

Church Documents and Resources

Supplemental Articles and Resources







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