Catholic Social Teaching and the Global Community

Seven Lessons for Our Time

Taken from Education for Justice web site, Center of Concern

Lesson 1

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: Life is sacred, and the dignity of every human person is to be respected.
World Realities: racism, prejudice, ethnic hatred; capital punishment; materialism, unrestrained commercialism and consumerism; drug trafficking and abuse; sexism; abuse of women and children.

Lesson 2

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: All people are equal and have the right and duty to participate fully in the life of their community.
World Realities: individualism and lack of participation in community; class and economic divisions, stereotyping, and disenfranchisement; gender discrimination; ethnic, racial, and religious discrimination; neglect of immigrants and refugees.

Lesson 3

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: All people have human rights and also must be challenged to live up to human responsibilities.
World Realities: ethnic genocide, imprisonment of political dissidents, abuse of prisoners, denial of political and social freedoms; denial of the human right to food, to health care, to education, to proper housing.

Lesson 4

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: We are called to emulate God by showing a special preference for those who are poor and weak.
World Realities. neglect of the poor, elderly, women, and children; lack of affordable housing and medical care; a growing gap between impoverished and wealthy people, and between the rich nations of the Global North and the developing countries of the Global South.

Lesson 5

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: We work to continue the construction of God’s reign on earth. Work is dignified when workers’ rights are protected and the economy serves the needs of all people.
World Realities: displacement of people from their land, widespread unemployment and underemployment, unjust labor practices, low wages, sweatshops, child labor; unregulated business practices (Enron); global systems of economic injustice such as unjust trade policies and structures.

Lesson 6

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: We belong to a global family and are challenged to love our neighbor as ourselves and to be in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the globe.
World Realities: nationalism and economic competition, ethnic division, persecution of minority populations, small- and large-scale conflicts, gang violence; lack of knowledge and caring about others’ problems and sufferings.

Lesson 7

Catholic Social Teaching Principle: We share one planet; we are stewards of God’s earth and all of creation.
World Realities: environmental destruction, pollution, global warming, loss of habitat for creatures and people, unsustainable consumption of global resources.



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