The Catholic Church teaches a standard on social responsibility that all Catholics should practice. These social teachings put hands and feet on a Catholic’s faith and shows the world that the Church holds to social and moral principles that are either fading or gone in regular society. Whether or not secular society is even aware of it, the Church’s social teachings are meant to bolster up and better the world as a whole.
The Dignity of the Human Person:
Every person in the world was created in the image and likeness of his Creator. Why, then, do some groups in society stratify human beings? The responsibility of the Catholic Church is to show respect and love to all humans. In promoting the good of the individual, the Church is serving the common good of everyone. Distinctions are not drawn as to income level, race, appearance, intelligence, or position in life. All human persons deserve to be afforded the dignity that their Creator intended for them.
The Institution of the Family:
This social teaching encompasses many areas, including marriage, children, parents, culture, education, the sanctity of human life, the evils of abortion and euthanasia, capital punishment and the dignity of women.
In sanctifying life, the social teaching of the Church asserts the rights of all groups in the family of God. Society sanctifies life when it is convenient, and destroys it when it is inconvenient. They are pushing for the right of everyone to commit assisted physician suicide. But who are they to play God? A major effort has been put forth by the Church to upgrade the lives of farm workers and protect the lives of the unborn.
Work and Wages:
Catholic social teaching asserts that every man has the right to decent working conditions and livable wages. Workers deserve to work in healthy working conditions and not to be exploited for their hard work. A fair employer contributes to the moral integrity of the employee. Again, this is for all people – not just Catholics.
Poverty and Charity:
The Church views the poor first and the wealthy second. This is because the poor are often defenseless, but the wealthy have the means to help the poor. The Church puts a great deal of time, effort and resources into providing food and services to the poor. Jesus said, “If you do it unto the least of them, you do it unto Me.”
Church social teaching claims a responsibility to the environment, the state, and the international community. Catholics are to stand out, within the provision of the Church’s social teaching, as a people who care for their fellow man and reach out to others, regardless of their religion, race, or stature in life.