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Bulletin Announcement: Catholic Social Teachings
“The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters…she strives to inspire right relationships with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2420
Catholic Social Teaching offers a moral framework for articulating society’s common good. With seven primary themes, we are called to look beyond our own self-interest to focus on the common good. Realizing national boundaries are lines drawn in the sand, this perspective views all humanity as our sisters and brothers. Catholic Social Teaching animates the words of Jesus calling us to live as peacemakers, serving the destitute to see the face of Christ in heartfelt solidarity and walking with reverence on the gift of creation. Letting faith move us beyond words of platitude to action, we become faithful witnesses to the Gospel.
Bulletin Announcement: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
“…The fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” has validity because God alone is the Lord of life and death. The respect owed to the inviolability and integrity of physical life finds its climax in the positive commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, by which Jesus enjoins the obligation to tend to the needs of one’s neighbor.”
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, paragraph 112
The foundation of Catholic Social Teaching affirms the sacredness of human life and dignity of the human person. Principles that transcend the womb, to relevance in all stages of life, God’s gift of life manifest the preciousness of every human being. When systemic policies and personal perspectives affront violence against life by words and actions to demean the uniqueness of each person’s human dignity, neighbor becomes enemy. The covenant of love shatters into disrespect, conflict and division. To love our neighbor we must love ourselves in gratitude for the gift of life, compassion and peace God bestowed on us and freely share the blessings to acknowledge the dignity of all humanity.
Bulletin Announcement: Call to Family Community and Participation
“The presence of the laity in social life is characterized by service, the sign and expression of love, which is seen in the areas of family, culture, work, economics and politics…Complying with the different demands of their particular area of work, lay men and women express the truth of their faith and at the same time the truth of the Church’s social doctrine, which fully becomes a reality when it is lived concretely in order to resolve social problems.”
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, paragraph 551
Participation in society must ground itself in service for the common good. This usurps desire for control, dominance and maximizing economic initiative. Service must negate a condescending attitude to be offered with respect to protect the wellbeing of all. Those on the margins of society that might speak a different language, live on the street, lack education or struggle with mental illness all have the capacity to infuse society with gifts. Their right to participate in society must be assured. While families are the central element of society’s social institutions, respect and dignity must also be afforded people that are divorced, widowed, gay or single. Intrinsically, each has gifts, that while on a variety of paths, manifest forth a call to serve.
Bulletin Announcement: Rights and Responsibilities
“The demands of the common good are dependent on the social conditions of each historical period and are strictly connected to respect for and the integral promotion of the person and his fundamental rights. These demands concern above all the commitment to peace, the organization of the State’s powers, a sound judicial system, the protection of the environment and the provision of essential services to all, some of which are at the same time human rights: food, housing, work, education and access to culture, transportation, basic health care, the freedom of communication and expression, and the protection of religious freedom. Nor must one forget the contribution that every nation is required in duty to make towards a true worldwide cooperation for the common good of the whole of humanity and for future generations also.”
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, paragraph 166
Every person has a fundamental right to life and the basic necessities for human decency. That means not looking the other way when we see people in position of authority degrade the human rights of others or deleting an email about human rights abuses and say, “That is not my problem.” Our life journey is not to be lived as a tourist absorbing the grandeur of life, seeking amenities and services. Faith calls us to live as pilgrims in pondering our relationships to others and the Divine. The journey devolves into a sacred place of our soul that defines life in a web of relationships. If the web of trust, commitment, cooperation and justice snaps by power, greed or prejudice, the resulting chasm leaves a void in humanity’s responsibility to respect human dignity inclusively. This paradigm extends across the continuum of time, as how we use our rights and make commitments to our responsibilities will impact the journey of generations to come.