Catholic Social Teaching
What is Catholic Social Teaching?
Catholic Social Teaching is based on the belief that God has a plan for creation, a plan to build his kingdom of peace, love and justice. It holds that God has a special plan for every single one of us, whoever we are. Our part in this plan isn’t just limited to things ‘spiritual’, or times when we do “religious things.” It involves every aspect of our lives, from the things we pray about, to how we live as a responsible global citizen. Our part in this story is a kind-of vocation for the common good, a call to treat everyone as our brothers and sisters. It is something that we all share.
The Catholic Church has seven principles of social teaching that we share with our children through all that we do, through the curriculum, special events and activity and through our ordinary actions in school.
Rooted In Love
At St John's, we follow the 'Rooted In Love' project by Caritas Westminster. It shares the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching into our half termly teaching.
Each half term, a principle of CST is introduced in assembly and children produce work on this new theme. Children are also rewarded for demonstrating these principles of CST in their daily actions.
To help us put our call into action of making the world the best possible place it can be, and as God intended it to be when He gave it to mankind as a gift, we often revisit the 6 Caritas themes of Catholic Social Teaching. In some of our assemblies we spend time reflecting on Sunday's Gospel or issues that are arising in the world and discuss, contemplate and pray for guidance on identifying how CST can enable us to understand the outward show or action of our Catholic faith that will impact on many aspects of our life and, in turn, lead us to making an impact on the world so it can be as God intended it to be.
The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching
Dignity means ‘the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect’. Therefore, ‘Dignity’ in Catholic Social Teaching means that every human being should be treated equally. This is because everybody is made in God’s image and His likeness and therefore equal in the eyes of God. This is so important that the other principles are based on this.
Community and participation
This is about our own call to be an active part of our community. God didn’t make us to live by ourselves. We’re meant to interact with others. The relationships we have help us learn about ourselves and others. Therefore, God wants us to get involved with those around us; supporting one another and helping build a better world for all.
This is about our call to care for the world. This because, we as Catholics, believe that the Earth and all it contains has been created as a gift for us by God. The resources of the Earth are not infinite. They have been given to us and to future generations. How we treat the Earth has a real impact on people now and in the future.
Solidarity and peace
Solidarity means ‘agreement of feeling or action’. In Catholic Social Teaching this means being together with other people in agreeing and promoting peace in the world. We do this because we believe we are all one family in God. We should work to make sure everyone is living in peace with each other.
Option for the poor
This principle of Catholic Social Teaching helps us to focus on those most in need: the poor. It calls us to think carefully about people living in poverty and how we can help in our choices and actions. We cannot ignore people who are poor; we have to help them as much as we can.
Dignity of workers
Work is more than simply being able to earn money. It is about being able to support yourself and your family. It is about finding something you’re good at and feeling important. Everyone deserves to find a job they enjoy and are good at.