Catholic Social Teaching and Social Justice

The Church’s social teaching is a very rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives
of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. Jesus calls us to love one another over and over in the Gospels, and in answering this call we build up the Kingdom of God here on Earth. Our treasure of Catholic social teaching is a response to that call.

Rooted in the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice, it is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came “to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . liberty to captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind”(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with “the least of these,” the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45).

The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition. (From the Catholic Relief Services Website)

Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor that we find in the Gospel. To learn more, visit USCCB  Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching.

Explanation of the 7 Themes of Catholic Social Teaching (Catholic Relief Services)
CST 101 handout that defines the 7 themes of Catholic Social Teaching. 

The 7 themes of CST handout for children

More resources:

Click on each Topic to go to that page for more learning resources.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

Call to Family, Community & Participation

Rights & Responsibilities

Option for the Poor & Vulnerable

The Dignity and Rights of Workers


Care for God’s Creation

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