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Catholic Social Teaching (CST)


"Since the Christian vocation is a call to transform oneself and society with God's help, the educational efforts of the Church must encompass the twin purposes of personal sanctification and social reform in the light of Christian values."
Economic Justice for All, US Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy, 1986 #341

It is imperative that no one, out of indifference to the course of events or because of inertia, would indulge in a merely individualistic morality. The best way to fulfil one's obligations of justice and love is to contribute to the common good according to one's means and the needs of others, and also to promote and help public and private organizations devoted to bettering the conditions of life.
The Church in the Modern World #30

All must consider it their sacred duty to count social obligations among their chief duties today and observe them as such. For the more closely the world comes together, the more widely do people's obligations transcend particular groups and extend to the whole world. This will be realized only if individuals and groups practise moral and social virtues and foster them in social living. Then, under the necessary help of divine grace, there will arise a generation of new women and men, the molders of a new humanity.
The Church in the Modern World #30

Charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into account ... Let no one attempt with trifling charitable donations to exempt themselves from the great duties imposed by justice.
Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, 1937, #49

Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.
Justice in the World 1971

We cannot be called truly “Catholic” unless we hear and heed the church’s call to serve those in need and work for justice and peace. Just as the social teaching of the Church is integral to Catholic faith, the social justice dimensions of teaching are integral to Catholic education and catechesis. They are an essential part of Catholic identity and formation. If Catholic education and formation fail to communicate our social tradition, they are not fully Catholic.
US Bishops, 1998

Injustice is at the base of every revolution in history. The lesson is clear: a country that wants a safe and stable future will treat its poorest members very well.

It is easy to speak fondly of being merciful to the poor and disenfranchised in society. What is difficult is to do justice for them because it would require so many changes in our own lives.

Righteous anger is a holy thing. It fuels us for the journey to justice. Nevertheless, when anger consumes us, justice disappears.
Joan Chittister OSB

Justice limps along, but it gets there all the same.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr

Those who follow compassion find life for themselves, justice for their neighbour, and glory for God.
Matthew Fox

When we focus on our own frailty and weakness and the immensity of what is wrong with the world we can feel hopeless. When we look instead at what we can do and then begin to serve, hope grows, as does our sense of being effective and worthwhile.
Tom Barret

It is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all because we are all really responsible for all.
John Paul II

Those who follow compassion find life for themselves, justice for others and glory for God.
Meister Eckhart

Justice is at the heart of faith itself. Political apathy is not an option for a Christian.

The word that describes the relationship of the community to the “anawim”, the poor, is justice.

Our culture has a preferential option for the rich, the powerful and beautiful.
Fred Kammer SJ

No-one so poor cannot give; no-one so rich cannot receive.

You’re supposed to be the leaven in the loaf, not part of the lump.

Love is the soul of justice.

The core of Israel’s faith is the doing of justice. Without doing justice God remains unknown.

The biblical notion of justice is right relationship with God, self, others, and creation.
John R. Donohue


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