Principles Of Catholic Social Teaching
"Our God is a society" – G.K. Chesterton
The hundred years from 1891 to 1991 saw the development of a systematic papal teaching on society that has proved helpful and influential well beyond the Catholic Church. This teaching revolves around certain key principles and themes, which have been summarized in many lists. We can reduce them to four:
(1) Personality, or the inalienable dignity of man and woman as created and called to perfection by God.
(2) Solidarity, or the intrinsic relationship of the person to the family, the community, and the common good.
(3) Subsidiarity, or the maximization of human freedom and responsibility at the lowest and most local level compatible with the common good.
(4) Sustainability or stewardship, meaning the responsibility of humanity for maintaining and cultivating the resources that have been entrusted to it.