The Church's Criterion for the State of the Union
"(A just society) can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of the human person. The person represents the ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him; what is ever at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.
Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority. It is the Church's role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted false claims.
Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor, without any exception, as another self, above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity..."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1930-1931