Blog Template Theology of the Body: Election Week: A Week of Catholic Social Teaching

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Week: A Week of Catholic Social Teaching

My new favorite blog,Evangelical Catholicism, is running a series on Catholic Social Teaching. I am going to be copying their entries here for the next week because Katerina's work is just so good and the topic is so timely. Please be sure to check out the EC blog itself, since it is HOT.

"In 1891, Pope Leo XIII wrote Rerum Novarum, considered the Magna Carta of contemporary Catholic political theology, since it was the pioneer Church document regarding social issues. Leo XIII laid the foundations of social doctrine of the Church through his controversial encyclical at a time in which the Industrial Revolution was transforming rural economy and socialist ideals were brewing across the world.

One of the richest treasures of the Catholic Church lies in its social doctrine. Due to the challenges that our society faces today, such as widespread famine, wars, division of classes, irresponsible States, violation of human life, among many other moral issues, it is important to educate all Catholics on what the Church truly teaches about social responsibility. At the same time, as we approach election day, it is imperative for Catholics to understand where the Church stands in the political, economic, and social sphere in order to exercise our right to vote accordingly.

Catholic social doctrine is based primarily on two key concepts proceeding from Scripture:

A) The Earth and human beings as God’s creation. This doctrine focuses on the vertical relationship between God and His creation (Genesis 1,2).

B) The Common Good. This teaching is horizontal in nature, since it is concerned with how human beings should relate to one another in a social context based on Jesus’ commandment to love one another (Jn 13:34-35).

Based on these two fundamental principles, Catholic social teaching branches out in ten basic themes:

1. Dignity of the Human Person
2. Common Good and Community
3. Option for the Poor
4. Rights and Responsibilities
5. Role of Government and Subsidiarity
6. Economic Justice
7. Stewardship of God's Creation
8. Promotion of Peace and Disarmament
9. Participation
10. Global Solidarity and Development"

...To be Continued.