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Catholic Social Teaching


'The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.' —Gaudium et Spes, Vatican Council II in 1965

Scarboro Missions follows and promotes Catholic Social Teaching — a body of teaching on economic, political, social and cultural issues developed by the Catholic Church. While the roots lie in early Christianity and Scripture, modern Catholic Social Teaching began with Pope Leo XIII's social encyclical Rerum Novarum (The Condition of Labor) in 1891. It includes the social encyclicals of various popes, documents of the Second Vatican Council as well as statements of local and regional conferences of bishops. An introduction to Catholic Social Teaching is given here with various links to do further exploration.

'The Church, in fact, has something to say about specific human situations, both individual and communal, national and international. She formulates a genuine doctrine for these situations, ... which enables her to analyze social realities, to make judgments about them and to indicate directions to be taken for the just resolution of the problems involved.... In effect, to teach and to spread her social doctrine pertains to the Church's evangelizing mission and is an essential part of the Christian message, since this doctrine points out the direct consequences of that message in the life of society and situates daily work and struggles for justice in the context of bearing witness to Christ the Saviour.'
Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II in 1991

Catholic Social Teaching Documents

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis has an excellent easy-to-use web-site of Catholic Social Teaching Documents, which offers a choice of full text or notable quotations. Under Catholic Social Teaching, they offer as well key themes and a thematic index for notable quotes.

Universal Documents:

Regional Documents

An Appeal to Everyone

'I wish to appeal with simplicity and humility to everyone, to all men and women without exception. I wish to ask them to be convinced of the seriousness of the present moment and of each one's individual responsibility, and to implement—by the way they live as individuals and as families, by the use of their resources, by their civic activity, by contributing to economic and political decisions and by personal commitment to national and international undertakings—the measures inspired by solidarity and love of preference for the poor. This is what is demanded by the present moment and above all by the very dignity of the human person, the indestructible image of God the Creator, which is identical in each one of us. '
Solicitudo Rei Socialis, Pope John Paul II in 1987

Questions or Concerns? Contact the Justice & Peace Office:
Karen Van Loon, Coordinator — jpo@scarboromissions.ca — 416-261-7135 ext.249


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