“Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor.” (Pope Francis, Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 6/14/13)
Because we are created in the image and likeness of God as relational beings, we are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice. Therefore, Catholic Social Teaching is based on and inseparable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death, is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and thus is worthy of respect and dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment.
Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.
For more information please see the USCCB website on Catholic Social Teaching:
“To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus.” (Pope Francis, Address during Visit at the Homeless Shelter "Dono Di Maria," 5/21/13)
Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God's special love for the poor and called God's people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came "to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . liberty to captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind"(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with "the least of these," the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45). Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the Eucharist.
Each year, the Diocese of Dallas holds a second collection for the USCCB's Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Through the money raised in that collection, the Diocese can both fund groups practicing Social Justice as well as educate the members in Catholic Social Thought.
Catholic Social Teaching is the Catholic Church's means by which to live Social Justice in everyday life. However, so few people truly know the Church's teachings in this regard. Therefore, the importance of teaching Catholic Social Thought is enormous because the key to the solution is knowledge.