Oppar Essay

3489 Words Nov 27th, 2012 14 Pages
Basic Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

Daniel Gannon
Copyright © 2011 Deacon Dan Gannon

Introduction The Church’s primary mission is to help man on the path of salvation.[i] The Church’s social teaching is, “an integral part of her evangelizing ministry”[ii], and is theological in nature – viz. “aimed at guiding people’s behavior”.[iii] Thus, the Church’s social doctrine is integral to the life of the Church and her mission. Key principles of the Church’s social doctrine include her evangelization and teaching regarding: the dignity and right to life of the human person – as revealed by God via Divine Revelation, the centrality and preeminence of the
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Jas 2:18-26) – corporal works of justice in the social context, in addition to spiritual works. This is why the Church’s social teaching is connected to the sacred sources, natural law and the life of virtue through following Christ and obeying His New Law of love.[xii] Touching for a moment on the right to life, it is important to note that, while much focus on “social justice” teaching of the Church is exemplified in Rerum Novarum and its progeny (labor, employment, discrimination, rich and poor, property rights, errors of socialism, etc.), the right to life is itself a most grave and pressing social issue, as Evangelium Vitae strongly teaches.[xiii] If society cannot respect life in its most vulnerable stages of beginning and

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