The Significance of Catholic Social Teaching
Last week during my sick days (I was sick for the entire week. I had the amazing flu that kept me in bed for six days, but I resurrected on the seven day:-)), I read the classic documents of universal Catholic Social teaching (CST), dating from 1891 to 2011. The body of Catholic Social Teaching articulates a rich intellectual and theological legacy of the Catholic Church, which Protestant Christianity is lacking.
The universal Catholic Social Teaching is divided in Seven major themes:
1. Life and Dignity of the Human Person
2. Call to Family, Community, and Participation
3. Rights and Responsibilities
4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
7. Care for God’s Creation
*Perhaps, Protestant theologians, Christians, and churches would have fewer fights over vain doctrinal and theological issues if they had such a rich tradition such as Catholic Social Teaching. Also, there would have been fewer denominational congregations if Protestant Christianity would have preserved such a tradition similar to CST. No, the Patristic writings are not the same!
It is interesting how the Catholic Social Teaching has somewhat unified Catholic Christians of different theological persuasion over social concerns; for example, a Catholic christian would put greater emphasis on social outreach–such as aiding the poor , providing for the homeless, helping the immigrant to integrate in the American culture–than a Protestant Christian would… Because of the integration of Catholic Social Teaching in the life of Catholic Churches, it has kept the Catholic church vitally strong, anthropocentric, relational, and makes it more more humanized and socially progressive than Protestant churches. Promoting human dignity is more important than elevating human freedom. Human dignity, not freedom, is the most sacred and inalienable right of humanity. The Biblical Text does not promote human freedom as we do and are obsessed about individual or collective freedom in Western societies; the Bible does, however, accentuate the significance of human dignity in every facet of human existence and social interaction.
Here’s a link below to read this amazing body of work: