- “The permanent principles of the Church's social
doctrine constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching. These
are the principles of:
- the dignity of the human person, ...which is the foundation of all the other principles content of the Church's social doctrine;
the common good;
"Each person must have access to the level of well-being necessary for his full development ….
“By means of work and making use of the gift of intelligence, people are able to exercise dominion over the earth and make it a fitting home….
“Private property is an essential element of an authentically social and democratic economic policy, and…the guarantee of a correct social order.... Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute and untouchable ....Private property...is in its essence only an instrument for respecting the principle of the universal destination of goods; in the final analysis,…it is not an end but a means….
“Individual persons may not use their resources without considering the effects that this use will have…they must act in a way that benefits not only themselves and their family but also the common good....New technological and scientific knowledge must be placed at the service of mankind's primary needs ….
- "The principle of the universal destination of goods
requires that the poor, the marginalized and in all cases those whose
living conditions interfere with their proper growth should be the focus
of particular concern. To this end, the preferential option for the
poor should be reaffirmed in all its force….
“Christian realism…is cautious…re-garding ideological positions and Messianistic beliefs that sustain the illusion that it is possible to eliminate…poverty completely from this world. This will happen only upon Christ's return….the poor remain entrusted to us and it is this responsibility upon which we shall be judged at the end….
“the practice of charity is not limited to alms-giving but implies addressing the social and political dimensions of the problem of poverty….'When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice' [Saint Gregory the Great]….
"It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth....
“The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfil their duties....The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to certain forms of centralization, bureaucratization, and welfare assistance and to the unjustified and excessive presence of the State in public mechanisms.... Various circumstances may make it advisable that the State step in to supply certain functions....this institutional substitution must not continue any longer than is absolutely necessary….The characteristic implication of subsidiarity is participation....every democracy must be participative....
"Solidarity highlights in a particular way the intrinsic social nature of the human person, the equality of all in dignity and rights and the common path of individuals and peoples towards an ever more committed unity.... International solidarity too is required by the moral order; peace in the world depends in large part on this....
“The unsurpassed apex of the perspective indicated here is the life of Jesus of Nazareth….In him it is always possible to recognize the living sign of that measureless and transcendent love of God-with-us, who takes on the infirmities of his people, walks with them, saves them and makes them one....
"The Church's social Magisterium constantly calls for the most classical forms of justice to be respected:
Ever greater importance has been given to social justice....
"It is from the inner wellspring of love that the values of truth, freedom and justice are born and grow.... No legislation, no system of rules or negotiation will ever succeed in persuading men and peoples to live in unity, brotherhood and peace; no line of reasoning will ever be able to surpass the appeal of love”