Seven Themes Of Catholic Social Teaching
The Dignity of the Human Person
(Ages 7 and up): God made every single one of us. This makes us incredibly special. It doesn’t matter who we are, who are friends are, what we own, or what we look like. What matters is that we are special because we are God’s creations. This means too that we must treat others with great respect and fairness because God made them too.
(Ages 3 to 6): God made each of us, which means each of us is very special. It is not important if you are tall or small, or happy or sad, or if you have many toys or no toys. What is important is that each of us is special because of God’s love. And we must treat others in a caring way because they were made by God too.
We Are Called to Live as Family and Community
(Ages 7 and up): Jesus understood that people greatly need other people. We all need our families, friends and neighbors. He tells us that these important people can help us. Jesus says we must help them too. Doing this, we create a loving community.
(Ages 3 to 6): Jesus knows that people can only be happy if they have families and friends. He tells us that we can let these important people help us. He asks us to help them too.
Rights and Responsibilities
(Ages 7 and up): All of God’s people should have food, work, clothes, a home, school and medical care. These are ‘rights’: things every single person on earth must have to live. But many people do not have them. Jesus wants those who enjoy these rights to help their sisters and brothers obtain their rights. It is not enough to feel badly for others. Jesus says it is our responsibility to see that they receive their rights.
(Ages 3 to 6): All of God’s people need these things: food, work, clothes, a home, a school, and a doctor to help when they are sick. Every single person on earth needs these. Some people have what they need, but many people don’t. Jesus wants the people who already have what they need to help these others. Jesus wants us to take care of this.
We Are Called to Stewardship
(Ages 7 and up): The earth and all life on it is God’s creation. We are called to take care of it because it is a holy gift from God and the only place we can live. When we make bad or thoughtless use of the earth’s resources, many people suffer. When we make poor choices about how we treat other living things (people, animals, plants) we cause life to be less than God intends. Making wise choices about the care of God’s creation is called good stewardship.
(Ages 3 to 6): God made the earth and sky. God made all the people all over the world. God made the spiders and dogs and butterflies and tigers and pandas and all the other animals. God made the tulips, the trees, the tomatoes and all the plants. And, God tells us we must take good care of them. It is an important job.
An Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
(Ages 7 and up): Every person needs food, water, work, housing, school, and medical care. Those who do not have these are poor. Our Church teaches that these brothers and sisters must be treated with extra respect and extra care and given what they need. Those who are not poor must share what they have with the others.
(Ages 3 to 6): You need food, water, a house, your school, a good doctor and a job for the grown-up who takes care of you. So does everybody else on the whole Earth. But there are many people who do not have these things. Jesus wants us to take extra good care of these people.
The Dignity and Rights of Workers
(Ages 7 and up): All persons work. There are many kinds of work. In each job, workers deserve to have safe conditions, reasonable hours, and fair wages. They deserve this because they are made by God. Our work gives us the means to live, but it can also be a chance to use the talents God gives us. Our work is our way of cooperating with God to create our world.
(Ages 3 to 6): All people work in some way. Their work should be safe and helpful to them because God made them. By our work, we help ourselves and others, and we show our love to God.
(Ages 7 and up): The world’s peoples are interdependent. That means we need each other if we are to live. We must work together if we are to go on living. And, when we share our lives with our sisters and brothers around the world, we will become the best we can be. Even though there are huge differences among us, we are still one family—the family of God.
(Ages 3 to 6): All people are God’s children. That makes us brothers and sisters. We are connected to each other. It is as if everyone in the world held hands! We can be very different from each other, but we are still one family—God’s family.