Catholic social thought is based on the belief that the almighty has a plan for a proper creation along with a plan for developing a kingdom which would be based on love, peace and justice. The God has also decided a special story for all of us in his planning and in order to fulfill our part, it is not sufficient to be only spiritual and keep ourselves happy (Guitan, 2015). It is also important to involve every aspect of life starting from the how we perceive ourselves individually, working towards good to that of the responsibility of being a global citizen. It involves nine main principles which help us develop ourselves as good followers of god and maintain ideals which bring out the compassionate and empathic sides for us making the world a better place for all privileged as well as unprivileged people of the world.
The first principle is called the Dignity of the human person. The main foundation of the Catholic Church is that human life is sacred and therefore the dignity of the human should be made starting point for a moral vision for the society. This principle mainly states that every person on this earth is prepared on the earth with the image of God which in simple term can be described that every individual is the clearest reflection of the God. Therefore each and every person should reflect self as the follower of such principles and take care that he maintains the dignity of the opposite person at the same time maintaining his own dignity as well (Stollenwork, 2016). Often it may lead to conflict but as human are intelligent creations, proper strategies need to be adopted to save the respect for both. When all the individuals start thinking responsibly in the same fashion, a community will grow up where love and respect for each other would be the main foundation.
The second principle is called the common good and community. Each and every human being is sacred as well as social where realizing the dignity as well as relationship with the others in the society is very important for peaceful establishment of a social life. Organizing the society in different aspects like economics, law, policy and politics by placing proper importance on maintaining dignity will help to develop the capacity of individuals to grow in a community. When each and every individuals becomes self determined to love their neighbors unconditionally, they would be able to move forward towards a broad community commitment where good performed by the self with lead to an enrich community (Massaro, 2015).
The third principle would is called the preferential option for the poor as well as the vulnerable. It is true that deprivation and powerlessness of the poor becomes one of the major reasons that wound as the community and therefore the poor has the most urgent moral claim on the conscience developed by the nation and its people. Option for the poor is extremely important aspect of the society’s effort to achieve common good (Curley, 2017). A proper healthy community can be only achieved when each and every individual develop a self determination to provide special attention to those who are in special needs, to those who are on the margins of the society and are poor.
The fourth principle is called the rights and responsibilities. A healthy community can only be achieved when human rights are protected long with the provision of chances where the members would also meet their responsibilities. Each and every individual in the community on the self has the right to enjoy life with the right to gain all those things important for leading a quality life like food, shelter, cloth and employment. Therefore each and every individual on the own self should take the responsibility of practicing such rights for themselves and also provide chances to the underprivileged so that they also get the scope of enjoying their rights (Thompson, 2015). In this way, every individual can contribute to development of a community where human dignity is protected and proper voice for rights and responsibilities are also welcome.
The fifth principle is the role of the government and the subsidiarity. By this principle, it is stated that every state has the responsibility towards it s people that they should help them in promoting human dignity, providing strategies which would build common good and at the same time should also protect the human rights. Every individual has the right to participate in any political institutions so those governments can achieve goals. Subsidiary states that functions of the government should occur at the lowest level and until the concerned needs are not met in the level, and then only the government should intervene in the higher levels (Wright, 2017). Therefore every responsible individual should come forwards and develop self determination to provide the best survive to the government so that the government can work as a team and provide the best option or the citizens as a whole community.
The sixth principle is called the economic justice. It must be taken care that every people should serve to develop economy but not the other way round. Each and every individual as a self has got the right to perform productive work, to gain fair wages as well as right to enjoy safe working conditions. This principle also states that although people should have the right to possess private properly and develop economic initiative but there should be a limit (Clark et al., 2014). This is mainly done so that people do not exploit their property when others are not being able to enjoy the basic necessities of life. It is often the task of the state and also of every individual of a community to be responsible in their decisions on economy and at the same time extend their effort to help the state and the community to enjoy a maintained and balanced economic stability. This would help in development of a community where peace and happiness would prevail.
The seventh principle is called the Stewardship of God’s creation. In this principle, it is sated that the different gifts provided by the almighty to us in the forms of good on the earth which is mainly consumed by different stakeholders as resources. It is extremely important for every individual to be morally correct in their approach to this utilization of resources and take them as ‘social mortgage’ where each if the individual will act as responsible stewards and trustees (Sternberg & Frensch, 2014). This principle mainly states that every individual human being must be self determined to be responsible users of the resources provided. When they develop this knowledge to self, they can assure development of a community where both the underprivileged people also get their right of the resources and thereby maintain a stable balance in resource consumption and hence a better living place for all.
The eighth principle is called the promotion of peace and disarmament. Peace is an extremely important concept which when established successfully results in an overall growth of the nation with citizens who are happy, healthy, mentally fit and enjoy quality life with proper financial stability. Peace just does not mean absence of war but involves mutual respect and confidence among people and nation’s thorough collaborations and binding agreements. Hence, it becomes important for every individual of a nation to be self determined to conduct activities which would either promote piece or would refrain from any fierce or harmful activities for the betterment of personal lives and also for the promotion of peace in community as well (Matheny, 2016).
The principle nine is called participation. This principle states that every individual irrespective of caste, creed, religion and socioeconomic class could actively participate in societal activities as they should practice the fundamental demand of justice and human dignity. It is also the duty as a citizen that every human should themselves participate in the societal activities and also provide scope to underprivileged so that they can also enjoy societal participation. In this way by considering self and community betterment, individuals should promote participate in every fields of society.
The last principle is called the global solidarity as well as development. this principles states that every human being should try to make themselves a part of the creation of God on a global outlook rather than of a particular state or a community. By these, it means that every individual should develop a self belief that their responsibilities towards human kind should surpass racial, national, economical and ideological differences and provide justice and support globally. This would help developing world where all human would be brothers and sister and live for each other. Therefore overcoming elf obsessions and self biasness and doing good fir the community will prepare a world worthy of living (Hrynkow & Creamer, 2015).
In this way, by developing self determination and being more thorough about our own activities, one can develop a community which encourages better quality living for all.
Clark, M. J. (2014). The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: The Virtue of Solidarity and the Praxis of Human Rights. Fortress Press.
Curley, J. P. (2017). Is There a Right to Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention and, If Not, Do Catholic Social Principles Demand One?. Journal of Catholic Legal Studies, 47(2), 12.
Guitián, G. (2015). Service as a bridge between ethical principles and business practice: A Catholic Social Teaching perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(1), 59-72.
Hrynkow, C., & Creamer, D. (2015). Catholic social thought bearing fruit: the case of Sister Cyril Mooney and Loreto Day School Sealdah, Kolkata, India. International Studies in Catholic Education, 7(2), 222-237.
Massaro, T. (2015). Living justice: Catholic social teaching in action. Rowman & Littlefield.
Matheny, K. (2016). Catholic Social Thought, Social Security Disability, and Inclusion of the Disabled in the American Economy. Rutgers JL & Religion, 18, 33.
Sternberg, R. J., & Frensch, P. A. (2014). Complex problem solving: Principles and mechanisms. Psychology Press.
Stollenwerk, D. J. (2016). On Faith and Reason: Synthesis as a Principle of Catholic Social Teaching in Laudato Si'. The Australasian Catholic Record, 93(4), 419.
Thompson, J. M. (2015). Introducing catholic social thought. Orbis Books.
Wright, K. S. (2017). The principles of Catholic social teaching: A guide for decision making from daily clinical encounters to national policy-making. The Linacre Quarterly, 84(1), 10-22.
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