terça-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2018


By Fr. Paul Lansu
Senior Policy Advisor, Pax Christi International

Catholic social teaching provides a critical framework from where to search values and norms and to contribute to justice, peace and care for the creation. The social ideas of the Church, which have developed over decades, offer an almost inexhaustible richness of points of reference for peace work. Especially concerning the four most prominent (international) areas of attention: peace/security, human rights, development and climate. Within the broader political framework, international law and especially international humanitarian law are applicable.

Human dignity

Catholic social teaching has the dignity of each individual as its point of departure. Each person is unique. Moreover, life in solidarity is people’s calling. Solidarity refers mostly to taking responsibility together for each person’s dignity, whatever his/her identity and so-called social status. Catholic social thought is universal in nature. Transnational problems will ask for transnational answers, especially in these times of globalisation.

Serving the common good

Living in solidarity entails striving for the common good, or the ‘bonum commune’, together. Society should develop in harmony with every person and his/her environment, and to everybody’s content. Solidarity calls for tangible acts. It is time for action. Every person deserves help, especially in situations of war or other need, such as people on the run.

As a human being, one inevitably lives in the company of others, both locally and globally. Society belongs to everyone and people thus live in a participatory manner. The social fabric in which people live has both local and international characteristics. That social fabric should be, or is, the medium for life in peace and harmony with other people and our surroundings.

Options for the poor and weakest

People are part of different social networks: family, upbringing, culture, religion, career, etc. The (shared) responsibility for social/public life lies with people themselves in the first place.

This kind of thinking requires making choices regularly. It requires prioritising the most weak and the poorest and simultaneously it requires redistribution of wealth. A social safety net should take up the delicate. It is not possible to live in freedom without there being some form of social protection.

Globalisation often results in inequality between countries and societies. It is necessary to eliminate large inequalities between people and between populations. We must develop the earth and her society in a responsible way as much as possible. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are a frame of reference for this as well. [+]

A project of Pax Christi International, the global Catholic movement for peace

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