The needs and interests of the poor, marginalized and dispossessed among us have a moral priority deriving from the essential unity of all humankind. In a world characterized by growing prosperity for some and pervasive poverty for others, Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. This is an imperative for humans and for Christians, just as it is working for peace and social justice.
Catholic social teaching refers to the authoritative documents of the Catholic Church that deal with social issues. Catholic social teaching is a tradition that is complex, contextual, and evolving.