Catholic Social Thought

Drop Shadow

Rights: Rights and Responsibilities

In the Catholic social vision, each person has basic rights and responsibilities that flow from our God-given dignity regardless of any social or political structures. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. These rights include the rights to freedom of conscience and worship; to raise a family; to immigrate; to live without discrimination; and to have a share of earthly goods sufficient for oneself and one's family, including adequate food, clothing, housing, health care, education, employment, and a safe environment. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families, and to the larger society: to respect the rights of others and to work for the common good. 

Rights

The Catholic Church teaches that each person is called to work for social justice. This requires more than direct social service to needy people or charitable giving—although these are very important. But Christians must also understand the systemic problems of injustice in our world and work to transform those structural problems. Emily Reimer-Barry