Catholic Social Thought

Drop Shadow

Current Theme: Call to Family, Community and Participation

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:31


Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.

Micah: 6-8


Call to Family, Community and Participation:

The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

It is above all a question of interdependence, sensed as a system determining relationships in the contemporary world, in its economic, cultural, political and religious elements, and accepted as a moral category. When interdependence becomes recognized in this way, the correlative response as a moral and social attitude, as a "virtue," is solidarity. This then is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all. This determination is based on the solid conviction that what is hindering full development is that desire for profit and that thirst for power already mentioned. These attitudes and "structures of sin" are only conquered - presupposing the help of divine grace - by a diametrically opposed attitude: a commitment to the good of one's neighbor with the readiness, in the gospel sense, to "lose oneself" for the sake of the other instead of exploiting him, and to "serve him" instead of oppressing him for one's own advantage (cf. Mt 10:40-42; 20:25; Mk 10:42-45; Lk 22:25-27).

From California Catholic Conference:

“The common good embraces the sum of those conditions of social life by which individuals, families, and groups can achieve their own fulfillment in a relatively thorough and ready way.” – Gaudiem et Spes

“Basic justice demands the establishment of minimum levels of participation in the life of the human community for all persons. The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if they were nonmembers of the human race. To treat people this way is effectively to say they simply do not count as human beings.” - Economic Justice for All

Resources for Evangelii Gaudium ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ Pope Francis:

Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation (not a new Church doctrine, but a communication from the Pope to encourage and support certain practices or aspects of Church teaching that can be effectively applied) does not only address the theme of the Call to Family, Community and Participation, but it does include many of the themes tenants. Please explore the Pope’s first document for the Catholic Church.

Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium

Papal Economics 101: What Francis Meant in ‘Evangelii Gaudium’

Recasting the New Evangelization Framework in Light of the Poor Early Highlights and Analysis of Evangelii Gaudium 

Responding to “The Joy of the Gospel”

USD Institutional Achievement:

Letter from Senator Feinstein