Communal Life

Catholic Social Teaching

We live, not in isolation, but in solidarity with the human community. We live a communal life. Loving each other is at the heart of the Gospel message. The Church has been at the forefront in applying Jesus’ principles of our communal living; this has come to be known as Catholic Social Teaching. Belief in the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all Catholic social teaching.

Click for an overview of the key principles of Catholic Social Teaching


Challenges and Directions: Sharing Catholic Social Teachings

“Far too many Catholics are not familiar with the basic content of Catholic social teaching. More fundamentally, many Catholics do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith. This poses a serious challenge for all Catholics, since it weakens our capacity to be a Church that is true to the demands of the Gospel. We need to do more to share the social mission and message of our Church.”

Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions. U.S. Catholic Bishops



  • “Solidarity… 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.” (# 38) On Social Concern, Pope John Paul II, 1987


  • “It is imperative that no one, out of indifference to the course of events or because of inertia, would indulge in a merely individualistic morality. The best way to fulfill one’s obligations of justice and love is to contribute to the common good according to one’s means and the needs of others, and also to promote and help public and private organizations devoted to bettering the conditions of life.” (#30) Gaudium et Spes, Second Vatican Council, 1965


  • “It is not enough merely to formulate a social doctrine. It must be translated into reality. And this is particularly true ofthe Church’s social doctrine, the light of which is Truth, Justice its objective, and Love its driving force.” Mater et Magister (#226), Pope John XXIII,  1961