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Catholic Social teaching:

Recently I have been reflecting on some key principles and themes underpinning Catholic Social teaching:

 · Each person has an innate value and dignity with a right to life and the right to what is required to live a full and decent life, employment, health care, education etc. but those rights are accompanied by duties and responsibilities.

 · Solidarity. Each person is connected to and dependent on all humanity, collectively and individually. Solidarity involves a commitment to the common good.

 · A preferential option for the poor and vulnerable - be they unborn children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and terminally ill, or victims of injustice and oppression.

 · Subsidiarity. Central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.

 · A just economic order. This includes the right to private property, (but not an absolute right), workers’ responsibilities to their employer and their rights to a just wage, safe working conditions and to unionise. The economy must serve people, not the other way around.

 · The "goods of the earth" are gifts from God, and intended by God for the benefit of everyone.

 · Stewardship of creation. The integrity of all creation is to be respected. There is a responsibility to care for the earth, to use its resources wisely, and preserve resources for future generations. Clearly the current state of our world does not reflect these values.