At St Benedict’s we provide many opportunities for both children and staff to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the Catholic Social Teaching principles. We live out our faith in our community and the wider world. The values are rooted in Scripture, formed by the wisdom of Church leaders, and influenced by grassroots movements. They are our moral compass, guiding us on how to live out our faith. Our belief in God helps us to be global citizens. We teach the children about the dignity of the human person, how we are called to live as family and community, about rights and responsibilities, that we are called to stewardship, our responsibility for the poor and vulnerable, about the dignity and rights of workers and about solidarity and the promotion of peace. We do this through RE lessons, assemblies, outside visitors, through drama, debate, and first-hand experience. As a result, our children feel that they are making a difference to the world by having an impact on Social Justice.
The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching are:
- Dignity of the human person-Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, every person’s life and dignity must be respected and supported from conception until the end of their natural life on earth.
- We are called to live as Family and Community-The human person is not only sacred, but social. How society is organized, be it socially, economically, legally or politically has a direct impact on the dignity and growth of every human person and community. Marriage and family should be supported and strengthened. Every person has a right to work to support themselves and their families as well as the building up of the common good for all.
- Rights and Responsibilities-Every person has a fundamental right to life. It is this right that makes all other rights possible. Everyone has the right to food, health care, housing, education and employment. We all need to strive to secure and respect these rights for others both locally and globally.
- An option for the Poor and Vulnerable-Society is judged on how it cares for the poor and vulnerable – our brothers and sisters. We read in scripture how God has a special concern for the oppressed, poor, vulnerable and those forced to the margins of society. The Church calls us to respond to the cry of the poor and put their needs first. This preferential treatment for the poor and vulnerable must be seen in action in our daily lives.
- The Dignity and Rights of Workers-Work is a way in which we can continue to participate in God’s creation. Work gives dignity to life and must be carried out in such a way that the basic rights of workers are respected. Everyone has the right to productive work, to fair and livable wages, and to organize and join a union. The economy must be conducted so that it serves the needs of the people.
- Solidarity-We are all People of God, one family. Therefore, what happens to one has an impact on all, locally, nationally, and globally. At the heart of solidarity is the pursuit of peace and justice. Our love for all calls us to work for a peaceful and just society where everyone has a fair share of the goods needed for a sustainable life, and opportunities for growth and development are offered equally. The dignity of every person is respected. Pope Francis has challenged Christians to be true peacemakers bringing forgiveness and non-violent solutions to situations of hurt and violence.
- We are called to Stewardship-The world God has created for us has been entrusted to everyone and we are responsible and accountable to God as stewards of the earth. The world has been given to us as a gift, to enjoy and care for so that future generations can enjoy it too. It is in caring for creation that we show our love and respect for its creator.