Learning More About Catholic Social Teachings


We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions and requires us to eradicate racism and address the extreme poverty and disease plaguing so much of the world. Solidarity also includes the Scriptural call to welcome the stranger among us—including immigrants seeking work, a safe home, education for their children, and a decent life for their families. In light of the Gospel’s invitation to be peacemakers, our commitment to solidarity with our neighbors—at home and abroad—also demands that we promote peace and pursue justice in a world marred by terrible violence and conflict. Decisions on the use of force should be guided by traditional moral criteria and undertaken only as a last resort. As Pope Paul VI taught: “If you want peace, work for justice” (World Day of Peace Message, January 1, 1972).

Scriptural Foundations

We are called to global solidarity. We are one human family regardless of national, racial, ethnic, gender, economic or ideological boundaries. Global solidarity expresses concerns for world peace and international development.

Save all nations

Peace for all nations

  • Isaiah 2:1-4
  • Micah 4:1-3
  • Romans 10:12 (no national distinctions in God)
  • Galatians 3:28 (all one in Christ)
    Sources: USCCB New American Bible and Leader’s Guide to Sharing Catholic Social Teaching, (USCCB, 2001).
  • This moreover must be repeated: what is superfluous in richer regions must serve the needs of the regions in want. …Their avarice if continued will call down the punishment of God and arouse the anger of the poor…”
    -Pope Paul VI, On the Development of Peoples (Populorum Progressio), 49.
  • Because peace, like the kingdom of God itself, is both a divine gift and a human work, the Church should continually pray for the gift and share in the work. We are called to be a Church at the service of peace, precisely because peace is one manifestation of God’s work in our midst.”
    -National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response, 23.

Quotes from Official Church Documents

  • “Independence must be transformed into solidarity based upon the principle that the goods of creation are meant for all. That which human industry produces through the processing of raw materials, with the contribution of work, must serve equally for the good of all…  “Solidarity helps us to see the ‘other’ – whether a person, people of nation-not just some kind of instrument, with a work capacity and physical strength to be exploited at low cost and then discarded when no longer useful, but as our ‘neighbor’ a ‘helper’, to be made a sharer, on par with ourselves, in the banquet of life to which all are equally invited by God”
    -Pope John Paul II, On Social Concern (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis), 39.

Sources:  Leader’s Guide to Sharing Catholic Social Teaching, (USCCB, 2001).

For further reading of the Church Documents:

References from the Catechism

  • 1941- Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.
  • 2438 - Various causes of a religious, political, economic, and financial nature today give "the social question a worldwide dimension," Sollicitudo rei socialis, 9.  There must be solidarity among nations which are already politically interdependent. It is even more essential when it is a question of dismantling the "perverse mechanisms" that impede the development of the less advanced countries," Sollicitudo rei socialis, 17; 45. In place of abusive if not usurious financial systems, iniquitous commercial relations among nations, and the arms race, there must be substituted a common effort to mobilize resources toward objectives of moral, cultural, and economic development, "redefining the priorities and hierarchies of values, Centesimus annus, 28; cf. 35.

Practicing Faithful Citizenship

Prayer for Solidarity*

Almighty and ever-living God,
empower your one human family to join hands
on our journey of faith.
Send us your Spirit of hope,
so that we may work
to alleviate human suffering
and foster charity and justice
in our world.

*From Being Neighbor: The Catechism and Social Justice, USCCB, April, 1998