Catholic Social Teaching is sometimes referred to as the Church's 'best kept secret'. In order to make it better known, we have chosen quotations would be suitable for copying into parish bulletins to give people a 'taster'.
God’s heart has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself “became poor”. The entire history of our redemption is marked by the presence of the poor. Salvation came to us from the “yes” uttered by a lowly maiden from a small town on the fringes of a great empire.
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, para 197
(International Migrants Day is observed on 18 December)
I would like to ask you all to see a ray of hope as well in the eyes and hearts of refugees and of those who have been forcibly displaced. A hope that is expressed in expectations for the future, in the desire for friendship, in the wish to participate in the host society also through learning the language, access to employment and the education of children...We can and must all nourish this hope!
Pope Francis, 24 May 2013
(International Human Rights Day – the Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Where Human Rights are not respected, defended and promoted, where violence or fraud is done to man's inalienable freedoms, where his personality is ignored or degraded, where discrimination, slavery or intolerance prevail, there true Peace cannot be.
Blessed Pope Paul VI, World Day of Peace 1969
(Nearest Sunday to International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (2 Dec))
The seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for any reason - selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian—lead to the enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 2414
(World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December)
Our response to persons with AIDS must be such that we discover Christ in them and they in turn are able to encounter Christ in us. Although this response undoubtedly arises in the context of religious faith, even those without faith can and must look beyond suffering to see the human dignity and goodness of those who suffer.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Called to Compassion and Responsibility: A Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis, 1989
(International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women is observed on 25 Nov)
Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love. … She is the woman whose heart was pierced by a sword and who understands all our pain. As mother of all, she is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice.
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, para 286
Lasting peace however is not just a matter of structures and mechanisms. It rests above all on the adoption of a style of human coexistence marked by mutual acceptance and a capacity to forgive from the heart. We all need to be forgiven by others, so we must all be ready to forgive. Asking and granting forgiveness is something profoundly worthy of man; sometimes it is the only way out of situations marked by age-old and violent hatred.
Pope St. John Paul II, Message for World Day of Peace 1997
What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute, the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world.
Servant of God Dorothy Day (Born 8 November 1897)
We cannot remain spectators before the suffering of so many people who are worn out by hunger, violence, and injustice. … If I do not draw near to that man, to that woman, to that child, to that old man or that old woman who is suffering, I do not draw near to God.
Pope Francis, Audience on 27 April 2016