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'.
(UN International Day of Peace is observed on 21 September)
Peace is principally the attainment of the common good in society at its different levels, primary and intermediary, national, international and global. Precisely for this reason it can be said that the paths which lead to the attainment of the common good are also the paths that must be followed in the pursuit of peace.
Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Day of Peace 2013
“We must speak to them with our hands by giving, before we try to speak to them with our lips.”
Saint Peter Claver S.J
Peter Claver was a Catalan Spanish Jesuit priest. Whilst a seminarian in Colombia he witnessed the harsh conditions and brutal treatment of African slaves being bought to the New World and sold. Upon his ordination he committed his ministry to those in slavery, and over 40 years would enter newly arrived slave ships offering comfort, food, and medicine where he could. He would accompany slaves to the market where they were sold, and travelled round the slave estates visiting them. On these visits he made a point of avoiding hospitality offered by slave owners, preferring to stay in the slave quarters. His Feast Day is observed on 9 September.
(World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation)
The majority of people living on our planet profess to be believers. This should spur religions to dialogue among themselves for the sake of protecting nature, defending the poor, and building networks of respect and fraternity.
Pope Francis, Laudato Sii, para 201
Truth and justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life itself becomes a lie.
Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, para 38
(Sunday before International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its abolition (23 August))
May the power of Christ, which brings freedom and service, be felt in so many hearts afflicted by war, persecution and slavery.
Pope Francis, Blessing and Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’ 2014
The most deadly poison of our time is indifference.
Saint Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv.
We beg all governments not to remain deaf to this cry of humanity. That they do all that is in their power to save peace. They will thus spare the world from the horrors of a war whose terrifying consequences no one can predict.
Pope Saint John XXIII, Message to President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev, October 1962
At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis Pope John XXIII wrote to both the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The message was broadcast the next day on Vatican Radio, and dominated headlines around the world, including Pravda; the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party. The events of October 1962 are thought to be the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. It is considered that the intervention of Pope John prevented further escalation. This week the anniversaries of the use of nuclear weapons against the peoples of Hiroshima (6 August), and Nagasaki (9 August) in 1945 are remembered. These remain the only times in human history nuclear weapons were used in conflict.
God loves all men and women on earth and gives them the hope of a new era, an era of peace. His love, fully revealed in the Incarnate Son, is the foundation of universal peace. When welcomed in the depths of the human heart, this love reconciles people with God and with themselves, renews human relationships and stirs that desire for brotherhood capable of banishing the temptation of violence and war.
Pope Saint John Paul II, Message for World Day of Peace, 1 January 2000
Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others.
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, para 88