It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith,not only with our words, but with our actions.
– Pope Francis
Key principles of Catholic social teaching
Human Dignity – made in God’s Image
Each of us is made in God’s image, which means every person has an innate human dignity – te mana i te tangata – no one can take away.
Solidarity – Walking together
Being in solidarity is recognising others as our brothers and sisters and actively working for their good. In our connected humanity, we are invited to build relationships – whakawhānaunatanga – to understand what life is like for others who are different from us.
Preferential option for the poor and vulnerable – protecting those in need
Having a preferential option for the poor – he whakaaro nui mō te hunga rawakore – compels us to think first of the needs of those who are most vulnerable.
Common good – The good of each and all
Commitment to the common good means working for the good of all – he painga mā te katoa. This means respecting the rights and responsibilities of all people.
Subsidiarity – empowering communities
Taking account of subsidiarity – mana whakahaere – means ensuring decision making happens at the most appropriate level, so all those affected can contribute.
Stewardship – being responsible guardians
We are kaitiaki – guardians of the earth. Exercising stewardship is caring for the gifts God has given us, including the environment, our own personal talents and other resources.
Participation – everyone with a part to play
Promoting participation – nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou – means recognising we each have something unique and important to contribute to society. We are called to be active members of our local and global communities.