In world where 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day, the Gospel message is clear. We must confront global poverty and end it.
Be one of a million Catholics connected through Catholics Confront Global Poverty, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.
Let’s work together to:
• Increase and improve international assistance, make global trade fair, and finish canceling the debt of poor countries.
• Help poor countries benefit from their natural resources.
• Address the root causes of migration and reform migration policy to protect human dignity.
• Protect creation and poor people by tackling climate change.
• Promote peacebuilding and diplomacy to end the impoverishing effects of conflict.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
All human life is sacred and of intrinsic value. The dignity of the human person is the foundational principle of all Catholic social teaching, and forms the basis of a moral vision for the social order. The Church recognizes that human life and dignity are deeply threatened on many fronts: by abortion and euthanasia, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the imposition of the death penalty. The Church decries the intentional targeting of civilians during war or terrorist attacks, and calls on nations to seek more effective approaches to the prevention of conflicts and to their peaceful resolution. The Church proclaims that every human life is precious, that people are infinitely more important than things, and that the moral criterion by which we assess any institution is whether it enhances or threatens human life and dignity.
Call to Family, Community, and Participation
The human person is not only sacred, but inherently social. The way in which we order our social, political, and economic institutions directly impacts human dignity and the bonds of community life. Marriage and family life are society’s core social institutions and must be nurtured, strengthened, and protected. People have both a right and a responsibility to participate in public life, seeking the well-being of all, particularly the poor and defenseless.
Rights and Responsibilities
The Church teaches that every person has a basic right to life and to the things necessary for a decent standard of living. Human dignity and a healthy society can only be sustained if human rights are protected and our duties and responsibilities to others are fulfilled.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The moral measure of any society is how the neediest among us are treated. In a world marked by the deepening gap between rich and poor, our Catholic tradition calls us to remember the story of the Last Judgment (MT 25: 31-46), and to recognize that the poor have the greatest moral claim on our priorities and financial resources.
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
Human work is more than a means to earn a living—it is an expression of our participation in God’s continuing creation. The Church teaches that the economy exists to serve the human person, not vice versa. The rights of workers to just wages, decent working conditions, economic initiative, private property, and the right to form and participate in unions, must all be upheld if the inherent dignity of work is to be protected.
Regardless of our differences, we are all one human family. Therefore, we are called to a commitment of interdependence and solidarity with all people. Love of neighbor has global implications, calling us to be peacemakers and promoters of justice in a world torn by violence and war.
Care for God’s Creation
Care for the environment is an ethical demand of our faith and a sign of respect for our Creator. Catholic social teaching calls us to protect and nurture people and our planet, and to recognize that we live out our faith in relationship with all creation.