Catholic Social Teaching

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The Church’s social teaching is born of the encounter of the Gospel message and of its demands summarized in the supreme commandment of love of God and neighbor in justice with the problems emanating from the life of society.  This social teaching has established itself as a doctrine by using the resources of human wisdom and the sciences.  It concerns the ethical aspect of this life.  It takes into account the technical aspects of problems but always in order to judge them from the moral point of view.
Being essentially orientated toward action, this teaching develops in accordance with the changing circumstances of history.  This is why, together with principles that are always valid, it also involves contingent judgments.  Far from constituting a closed system, it remains constantly open to the new questions which continually arise; it requires the contribution of all charisma, experiences and skills.  As an “expert in humanity”, the Church offers by her social doctrine a set of principles for reflection and criteria for judgment and also directives for action so that the profound changes demanded by situations of poverty and injustice may be brought about, and this in a way which serves the true good of humanity.

[CDF, Instruction On Christian Freedom And Liberation, 1986, #72]