Principles of Catholic Social Teachings
What is Human Dignity?
“The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God.” (CCC, 1700) Human dignity is in itself enshrined as the corner stone of society from the very beginning as ordained by God through creation and later through his covenants with the people. “Thus, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed.” (Gaudium et Spes, 27)
Human dignity, inherently being the God-given inalienable rights of every person, deserves to be protected by the Philippine government and promoted by the Filipino community. All social institutions, governments, states, laws, human rights and respect for persons originate in the dignity of man or his personhood. Therefore, the dignity of the human person serves to be the “foundation, cause and end of all social institutions.” (Mater et Magistra, 219)
What is Complementarianism?
“In creating men 'male and female,' God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity. Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.” (CCC, 2334) Complementarianism, therefore, asserts that men and women are equal in essence, but that this equality does not cancel out the God-ordained functional distinctions between men and women. Indeed, in the partnership between man and woman, the man being the husband, bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction for the reason that the harmony of society “depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.” (CCC, 2333)
What is Solidarity?
Solidarity “is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.” (Solicitudo Rei Socialis, 38) In society, solidarity is “when its members recognize one another as persons. Those who are more influential, because they have a greater share of goods and common services, should feel responsible for the weaker and be ready to share with them all they possess. Those who are weaker, for their part, in the same spirit of solidarity, should not adopt a purely passive attitude or one that is destructive of the social fabric, but, while claiming their legitimate rights, should do what they can for the good of all. The intermediate groups, in their turn, should not selfishly insist on their particular interests, but respect the interests of others.” (Solicitudo Rei Socialis, 39)
The political leaders of the Philippines, and the citizens, therefore, “considered as individuals, especially if they are Christians, have the moral obligation, according to the degree of each one's responsibility, to take into consideration, in personal decisions and decisions of government, this relationship of universality, this interdependence which exists between their conduct and the poverty and underdevelopment of so many millions of people. (Solicitudo Rei Socialis, 9)
What is Charity?
Charity, “an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace,” is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. (Caritas in Veritate, 1) Charity can best “be understood in the abundance of its values,” and "because it is filled with truth, it enables “men and women to let go of their subjective opinions and impressions, allows them to move beyond cultural and historical limitations and to come together in the assessment of the value and substance of things.” Indeed, truth “opens and unites our minds in the lógos of love: this is the Christian proclamation and testimony of charity.” (Caritas in Veritate, 4)
In an increasingly globalized society, therefore, there are two essential points that must be taken into consideration: that the minimum requirement of charity is justice “which prompts us to give the other what is “his”, what is due to him by reason of his being or his acting” (Caritas in Veritate, 6) and that “To desire the common good and strive towards it” is required of justice and charity. (Caritas in Veritate, 7) In the Philippines, we must promote, recognize, and respect the legitimate rights of each individual while striving to secure a common good that corresponds to the real needs of our neighbor and the Filipino people.
What is Subsidiarity?
The principle of subsidiarity teaches that “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.” (Centesimus Annus, 48) It requires each of us to be responsible for those who are suffering in our midst. The families, friends, associates, churches, local non-profit organizations, thus, should be the first to respond to the needs of their brothers and sisters. As it would appear that the needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbors to those in need. The Philippine government should only be directly involved as the organization of last resort and should implement policies designed to support rather than replace intermediary groups such as “creating favorable conditions for the free exercise of economic activity, which will lead to abundant opportunities for employment and sources of wealth.” (Centesimus Annus, 15) In this manner, the Filipinos, themselves, would come to realize that the aid of those in need depends not merely on the intervention of the government but more so, upon faith-filled individuals who take up Christ's call to love one another, and who use their unique gifts and talents to serve their neighbors.
What is Distributism?
Distributism, as Chesterton and Belloc originally envisaged it is as their attempt to think through how to give operational effect to the teachings of Rerum Novarum, is the belief that a just social order can only be achieved through a much more widespread distribution of property. Distributism favors a 'society of owners' where property belongs to the many, rather than the few. It correspondingly opposes the concentration of property in the hands either of the rich as under capitalism, or of the state as advocated by some socialists. In particular, distributism is not a re-distribution of wealth, but rather, it gets its name from distributive justice, which seeks the widespread distribution of the ownership of the means of production and the equal protection under the law for all citizens regardless of class or any other qualifier.
Distributism, thereby, promotes private ownership of the means of production, economic and social distributive justice, as well as the intrinsic value of the individual and the sanctity of the family. In present day, the notion of distributism may be applied through Filipino workers being “paid a wage sufficient to support him and his family. That the rest of the family should also contribute to the common support, according to the capacity of each.” (Quadragesimo Anno, 71) Furthermore, that the Philippine government and every good citizen ought to look to and strive toward this end: “that the conflict between the hostile classes be abolished and harmonious cooperation of the Industries and Professions be encouraged and promoted.” (Quadragesimo Anno, 81)
CCC - Cathechism of the Catholic Church