The Dignity of the Human Person and Sanctity of Life
The dignity of the human person is a fundamental value. This is based on the fact that the human being is God’s creation. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27).
This inalienable dignity of every human being is what is at the foundation of human rights and corresponding responsibilities: the right to life and the corresponding duty to respect and defend it; the right to a worthy standard of living and the corresponding duty of creating a conducive climate for social development; the right to worship God according to one’s conscience; economic rights; and political rights.
The Common Good is understood as a value coming from all necessary conditions of social living – economic, political, material, religious, cultural – which enable men and women to more readily and more fully realize their human dignity and achieve their full human potential. The promotion of the common good should be the concern of both the state and the individual person.
The individual person will contribute to the common good by bringing his or her interests into harmony with the needs of the community, and by making sure that his/her personal goods, services and talents are put at the service of the community.
The principle of solidarity follows from the very notion of society (solidare means to fit firmly together) in its commitment to the common good. The social whole and its members are closely joined together: the members of the whole have to attend to the welfare of the whole likewise the whole has to attend to the welfare of its members.
We belong to one human family and as such have mutual obligations to promote the development of all people across the world. In particular, the rich nations have responsibilities toward the poor nations and the structures of the international order must reflect justice.
Social institutions must leave to the smaller groupings or individuals what they can do by their own power; on the other hand, they must assist the smaller groupings or individuals where they are unable to accomplish a necessary task.
This means a higher level of government or organization should not perform any function or duty that can be handled more effectively at a lower level by people who are closer to the problem and have a better understanding of the issue.
The classical definition of the principle of subsidiarity principle is found in the encyclical Quadragesimo anno released by Pope Pius XI on the fortieth anniversary of Rerum Novarum in 1931.
Liberation and Preferential Option for the Poor
A Preferential Option for the Poor is a commitment by individual Christians and the Christian community at every level to engage actively in a struggle to overcome the social injustices which mar our world. To be genuine, it must come from a real experience of solidarity with the poor.”Poor” is understood to refer to the economically disadvantaged who, as a consequence of their status, suffer oppression and powerlessness.
Such solidarity also means a commitment to working with structures, organizations and agencies that promote the interests of the less privileged in society: the economically poor, the groups that are politically marginalized, people discriminated against. Often times the best way to change things is to conscientize people to change the structures that oppress them.
Therefore, in every economic, political and social decision, a weighted concern must be given to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. When we do this we strengthen the entire community, because the powerlessness of any member wounds the rest of society.
Integrity of creation / Stewardship
All people have been created by God and are a part of the larger society. Our commitment to the common good requires responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources. True stewardship calls us to examine how we use and share the goods of the earth, what we pass on to future generations, and how we leave in harmony with God’s creation. All property has a “social mortgage”. All people are to be respected and share the resources of the earth. By our work we are co-creators in the continuing development of the earth.
Love and Justice
Love of neighbour is an absolute demand for justice, because charity manifests itself in actions and structures which respect human dignity, protect human rights, and facilitate human development. Prior to the works of charity are the demands of justice! To promote justice is to transform structures which block love.(Justice in the World)
Justice as a Constitutive Dimension of Evangelisation
The concern for justice is not an option but a constitutive part of evangelisation. Thus, “action on behalf of Justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel” (Justice in the World – Introduction).
Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among humans and among nations. The arms race must cease and progressive disarmament take place if the future is to be secure. In order to promote peace and the conditions of peace, an effective international authority is necessary.(Peace on Earth)
Moral integrity and accountability
Commitment to being transparent, accountable, honest, trustworthy and of moral integrity in all activities. This entails protecting the interests of our church and to maintaining her integrity in carrying out pastoral duties and programs. This may demand carrying out our duties in an efficient, effective and non discriminatory manner.