Catholic Social Teaching Insights

Discover the treasure of Catholic Social Teaching, through groundbreaking writings and innovative projects.

A CST reading list

See our ultimate Catholic Social Teaching reading list.

Letters from the Popes

On Capital and Labor

‘Is it just that the fruit of a man's own sweat and labor should be possessed and enjoyed by any one else? As effects follow their cause, so is it just and right that the results of labor should belong to those who have bestowed their labor.’

Pope Leo XIII, ‘Rerum Novarum’, 1891

On Reconstruction of the Social Order

‘ … a true, genuine social order demands that the various members of a society be united together by some strong bond. This unifying force is present not only in the producing of goods or the rendering of services ... but also in that common good, to achieve which all Industries and Professions together ought, each to the best of its ability, to cooperate amicably.’

Pope Pius XI, ‘Quadragesimo Anno’, 1931

Peace on Earth

‘The world will never be the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man, till every man preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved.’

Pope John XXIII, ‘Pacem in Terris’, 1963

On the Development of Peoples

‘The progressive development of peoples is an object of deep interest and concern to the Church. This is particularly true in the case of those peoples who are trying to escape the ravages of hunger, poverty, endemic disease and ignorance; of those who are seeking a larger share in the benefits of civilization’.

Pope Paul VI, ‘Populorum Progressio’, 1967

On Human Work

‘Work is a good thing for man - a good thing for his humanity - because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfilment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes "more a human being".

Pope John Paul II, ‘Laborem Exercens’, 1981

The Gospel of Life

‘ ... every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church's very heart … Today this proclamation is especially pressing because of the extraordinary increase and gravity of threats to the life of individuals and peoples, especially where life is weak and defenceless. In addition to the ancient scourges of poverty, hunger, endemic diseases, violence and war, new threats are emerging on an alarmingly vast scale.’

Pope John Paul II, ‘Evangelium Vitae’, 1995

Charity in Truth

‘Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine … It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones).’

Pope Benedict XVI, ‘Caritas in Veritate’ 2009

On Care for Our Common Home

‘The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.’

Pope Francis, ‘Laudato Si'’ 2015

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