Catholic Social Teaching

What does ‘Catholic Social Teaching’ mean?

Catholic Social Teaching is grounded in the belief that the Almighty has crafted a grand design for His creation - a blueprint for establishing a realm of harmony, compassion, and equitable treatment for all. This doctrine maintains that the Lord has devised a unique purpose for each individual, regardless of their station in life. Our role in this divine plan extends far beyond purely spiritual matters, encompassing every facet of our existence, from our most heartfelt prayers to our conduct as conscientious global citizens.

The Roman Catholic Church has distilled these teachings into seven core principles, which we endeavour to impart to our children at St. John's through various means. These principles are woven into the fabric of our curriculum, highlighted during special events and activities, and exemplified through our day-to-day actions within the school environment. By embracing these teachings, we aim to nurture a sense of social responsibility and ethical awareness in our pupils, shaping a generation of compassionate, socially conscious individuals prepared to make meaningful contributions to society.

The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching


 Dignity means ‘the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect’. Therefore, ‘Dignity’ in Catholic Social Teaching means that every human being should be treated equally. This is because everybody is made in God’s image and His likeness and therefore equal in the eyes of God. This is so important that the other principles are based on this

Community and participation

 This is about our own call to be an active part of our community. God didn’t make us to live by ourselves. We’re meant to interact with others. The relationships we have help us learn about ourselves and others. Therefore, God wants us to get involved with those around us; supporting one another and helping build a better world for all. 


 This is about our call to care for the world. This because, we as Catholics, believe that the Earth and all it contains has been created as a gift for us by God. The resources of the Earth are not infinite. They have been given to us and to future generations. How we treat the Earth has a real impact on people now and in the future.

Solidarity and peace

 Solidarity means ‘agreement of feeling or action’. In Catholic Social Teaching this means being together with other people in agreeing and promoting peace in the world. We do this because we believe we are all sisters and brothers of one another because God made all of us in His image. We should work to make sure everyone is living in peace with each other.

Option for the poor

This principle of Catholic Social Teaching helps us to focus on those most in need: the poor. It calls us to think carefully about people living in poverty and how we can help in our choices and actions. We cannot ignore people who are poor; we have to help them as much as we can.

Dignity of workers

 Work is more than simply being able to earn money. It is about being able to support yourself and your family. It is about finding something you’re good at and feeling important. Everyone deserves to find a job they enjoy and are good at.