“The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.”
Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World - Gaudium et Spes (1965)
St James said that faith without works is dead (2:17). This places a high expectation on believers to act. It is not merely enough to have good intentions - we must act.
Centered in Christ, Sacred Scripture and our tradition, the Catholic Church is a servant to many in charity and justice. We have a long tradition of empowering people to build a better world.
There are six key themes which underpin Catholic social teaching.
(Courtesy: Sandie Cornish)
Human dignity and unity of the human family – Each person is made in the image and likeness of God and has an innate, transcendent God-given dignity.
The common good – the rights, duties, aspiration of every group are linked to the well-being of the whole human family.
The universal destination of goods – Everyone has a right to access the goods of God’s creation.
Solidarity – We are all committed to each other.
Participation – People have the right to be part of shaping their own destiny.
Subsidiarity – Human affairs are best handled at the level closest to those affected.
The Catholic Church in Australia is committed to empowering people to fearlessly pursue justice.
Catholics are called to be people that act, and through their actions bring God’s love for all.
The Catholic Church is the largest welfare provider outside government with organisations large and small committed to tackling disadvantage. From CatholicCare to the St Vincent de Paul Society to Marist Youth Care, Jesuit Refugee Services - thousands of people are employed in the welfare of their fellow Australians through the Catholic Church.
The St Vincent De Paul Society alone is a vast volunteer welfare network in the country. Check out the Vinnies way with this short clip
Over 700,000 school children attend more than 1,700 schools. Young people rich and poor are given a well rounded education.
Tertiary institutions like Australian Catholic University, Notre Dame University Australia, and Campion College are educating over 30,000 students.
Check out the leadership Catholic schools are taking to combat bullying
Health and aged care
A range of Catholic private and public hospitals with nearly 10,000 beds provides care for people during critical moments in life.
Tens of thousands are cared for towards the end of life in independent living, residential aged care and dedicated hospices.
The Catholic Health and aged care sector employs more than 35,000 people.
Catholic Mission and Caritas Australia raised over $60m for international development – last year alone. They did it on the smell of an oily rag thanks to many thousands of supporters.