Catholic Social Teaching
On the Development of Peoples ~ 1967
On Social Concerns ~ 1987
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis
Loyola University New Orleans
School of Law
February 20, 2004
Facts on Hunger & Poverty
840 million are malnourished - 799 million are
from developing world. More than 153 million are under
the age of 5
6 million children under the age of 5 die every year as
a result of hunger.
Of the 6.2 billion people in today’s world,
1.2 billion live on less than $1 per day.
The richest 5% of the world’s people have incomes 114 times
that of the poorest 5%.
Hunger and Health
91 children out of 1,000 die before their 5th birthday.
In the U.S., 8 children out of 1,000 will die before age 5.
30,000 children die from mostly preventable and
treatable causes such as, diarrhea, acute respiratory
infections, measles and malaria.
12 million people die each year from lack of water,
including 3 million children from waterborne diseases
1.1 billion lack access to clean water,
2.4 billion live without decent sanitation
The overall percentage of people living below the
poverty line increased from 11.7% in 2001
to 12.1% in 2002.
Children - 16.7%
African Americans - 24%
Hispanics - 21.8%
Female headed families - 27%
“…the problem of world hunger is rooted
in the inequitable structures of the world’s
social, political and economic systems.”
Dr. Martin McLaughlin - former vice-president of the Overseas Development Council
where he specialized in world hunger problems.
Bedrock Principle of Catholic Social Teaching
Every person - regardless of race, sex, age, national origin,
religion, sexual orientation, employment, economic status,
health, intelligence, achievement or any other
differentiating characteristic - is worthy of respect.
It is not what I do or what I have that gives me a
claim on respect; it is simply being human
that establishes my dignity.
Given this dignity,
THE HUMAN PERSON IS NEVER A MEANS,
ALWAYS AN END.
Vision Statement, Millennium Forum
United Nations, New York, May 2000
We are one human family, in all our diversity,
living on one common homeland and sharing
a just, sustainable and peaceful world,
guided by universal principles of democracy,
equality, inclusion, voluntarism, non-
discrimination and participation by all persons,
men and women, young and old,
regardless of race, faith, disability, sexual
orientation, ethnicity or nationality.
ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLES
Three Major Duties
Mutual Solidarity - aid to developing nations.
St. James, “…faith that does nothing in practice is
throughly lifeless.” (2:17) #45
Social Justice - the rectification of trade relations between
strong and weak nations.
Universal Charity - the effort to build a more humane world
community, where all can give and receive, and where the
progress of some is not bought at the expense of others.
#50 On the Development of Peoples
The times call for coordinated
planning of projects and programs,
which are much more effective than
occasional efforts promoted
by individual goodwill.
United Nations Millennium Development Goals
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development
How do you build peace
when warring tribes
lay down their guns?
We know 3 outstanding keys in peace building are:
~ role women play in decision making.
~ peace education for youth.
~ economic development.
“Development is the
new name for
-Pope Paul VI, 1967
“Development is the
engine that drives
- Bush Administration, 2001
#47 On the Development of Peoples
It is not just a question of eliminating hunger
and poverty. It involves building a human
community where men can live truly human lives,
free from discrimination on account of race,
religion or nationality, free from servitude to other
men or to natural forces which they cannot
yet control satisfactorily.
#48 On the Development of Peoples
The duty of promoting human solidarity
also falls upon the shoulders of nations.
It is very important duty of the advanced
nations to help the developing nations.
#51 On the Development of Peoples
We asked world leaders to set aside
part of their military expenditures for
a world fund to relieve the needs
of impoverished peoples.
#52 On the Development of Peoples
Such agreements would be free of all
suspicion if they were integrated into
an overall policy of worldwide cooperation.
#56 On the Development of Peoples
Efforts are being made to help the developing nations
financially and technologically. Yet all these efforts
will prove to be vain and useless, if their results are
nullified to a large extent by the unstable trade
relations between rich and poor nations. The latter
will have no grounds for hope or trust if they fear that
what is being given them with one hand is being taken
away with the other.
#58 On the Development of Peoples
It is evident that the principle of free trade, by itself,
is no longer adequate for regulating international
agreements. It certainly can work when both
parties are about equal economically; in such cases
it stimulates progress and rewards efforts. That is
why industrially developed nations see an element of
justice in this principle.
But the case is quite different when the nations
involved are far from equal. Market prices that are
freely agreed upon can turn out to be most unfair.
#59 On the Development of Peoples
The teaching set forth by Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum
is still valid today: when 2 parties are in very unequal
positions, their mutual consent does not guarantee a
fair contract; the rule of free consent remains
subservient to the demands of the natural law.
In Rerum Novarum this principle was set down with
regard to a just wage for the individual worker; but
it should be applied with equal force to contracts
made between nations: trade relations can no longer
be based solely on the principle of free, unchecked
competition, for it very often creates an economic
dictatorship. Free trade can be called just only when
it conforms to the demands of social justice.
#61 On the Development of Peoples
What applies to national economies and to high
developed nations must also apply to trade relations
between rich and poor nations. Indeed, competition
should not be eliminated from trade transactions;
but it must be kept within limits so that it operates
justly and fairly, and thus becomes a truly human
#61 On the Development of Peoples
In order that international trade be human and
moral, social justice requires that it restore to the
participants a certain equality of opportunity. To be
sure, this equality will not be attained at once, but we
must begin to work toward it now by injecting a
certain amount of equality into discussions and price
#66 On the Development of Peoples
Human society is sorely ill. The cause is not
so much the depletion of natural resources,
nor their monopolistic control by a
privileged few; it is rather the
weakening of brotherly ties between
individuals and nations.
#73 On the Development of Peoples
Sincere dialogue between cultures, as between
individuals, paves the way for ties of brotherhood.
This dialogue will be fruitful if it shows the
participants how to make economic progress and how
to achieve spiritual growth as well; if the technicians
take the role of teachers and educators; if the training
provided is characterized by a concern for spiritual
and moral values, so that it ensures human betterment
as well as economic growth.
#76 On the Development of Peoples
When we fight poverty and oppose the unfair
conditions of the present, we are not just promoting
human well-being; we are also furthering man’s
spiritual and moral development, and hence we are
benefiting the whole human race. For peace is not
simply the absence of warfare, based on a precarious
balance of power; it is fashioned by efforts directed
day after day toward the establishment of the
ordered universe willed by God, with a more perfect
form of justice among men.
#77 On the Development of Peoples
Nations are the architects of their own development,
and they must bear the burden of this work;
but they cannot accomplish it if they live in
isolation from others.
#78 On the Development of Peoples
As we told the United Nations General Assembly
In New York: “Your vocation is to bring
not just some peoples but all peoples
together as brothers…Who can fail to see
the need and importance of thus gradually
coming to the establishment of a world
authority capable of taking effective action
on the juridical and political planes.”
#83 On the Development of Peoples
Finally, we look to all men of good will,
reminding them that civil progress and economic
development are the only road to peace.
On Social Concerns
First ~ document issued by the highest authority
Of the Catholic Church addressed to Church
And “to all people of good will.”
Second ~ worldwide dimension of social question
Third ~ contributes to the social doctrine of the
Church in its totality and to the concept of
#7 On Social Concerns
…the encyclical presents itself as an application
of the Council’s teaching in social matters
to the specific problem of the development
and the underdevelopment of peoples.
Economic development must…not be left to the
sole judgment of a few individuals or groups,
possessing excessive economic power, or of the
political community alone, or of certain powerful
nations. It is proper, on the contrary, that at every
level the largest number of people have an active
share in directing that development.
The Church in the Modern World, #65
#8 On Social Concerns
In continuity with the Encyclical of Leo XIII, it must
be recognized that the document of Paul VI possesses
the merit of having emphasized the ethical and
cultural character of the problems connected with
development, and likewise the legitimacy and
necessity of the Church’s intervention in this field.
The social doctrine of the Church has once more
demonstrated its character as an application of the
word of God to people’s lives and the life of society
as well as to the earthly realities connected with
them, offering “principles for reflection,” “criteria
of judgment” and “directives for action.” Here,
in the document of Paul IV, one finds these
three elements with a prevalently practical
orientation, that is, directed towards moral conduct.
#10 On Social Concerns
The encyclical provides a very original contribution
to the social doctrine of the Church in its totality
and to the very concept of development.
If the social question has acquired a worldwide
dimension, this is because the demand for
justice can only be satisfied on that level.
#42 On Human Concerns
The option or love of preference for the poor. This
is an option, or a special form of primacy in the
exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole
tradition of the Church bears witness. It affects
the life of each Christian inasmuch as he or she
seeks to imitate the life of Christ, but it applies
equally to our social responsibilities and hence
to our manner of living, and to the logical decisions
to be made concerning the ownership and use
#46 On Social Concerns
Development which is merely economic is incapable
Of setting man free, on the contrary, it will end by
Enslaving him further…Human beings are totally
Free only when they are completely themselves,
In the fullness of their rights and duties. The same
Can be said about society as a whole.
The principle obstacle to be overcome on the way
To authentic liberation is sin and the structures
Produced by sin as it multiplies and spreads.
It is not just individuals who are called
to practice justice. Every society must
also practice it. Justice must find formal
embodiment in the institutional structures
of society. The failure of society to embody
justice is social sin.
Social sin is present when there are:
Growing economic disparities,
Increasing concentrations of economic power,
Accelerating environmental abuse.