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Catholic Social Teaching Research Guide: What is Catholic Social Teaching?

What is Catholic Social Teaching?

"Catholic Social Teaching is the tradition of thought in which the Church seeks to advance justice in the world by engaging the social, cultural, political and economic realities in our day. Thus, Catholic Social Teaching is both fitting and essential to the Catholic university's mission: the education and formation of its students, the research it undertakes, and the conduct of its corporate and institutional life." [1]

Through papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents the Church articulates its reflection on a given social reality and critiques these realities based on the Catholic faith tradition. Thus the faithful of the church make an attempt to bring to life these teachings through loving action. These teachings are very organic, much like society; as society changes and new challenges develop so too does Catholic Social Teaching try to respond to the current challenges and joys being faced by a given society."

From St. Mary's University Library's Guide on Catholic Social Teaching. Available at
[1] "Catholic Higher Education and Catholic Social Teaching" Brochure of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities,
Washington, D.C., original available at


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