Catholic Social Teaching

Members of the Jesuit community and friends at lunch
“At present the refugees are survivors. An essential part of my job is to help them to do more than survive – to help them to live as free men and women.” This is how the late Fr William Yeomans SJ described the mission of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) worldwide. We are called upon to accompany, serve as companions and advocate for refugees by reaffirming the innate human dignity and value of each person. Yet what can we do when survival itself is a challenge for refugees and migrants in the...
Say it with your life Caritas Westminster
Fr James Hanvey SJ recently spoke at a Westminster Caritas event anticipating the church's first world day of the poor. His talk was entitled 'Say it with your life', and focused on the way Catholic social thinking brings new life to a wounded and broken world. Fr Hanvey talked about 'the magnificent witness of practical hope;' that Caritas and their partners represented.  What is unique about Catholic social teaching is that it's not just abstract thought but rather the interplay...
Nick King SJ and colleagues
Last week Fr Frank Turner SJ and Fr Nick King SJ joined an ecumenical group of 30 Christian thought leaders to discuss and reflect on a pilot training programme to be rolled out this month for key church leaders.  The meeting and programme are the fruits Together for the Common Good (T4CG) - a movement to promote understanding of how living out our Christian identity can also serve the cause of achieving a just and peaceful society.  Jenny Sinclair, Director of T4CG, explains “The...
Polling station at church
Next month, British voters will make another trip to the polling station to cast their ballots in a General Election. Deciding who deserves your vote is never an easy matter and many people are finding it more difficult than ever to decide which party’s path leads towards the common good, Nicholas King SJ included. He explains why a new book might be the perfect tool to help ‘people of goodwill’ decide how to cast their vote. So they have called another election, and the reaction of...
The Bible and the Common Good
In a time of great division between Brexiters and Remainers, Corbynistas and Labour moderates, Libertarians and One Nation Conservatives, a timely new booklet calls on people to work together and help to strengthen their communities.Calling People of Goodwill: The Bible and the Common Good is a short and accessible Bible study guide, an initiative of the Bible Society and Together for The Common Good, in association with Jesuits in Britain and Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics.The...
Brexit scrabble letters
In the wake of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, Thinking Faith’s Editor suggests that the road ahead must be paved with generosity if it is to lead to the common good. The United Kingdom woke up this morning – or, in some cases, stayed awake all night – to discover that 51.9% of voters in yesterday’s EU referendum had opted for the second option on the ballot paper: Leave the European Union. Roughly 17.5 million people have come to the...
Photograph of map of Europe
Later this month, voters in the United Kingdom will decide whether or not they want to remain in the European Union. Arguments on both sides are dominating the current political landscape, but Patrick Riordan SJ is worried about the lack of depth to the referendum debates: ‘we have neglected to form the political culture in which a reasonable debate about membership of the EU can take place.’ ‘NHS doctor leaves family in Sheffield to join Islamic State in Syria.’[1...
Picture of Pope Francis
On Friday 25 September, Pope Francis will address the UN General Assembly in New York, whose members will be discussing many of the issues that the pope addressed earlier this year in Laudato si’. Climate scientists Ottmar Edenhofer and Christian Flaschland give a detailed analysis of the ground-breaking encyclical, its place in church tradition and its dialogue with current climate science. How is Pope Francis challenging the Church and the world? Pope Francis’ long-awaited...
Map of Europe
The economic complexities of the Greek crisis have attracted a lot of coverage in recent weeks, but it’s important to hold the financial detail alongside concern for the common good, says Patrick Riordan SJ. ‘The principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and the common good are helpful guides to appreciating the obligations on actors to behave responsibly in very complex situations.’ What can the notion of common good contribute to our understanding of the long drawn out...