Call to Family, Community, and Participation
The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society -- in economics and politics, in law and policy -- directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. (USCCB.com)
The human person is not only sacred but also social. Full human development takes place in relationship with others. The family—based on marriage between a man and a woman—is the first and fundamental unit of society and is a sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children. It should be defended and strengthened, not redefined or undermined by permitting same-sex unions or other distortions of marriage. Respect for the family should be reflected in every policy and program. It is important to uphold parents’ rights and responsibilities to care for their children, including the right to choose their children’s education.
How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly affects the common good and the capacity of individuals to develop their full potential. Every person and association has a right and a duty to participate actively in shaping society and to promote the well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
The principle of subsidiarity reminds us that larger institutions in society should not overwhelm or interfere with smaller or local institutions, yet larger institutions have essential responsibilities when the more local institutions cannot adequately protect human dignity, meet human needs, and advance the common good. (taken from: http://www.austindiocese.org/offices-ministries/offices/social-concerns-office/faithful-citizenship/call-family-community-and#_Quotes_from_Official)
Quotes from Official Church Documents
- “It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person. Participation is achieved first of all by taking charge of the areas for which one assumes personal responsibility…As far as possible, citizens should take an active role in public life.”
-Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1913- 1915
- “One must pay tribute to those nations whose systems permit the largest possible number of citizens to take part in public life in a climate of genuine freedom…”
-Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), no. 31.
- “It is necessary to go back to seeing the family as the sanctuary of life. The family is indeed sacred: it is the place in which life-the gift of God-can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life.”
-Pope John Paul II, On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum (Centesimus Annus), no.39
- Principle of Subsidiarity - larger institutions in society should not overwhelm or interfere with smaller or local institutions, yet larger institutions have essential responsibilities when the more local institutions cannot adequately protect human dignity, meet human needs, and advance the common good. (Faithful Citizenship Statement, USCCB)