Catholic Social Teaching

“The theological dimension is needed both for interpreting and for solving
present day problems in human society.”

– Blessed John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, “Hundredth Year”

“Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came “to bring glad tidings to the poor…liberty to captives…recovery of sight to the blind”(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with “the least of these,” the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45). Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the eucharist.”

Taken from “Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions”, USCCB 1998

Essential Background
What Can You Do?
Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Major Documents of Catholic Social Teaching list

“Living the Gospel of Life”

Quotes from Pope Francis

USCCB Caritas in Veritate Study Guide

Life and Family


Fundamental to Catholic tradition and teaching is the inherent and sacred dignity of each human being—the clearest reflection of God among us.  From this foundation, the Conference addresses a range of concerns, primary of which is the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death. Strong marriages and family life are critical to the well-being of society. The Conference advocates for public policies which promote stabilization of the family unit and enhance family life. All persons are entitled to educational opportunities which can help them achieve their fullest potential. The Conference affirms the critical role of parents in the education of their children and advocates for public policies that assist parents who choose to send their children to non-tax-supported schools.

Areas of Advocacy

  • Abortion
  • Biomedical Research
  • Marriage
  • Education
  • End of Life
  • Death Penalty
  • Adoption/Foster Care
  • Children’s Issues
  • Human Sexuality

Human Work and Economic Life

All people have a right to participate in the economic life of society. The Conference, challenged by our faith to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first, advocates for just economic policies and conditions which uphold the dignity and value of each person.

Nebraska Bishop's Statement on Economic Hardships 

Areas of Advocacy
  • Just Wage
  • Economic Justice
  • Public Assistance Program  
  • Tax Policy
  • Unions/Right to Work

International Community and the Environment


The Catholic Church teaches that our actions towards the environment and natural resources should be a sign of our respect for God’s creation. The Conference advocates for environmental, natural resource and rural life policies that uphold our duty to show proper respect for God’s creation.

Areas of Advocacy
  • Energy
  • Food and the Environment
  • Justice and Agriculture

Marriage and Family


“Marriage is a fundamental institution authored by God and “written in the very nature of man and woman.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1603) From generation to generation, the institution of marriage has been the cornerstone of family life and societal well-being. For two millennia the teaching of the Catholic Church on the meaning of marriage has positively influenced both culture and society.

The vocation of marriage is a unique call to an adventure of love and life, where love is life-giving in a matchless way. The core meaning of marriage cannot be separated from a consideration of the child and the roles of a mother and a father. Marriage is the fundamental and irreplaceable pro-child social institution.”

From: "Made For Each Other" – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Supreme Court Rules on Marriage

  • What happened?
  • NEW: NCC testimony to Judiciary Committee
  • USCCB Reaction
  • Background Information

For more information and resources (including video and viewer’s guide) go to: 

Marriage, Unique for a Reason