Social Justice

See Also
Morality & Ethics Page

Church Teaching (General)
Catholic Social Teaching
-Councils (Vatican II)
-Papal Encyclicals
-Apostolic Letters
-Apostolic Exhortations
Catholic Social Teaching -General
Catholic Justice and Development Organizations
Classroom Resources
Justice Resources and Articles
– Abortion
– AIDS and HIV
– Common Good and Social Responsibility
– The Environment, Environmental Stewardship
– Food and Hunger
– Globalization and Related Issues
– Religious Freedom and Conscience
– War and Peace
– Water
Justice for the Poor
– Poverty
Justice for the Sick and Elderly
Justice for the Unborn

Justice Organizations and Projects
Links to Other Sites

Church Teaching (General)

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace)
Second Vatican Council
(Vatican website)
First Vatican Council, 1869-70
(EWTN website)

Catholic Social Teaching

Councils (Vatican II)
Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace)
Papal Encyclicals
Rerum Novarum (On Capital and Labour)
(Pope Leo XII, 1891)
Quadragesimo Anno  (On Reconstruction of the Social Order)
(Pope Pius XI, 1931)
Mater et Magistra (On Christianity and Social Progress)
(Pope John XXIII, 1961)
Pacem in Terris (On Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity and Liberty)
(Pope John XXIII, 1963)
Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples)
(Pope Paul VI, 1967)
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (On Concern for the Social Order)
(Pope John Paul II, 1987)
Centesimus Annus (On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum)
(Pope John Paul II, 1991)
Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth)
(Pope Benedict XVI, 2009)
Caritas in Veritate GUIDE for DISCUSSION and ACTION
(Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, 2010)
Apostolic Letters
Octogesima Adveniens (Apostolic Letter Call to Action/On the Eightieth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum)
(Pope Paul VI, 1971)
Apostolic Exhortations
Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World)
(Pope Paul VI, 1975)
Other Important Documents
Justitia in Mundo (Justice in the World)
World Synod of Bishops, 1971.
Medellin Document (Second Gen. Conference of Latin American Bishops, 1968)
Original Medellin Document in Spanish
Puebla Document (Third Gen. Conference of Latin American Bishops, 1979)
Original Puebla Document in Spanish
Instruction on Certain Aspects of the “Theology of Liberation”
(Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1984)

Catholic Social Teaching – General

Papal and Episcopal Documents relating to Catholic Social Justice Teaching
Catholic Social Teaching – Office for Social Justice for Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Canadian Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice Webpage
Themes from Catholic Social Teaching
(Office For Social Justice, St. Paul- Minneapolis)
Catholic Social Teaching
(A very thorough list of CST documents from the RC Diocese of Orange, USA)
10 Building Blocks of Catholic Social Teaching
(A helpful article to introduce readers to basic elements of Catholic Social Teaching)
Our Aid Values and Principles:  Why Should Wealthy Countries Give Aid to Poor Countries?
(Excellent overview from CAFOD on why we give aid, drawing on the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching)
The Need to Reclaim Catholic Social Teaching
(By Doug McManaman, 2006.  Briefly looks at Marxism’s key elements, and how latent Marxist thinking has falsely framed justice questions in terms of Marxist categories such as exploitor/exploited, oppressed/oppressor, and downplayed personal sin and responsibility in favour of social sin and relativism.  The remedy is a return to Christ, who alone through His Church can heal and transform our lives and world.  Heavy-going, but well worth the read.  Parts suitable for senior class discussion)

Catholic Justice and Development Organizations

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
Justice, Peace and Human Development Department
(US Conference of Catholic Bishops)
Catholic Relief Services
(Official relief and development agency of the US Catholic community)
(Catholic Agency for Overseas Development)
Holy Childhood Association
(See “Mission Projects” in side buttons)

Classroom Resources

NEW:  RCCDSB Catholic Social Teaching Resources
CST Themes
Catholic Social Teaching – Key Principles Reference Sheet
(Succinctly outlines key principles – suitable for classroom display or as reference guide when developing Catholic curriculum)
Catholic Social Teaching – Key Principles Pamphlet
(4- page reference pamphlet with succinct definition, scripture & Church teaching references, brief explanation of each CST theme)
Catholic Social Teaching – Key Principles Booklet


RCCDSB Stewardship Resource:
  10 Guiding Principles for the Environment
(From the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)
17 x 11 Colour Poster (PDF)
8.5 x 11 Colour (PDF)
Biblical Foundations for CST (Deuteronomy)
Covenant Justice in Deuteronomy  (T Cosentino, 2007)
(3-page resource contains key quotes from the Book of Duteronomy foundational to a biblical understanding of justice, and to Catholic Social Teaching.  Suitable as handout in senior elementary and secondary classes dealing with the biblical call to justice and Catholic Social Teaching)
Latin American Bishops:  The Face of Christ in the Poor
The Face of Christ and the Call to Gospel Justice
(Reflection exercise based on excerpts from the Documents of Puebla [Episcopal Conference of Latin America, 1979]  by T. Cosentino)
US/UK Resources
Two Feet of Social Action
(U.S. Catholic Bishops social justice resource for discussing charity and justice, the two feet of social action)
CAFOD Resources
(Primary and secondary level social justice level resources from UK’s Catholic overseas development agency)

Justice Resources and Articles

Abortion and Pro Life Issues
(See also
Morality & Ethics Page)

New:  Canadian Bishops blast minister’s speech making abortion a ‘core’ foreign policy   Text of Canadian Bishops’ Letter to Minister
(Catholic Register, July 7, 2017. Canada’s bishops conference has denounced a speech by Canada’s foreign minister as “erroneous, confusing and misguided” for suggesting that sexual reproductive rights have become a cornerstone of the nation’s foreign policy)
New:  Nigerian activist calls West’s imposition of abortion ‘cultural supremacy’
(Catholic Register, July 11, 2017. Print title [July 16-23 edition], “Canada the ‘colonial master of abortion.’  Article details how after US under President Trump withdrew $600 million in US funding for “family planning and abortion services”, Canada increased its spending on “reproductive and health rights to $650 million.  Canada is now “at the forefront of exporting abortions overseas.”
New:  Mother Teresa’s 1979 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech   Video of Acceptance Speech
(“…the greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other? Even in the scripture it is written: Even if mother could forget her child – I will not forget you – I have carved you in the palm of my hand. Even if mother could forget, but today millions of unborn children are being killed. And we say nothing. In the newspapers you read numbers of this one and that one being killed, this being destroyed, but nobody speaks of the millions of little ones who have been conceived to the same life as you and I, to the life of God, and we say nothing, we allow it. To me the nations who have legalized abortion, they are the poorest nations. They are afraid of the little one, they are afraid of the unborn child, and the child must die because they don’t want to feed one more child, to educate one more child, the child must die.”)
The Unborn Child.  A Gift, a Treasure and a Promise.   A Reflection on Abortion.  Canadian Catholic Office for Life and Family (COLF), 2012.
San Jose articles
An important statement on the rights of the human person in fetal and embryo stages.  Statement by a leading figures in medicine, public policy and international law on the rights to life of all persons from conception until death.  Written to counter United Nations’ claim that that international law requires governments to repeal domestic laws protecting human beings at embryonic and fetal stages of development against the violence of abortion.
Celebration of Life ~ Making Choices
(Homily of Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais Feast of the Visitation May 31, 2000)
Priests for Life Canada
Priests for Life USA
(Canadian Catholic Pro-Life Website)
Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services
Life Site News

Life Cycle Books
(Canadian company supplying pro-life print, video and related resources)
Rising Numbers of Doctors in Italy Refusing to Perform Abortions
(NY Times, April 23, 08)  Life Site News Article here
One More
(Pro-Life and Natural Family Planning resource site)
Campagne Quebec Vie
(Quebec French Language Pro Life Site)
Pro-Life Cornwall Links Page

African Jesuit AIDS Network
CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) HIV and Health Page
CAFOD Reports and Research Papers on HIV and AIDS

Common Good and Social Responsibility
ACBO Social Justice Page
(Links to various documents by Ontario’s Catholic Bishops)
Antigonish Movement
Summary of the Antigonish Movement headed up by Fr. Moses Coady, Fr. Jimmy Tomkins, Fr. Hugh MacPherson and Mr. A.B. MacDonald in Canada’s Maritimes during the 1930s.  The Antigonish Movement blended adult education, co-operatives, microfinance and rural community development to help small, resource-based communities around Canada’s Maritimes improve their economic and social circumstances.  In this way, the Antigonish Movement promoted the right to private property in its proper context: to support individual and family livelihood, and to support the common good.
Private Property and Catholic Teaching
(Good summary on Church’s teaching about private property by Dr. Andrew V. Abella, Legatus Magazine June 1, 2011)
Taking Stock An Examination of Conscience
(ACBO guidelines designed to help Catholics vote in elections [conscience moments] informed by the Catechism and Catholic Social Teaching)
Mother Teresa’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
(December 11, 1979)

The Environment, Environmental Stewardship
Catechism of the Catholic Church No 279-324
See also Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 325-354
Compendium on Social Doctrine of the Church. Chapter 10 Safeguarding The Environment
Ten Commandments for the Environment
(Summarized from Compendium for Social Doctrine of the Church by Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, Secretary of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace)
RCCDSB Stewardship Resource:  10 Guiding Principles for the Environment (From the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)
17 x 11 Colour Poster (PDF)
8.5 x 11 Colour (PDF)
Joint Declaration on the Environment
(by Pope John Paul II and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholemew of Constantinople)
Statements by Pope John Paul: The Holy Spirit Acts in All Creation and History
([Gen Aud. Aug 12, 1998] Creation Must Be Dwelling Place of Peace [Gen Aud. Aug 19, 1998], The Trinity is Mysteriously Present in Creation [Gen Aud. Jan 26, 2000], God is the Lord of Creation and History [Gen Aud. Nov 19, 1997])
In the Fullness of Creation
(An Eastern Orthodox look at creation by Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew)
Environmental Stewardship in the Catechism
Christian Ecology Link Catholic Page
(Includes ecological statements by Pope John Paul II)
Catholic Earthcare Australia
(Contains materials from Australian Catholic Conference of Bishops)
Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship
(Catholic Conservation Centre, UK)
USCCB Caring for God’s Creation
(USCCB resource page)
Renewing the Earth An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching
(A Pastoral Statement of the United States Catholic Conference November 14, 1991)

Food and Hunger
Are Agrofuels Alternatives to Oil?
(2007 Kairos Canada briefing paper details negative impacts of agrofuel development in developing nations, such as increased poverty and hunger)
Agrofuels:  Five Myths
Food First paper examines 5 myths about agrofuels –
Myth #1 – Agro-fuels are clean and green.
Myth #2 – Agro-fuels will not result in deforestation.
Myth #3 – Agro-fuels will bring rural development.
Myth #4 – Agro-fuels will not cause hunger.
Myth #5 – Better “second generation “Agro-fuels are just around the corner.
What the World Eats
(Time/CNN photo essay on money spent for food by families across the world.  An excellent, enlightening visual resource on wealth, poverty, diet and hunger for classroom discussion. Highly recommended.)
Food and Hunger Resources for Primary Schools (CAFOD)
– Printable work sheet on the causes of hunger (elementary).
– Assembly/Prayer service on foods of the world.
Prayer and worship resources around hunger and food (CAFOD)
Food First’s 12 Myths About Hunger
(Helpful for better understanding justice issues around world food distribution – excellent high school discussion piece)
Food Aid As Dumping by Anup Shah on
A good overview of social justice-related criticisms of food aid:
– donations often tied to accepting structural adjustment policies which…
+ cut social program spending
+ force countries to export their best resources to pay debt, making them
dependent on donor nations, undermining their own development.
– donations benefit international food companies more than host nations
– donations often undercut profitability of subsistence and small-scale
farmers, which produces
+ more poverty
+ migration of people away from farms to urban sweatshops
World Vision Resource on Hunger
(Overview of different aspects of global hunger for classroom and teacher use – a kind of mini curriculum on world hunger)

Globalization and Related Issues
That None Be Excluded
(Statement of the Permanent Council of the CCCB on occasion of Summit of the Americas, QC, April 2001. Addresses Globalization, Neoliberalism, Democracy, Economic Integration and Disparity, Poverty and Women’s Conditions, Environment, Free Trade and Debt, Human Rights, within recent Great Jubilee context)

Religious Freedom and Conscience
The CCCB’s May 2012 Pastoral Letter on Freedom of Conscience and Religion and related resources can be found at this link.

Water: An Essential Element for Life
(Statement by Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2003.  Helpful Catholic Church response to questions of justice that involve the every person’s right to clean water)
Water: A Sacred Gift for All
(Reflection resource from Development and Peace)
Water: Tap into It!
(Development and Peace resource on injustices concerning the selling of bottled water)
Development and Peace Water Campaign Activities and Resources

War and Peace
Excerpts from The Challenge of Peace – God’s Promise and Our Response “The Role of Conscience”  Entire Document Here
(USCCB 1983  Pastoral Letter on War and Peace)
Excerpts from The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace
(USCCB Reflection on the Tenth Anniversary of The Challenge of Peace
November 17, 1993)
John Paul II and the Gospel of Peace
( Rev. Lorenzo Albacete, Posted on Website)

Justice for the Poor
The Struggle Against Poverty: A Sign of Hope in Our World
(1996 CCCB Statement on Poverty in Canada – well worth reading)
Christian Churches Together (CCT) Statement on Poverty
(February, 2007.  Drafted by the newly formed CCT USA [comprising representatives of all the major Christian church groups in the USA].  Addresses the evangelical call to address the scandal of poverty in the USA)

Justice for The Sick and Elderly (Against Euthanasia)
Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2259-2283
Ontario Bishops’ Message on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Canadian Bishops Statements and Information on Euthanasia
CCCB Resources Related to Bill C-407 (to legalize Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide)
Statement by CCCB
Going to the House of The Father. A Statement on the Dignity and Destiny of Human Life  Ontario Bishops’ January 2007 Statement on Euthanasia
WHY IS EUTHANASIA WRONG?  Comprehensive overview of Issues and Church teaching on Euthanasia from EWTN.
Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute
(Information, News and Links to Information on Bill C-407)
Letter from the CCCB to the Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, about Doctor-Assisted Suicide for the Terminally Ill
The Inherent Racism of Population Control
(Paper by Paul Jalsevac, Lifesite
“End-of-Life Ethics. Preparing Now for the Hour of Death” by Kenneth R. Overberg, S.J.  (August 2006 issue of Catholic Update, from St. Anthony Messenger Press)
The DeVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research
See: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: The Current Debate
Euthanasia Opponents See Canada Assisted Suicide Poll Differently
(  Reveals “existential distress” and under-medicated pain as chief reasons for palliative care patients wanting to end their lives – when these are alleviated, the wish to end life tends to disappear.
Defending the Dignity of those with Dementia
(By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, from
Jean Vanier’s Letter to the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care
(L’Arche’s A Human Future quarterly newsletter Winter 2010)

Justice for the Unborn
See Abortion section above.

Justice Organizations and Projects

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
Canadian Hunger Foundation
Kids Can Free the Children
Oneness Through Mission
(Richard and Susan Schmaltz Guatemala Mission)
Acceso International
Holy Childhood Association
Transfair/Fair Trade Canada
L’Arche Canada Foundation
Shepherds of Good Hope, Ottawa
The Mission Homeless Shelter, Ottawa
The Hunger Site
(Enables visitors to click the “give free food” button and help feed the hungry. The staple food funded by The Hunger Site is paid for by site sponsors and is distributed to those in need by Mercy Corps and America’s Second Harvest)
Cuernavaca Centre for Intercultural Dialogue on Development (CCIDD)
World Relief Canada
(Check out their [Hunger Facts] button)

Links to Other Sites

Algonquin & Lakeshore CDSB Social Justice Site

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