Catholic social teaching
At Million Minutes we’re inspired and challenged by Catholic social teaching (CST). It lies at the heart of what we’re trying to do. At its centre is the basic concept of The dignity and equality of each human person. Every human being is seen as equal. They’re lovingly and beautifully made in God’s image and likeness. The other principles flow from this. If we believe that this is true then we are inspired to care for one another, whether or not we know the other person, and for the world we live in. Catholic social teaching gives principles to guide how we make decisions about the way we live our life and how we treat others both locally and globally.
So, central to Million Minutes is the commitment to promote the dignity and equality of each human person through:
the call to participation and community
a preferential option for the poor
the dignity and rights of workers
solidarity among peoples
the promotion of peace
care for the Earth
The call to participation and community - Human beings exist in relation to one another. We’re called to live with others, aware of others, communicating, sharing, enjoying moments of joy and being there together in times of sadness. All of us are called to participate, to join in, to work alongside others for the common good of all.
A preferential option for the poor - Caring for those living in poverty, both in our local neighbourhoods and throughout the world, is a fundamental duty of us all. However, the preferential option for the poor goes further than this. In the Gospels, time and again, Jesus shows a preferential option for the poor – putting them first, giving them special importance, thinking of their needs and enabling them to have their rightful place in the world. It is not enough simply to think of those living in poverty and try to help them. The voice of people living in poverty needs to be heard. We must enable them to be a full part of the decision making process. We must enable those living in poverty to play a full, active role in society.
The dignity and rights of workers - The right to work, to have a job, to earn money and so support your family are all connected to the dignity of each individual. Catholic social teaching affirms that human beings are not merely a commodity, a tool as part of a process to make things. Human beings are greater than any thing. They deserve a fair wage and proper working conditions.
Solidarity among peoples - We seek the good of one another, aware of our dependence on one another. Pope John Paul II said, “[Solidarity] is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good” (The social concern of the Church, 38).
The promotion of peace - Peace flows from this solidarity. We are called to live honestly with one another, working together in love for the good of all. This is what will lead to true peace.
Care for the earth - God created the earth. Often, the way we treat creation leads to the harm both of it, and of those living on it. Our destruction of the earth for quick gain has repercussions for animals, for ourselves now, and for generations to come. We need to treat the earth with respect.