Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently gave a speech in which he provided a helpful summary of Catholic Social Justice in seven “givens” and seven “oughts.”
The seven “givens” are:
1. The sacredness of human life.
2. The infinite dignity of the human person.
3. Solidarity, the “sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone”, service to the common good.
4. The Natural Law, the moral order instilled within us.
5. Subsidiarity, the priority of the most local solution; as the catechism puts it: “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order.”
6. The preferential option for the poor.
7. Every person has inalienable rights given by the Creator “that must be cherished and guarded by society and by the government itself,” with the highest among them being the freedom of religion.
The seven “oughts” are:
1. We ought to be in politics.
2. We ought to bring values and convictions to politics.
3. Catholics ought to propose, never impose.
4. We ought to stand for principles always, above politics.
5. We ought to stress responsibility as much as rights.
6. We ought to defend the rights of others.
7. Catholics ought to stress “us” not “me.”
Tom Hoopes (who compiled these lists) has a the video of Bishop Dolan’s speech at CatholicVote.org.