We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
We believe the person is not only sacred, but social; marriage and family are central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened; people have a right and duty to participate in society, seeking the common good and wellbeing of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency; corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities—to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (mt. 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights must be respected—the right to productive work, decent and fair wages, organization of unions, private property, and economic initiative.
We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Our love for all demands that we promote peace and justice in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions.