Catholic Social Teaching – Documents

Listed below are links to a selection of major teaching documents which together make up the body of Catholic Social Teaching, rooted in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Papal and Vatican Documents

Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Labor)—Pope Leo XIII, 1891

Quadragesimo Anno (After Forty Years)—Pope Pius XI, 1931

Mater et Magistra (Christianity and Social Progress)—Pope John XXIII, 1961

Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth)—Pope John XXIII, 1963

Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)—Second Vatican Council, 1965

Dignitatis Humanae (Declaration on Religious Freedom)—Second Vatican Council, 1965

Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples)—Pope Paul VI, 1967

Octogesima Adveniens (A Call to Action)—Pope Paul VI, 1971

Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World)—Paul VI, 1975

Laborem Exercens (On Human Work)—Pope John Paul II, 1981

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern)—Pope John Paul II, 1987

The Church and Racism: Towards a more fraternal society—Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 1989

Centesimus Annus (The Hundredth Year)—Pope John Paul II, 1991

Veritatis splendor (The Splendor of Truth)—Pope John Paul II, 1993

Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)—Pope John Paul II, 1995

Dignitas Personae (The Dignity of a Person)—Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1998

Ecclesia in America (The Church in America)—Pope John Paul II, 1999

Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason)—Pope John Paul II, 1998

Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life – Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church—Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2004

Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)—Pope Benedict XVI, 2005

Sacramentum Caritatis
(The Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Church’s Life and
Mission)—Pope Benedict XVI, 2007 (especially paragraphs 47, 49, 82-84,
and 88-92)

Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth)—Pope Benedict XVI, 2009

Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)—Pope Francis, 2013

United States Catholic Bishops Documents

Labor Day Statements

Respecting the Just Rights of Workers, June 2009

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, November 2007

A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, November 2005

Catholics in Political Life, June 2004

“For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food” Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers, and Farmworkers, December 2003

Strangers No Longer, January 2003, Joint Statement from Bishops of the United States and Mexico

A Place at the Table: A Catholic Recommitment to Overcome Poverty and to Respect the Dignity of All God’s Children, December 2002

Statement on Israeli-Palestinian Violence, March 2002

A Call to Solidarity with Africa, November 2001

A Pastoral Message: Living with Faith and Hope After September 11, November 2001

Resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis, June 2001

Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, June 2001

Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice, November 2000

Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice, November 1999

In All Things Charity: A Pastoral Challenge for the New Millennium, November 1999

Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, June 1999

A Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty, April 1999

A Commitment to All Generations: Social Security and the Common Good, May 1999

A Jubilee Call for Debt Forgiveness, April 1999

Living the Gospel of Life, November 1998

Called to Global Solidarity, November 1997

A Catholic Framework for Economic Life, November 1996

A Decade After Economic Justice for All, November 1995

Sowing Weapons of War, June 1995

Confronting a Culture of Violence, November 1994

Communities of Salt and Light, November 1993

The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace, November 1993

When I call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women, September 1992

A Matter of the Heart, November 1992

Renewing the Earth, 1991

Economic Justice for All, November 1986

The Challenge of Peace, 1983

Statement on Capital Punishment, November 1980

Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979

Declaration on Conscientious Objection and Selective Conscientious Objection, October 1971