Rights and responsibilities

“Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible, and a right to access to those things required for human decency—food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing, freedom of religion and family life.”

– Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 2007, n. 49.

What follows is a sample of the kinds of issues that must be analyzed through the lens of Catholic social teaching regarding rights and responsibilities. Study the Faithful Citizenship document cited, as well as the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Here are just a few items the Conference supports:

  • policies that improve the quality of public education
  • opposition to legislation that threatens the institutional integrity of faith-based health care providers
  • policies that seek to promote the dignity of all human persons, regardless of citizenship
  • automatic restoration of voting rights to those who have completed court-imposed sentences

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