Catholic Social Teachings

“In today’s complex situation, not least because of the growth of a globalized economy, the Church’s social doctrine has become a set of fundamental guidelines offering approaches that are valid even beyond the confines of the Church: in the face of ongoing development these guidelines need to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live.” 
- Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), #27

If you would like more information about Catholic social teachings, please go to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Marriage and Family

The Catholic traditional marriage, the education and care of children and the place of the family has received special reflection over the last 80 years. The Social Compendium says: “A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the centre of attention as an end and never as a means.” It is patently clear that the good of persons and the proper functioning of society are closely connected “with the healthy state of conjugal and family life”

Over the history of the CWLA this has been a large and complex concern. No more so than in recent years when the very identity and nature of marriage and family has been questioned by people who have been disillusioned by broken or abusive relationships or who have been confused by philosophies promote what appear at first to be valid alternatives to the essential human bonds of nuptial love, to the life-long, mutual and exclusive marriage covenants and the priority of natural parental-child relationships.

For additional information see:

Downloadable resources sourced primarily from the Archdiocese of Melbourne Life, Marriage & Family Office and the Life Marriage & Family Centre of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Used with Permission.


Building a Culture of Life during Lent

Following Blessed John Paul ll's call for a "great prayer for life", here are some suggestions if you and/or your parish want to do something extra during Lent to help build a culture of life:

  1. A prayer for life can be said daily or as frequently as you and/or parishioners wish. Click here to download a beautiful prayer for life from the Life Marriage and Family Office, Archdiocese of Melbourne . If you would like a hard copy of this prayer card, please contact the Life Marriage and Family Office at
  2. A weekly/one off fast day that could end with a communal simple supper and prayer.
  3. A rosary with the intention of healing for those suffering after abortion/or for an end to abortion/for those involved in abortions/for those who may be considering abortion/for policy makers/medical students and medical professionals.
  4. Extra hours of adoration, daily, weekly, or a one off event. A suggestion could be to offer 40 hours over the 40 day period or an extra hour per week.
  5. If your parish has a youth group a session could be arranged with a 'life' theme. If your parish doesn't have a youth group a one off event could be arranged. It could include prayer for life during Mass, rosary, reflection, adoration, benediction etc ...
  6. Your parish could organise a talk or screen a film with a positive pro-life message. Some movie suggestions include: October Baby, Bella, Tuesdays with Morrie or The Human Experience.

Source: Life, Marriage and Family Office, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.  Used with permission.

Prayer for the Protection of Life and Family

Lord Jesus,

You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
the Church and the history of men;
You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
render us participants in divine Life
and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
We adore and bless you.

Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
truly present and alive among us, we beg you.

Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
the miraculous work of the Creator,
open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
that comes into life.

Bless all families,
sanctify the union of spouses,
render fruitful their love.

Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
with the light of your Spirit,
so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
the sacred nature of life, of every human life.

Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person,
and no one endures suppression or injustice.

Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions
so that young families can serenely embrace
the birth of new children.

Console the married couples who suffer
because they are unable to have children
and in Your goodness provide for them.

Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
so they may experience the warmth of your Charity,
the consolation of your divine Heart.

Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
in whose womb you took on our human nature,
we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Saviour,
the strength to love and serve life,
in anticipation of living forever in You,
in communion with the Blessed Trinity.

Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer Vigil for the Unborn, Rome, 27 November 2010