Building a Civilisation of Love
“In order to make society more human, more worthy of the human person, love in social life — political, economic and cultural — must be given renewed value, becoming the constant and highest norm for all activity.” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church no. 582.
Catholic social teaching is sometimes described as the Church’s best kept secret.
This is because many people in secular society and even those within the Catholic faith do not realise the wide scope and long history of the Church’s reflections upon the dignity of the human person in the light of the Gospel and, what this means for just and life-giving social relationships: between men and women, adults and children, in family groups, workplaces, cultural institutions, in response to technological innovation and economic systems, and between ethnic groups and nations.
Catholic social principles centre around the promotion, defence and building up of truth, freedom, justice and love within communities and within her own life and witness.
The Catholic response to social issues has been guided by a reflection upon Biblical revelation about humanity and creation, by her conviction that all people are called to share the truth, by the concrete love of her saints for those oppressed and in need. Above all, these responses find their source in the liberating love of Jesus Christ.
These practical social responses have found expression and authoritative support in the teaching documents of the Church including Papal documents (such as the great Papal encyclicals) and in Bishops’ pastoral letters and submissions.
According to Pope Benedict XVI, the Church’s teaching documents “help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just…. [The Church] has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice…cannot prevail and prosper…".
Our Role in Social Issues
The Catholic Women’s League Australia has, since its inception, understood the importance of educating and forming its members both socially and spiritually in order that they might respond with knowledge, courage, love and holiness to the social and moral needs of people in their nation, region and world. CWLA has worked with other Catholic agencies to raise awareness about pressing social issues and is particularly committed to working for social justice with ecumenical and interfaith groups who share their vision.
The Second Vatican Council renewed and focussed the importance of this lay mission and the recent Popes have also highlighted the particular importance that women have in this role.
Today, as throughout its history, the Catholic Women’s League Australia engages with the social issues of the day with compassion and active concern. In order to respond to these pressing issues, it is committed to a high quality of research and consultation, to an understanding of the dilemmas and needs of contemporary people and a deeper reflection upon the Church’s social teaching. To that end the CWLA makes representation, submissions, social reports and establishes practical projects to assist in what the Church calls the bringing “about an authentic civilization oriented ever more towards integral human development in solidarity” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church no. 3).
At national, state and local levels, CWLA speaks out about violence against women and children, gendercide, post abortion trauma, pornography, the future of natural marriage, adoption, surrogacy, poverty, gambling, prostitution and human trafficking, substance abuse, advertising standards, childcare, the sexualisation of children in the media, homelessness, the treatment of refugees, support for people with disabilities, care for the elderly, R18+ computer games, environmental issues and the recognition of women in the unpaid workforce.
Our Social Issues Convenor keeps our Member Organisations informed about emerging social issues.