Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but the “human person…is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions.” (CCC 1881)
[S]ocialization expresses the natural tendency for human beings to associate with one another for the sake of obtaining objectives that exceed individual capacities. It develops the qualities of the person, especially the sense of initiative and responsibility, and helps guarantees his rights. (1882)
Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with the view of the common good.” (1883)
The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits on state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of a true international order. (1884)
The Church’s vision of the social sciences includes the human dignity of each person, the common good (which is for both the individual and the community), solidarity, and subsidiarity… “while simultaneously inspiring Christians to embrace more readily their obligation to enhance solidarity with and among their fellow citizens, and to act upon the principle of subsidiarity by promoting family life, voluntary associations, private initiative, and a public order that facilitates the healthy functioning of society’s most basic communities.” (Papa Ben XVI)–To the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
On Atheistic Communism by Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris (1937)
On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life by John Paul II
Share your thoughts with me… what should a class on the social sciences entail if it were done with the Catholic vision? How would you build peace between different cultures? What is culture for that matter?