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Catholic Social Teaching as the Pledge of Common Welfare Attainment

The Observance of the Catholic Social Teaching as the Pledge of Common Welfare Attainment and Poverty Eradication


With the rapid and inevitable advent of the technological era, the role played by the Catholic Church in the modern community does seem to be gradually reducing.  Regrettable, but once one of the most authoritative and globally influential institution, is reported to be losing its sway over the congregation. The people become more submissive and observant to the acts issued by the secular state authorities and to the decisions adopted with help of monetary mechanisms exerted by the upscale transnational corporations.

The emergence of those trends is indeed regressive for the humankind, since neither governments, nor multinational corporations provide a set of really effective solutions on how the negative issues of the contemporary society can be effectively tackled, while the Catholic Social Teaching really does.  This component of the general catholic doctrine has be elaborated by the researchers of the Catholic Church and it is aimed at addressing the questions relating to the eradication of the overall poverty and deprecation, to the uncontrolled wealth accumulation by small groups, social composition of the society and the intervention of the state secular bodies.  Following the statement of Pope Benedict the Sixteenth the great aim of this policy is to assure that the process of the purification of the humankind and to guarantee that what is divinely just is ubiquitously attained and achieve by the people who deserve it. Moreover, His Divinity Pope Benedict highlighted the fact that international and ubiquitous justice can’t be administered by the humankind without the active partaking of the catholic clergy,

John Paul the Second in his multiple encyclics has accentuated the fact that all human being are equal and no difference shall be made among them on the basis of skin color, origin, social or financial conditions.

One of the main roots of the world’s evil, which engenders waves of crime and violence, stimulates revolutions and violent mass protests are poverty and the related factors. Although many allegations are annually proclaimed by the leaders of the most developed nations and by the international agencies as well, practically nothing effective has been done yet in order to eradicate this deleterious trend, which is quickly becoming pestilential for the majority of the African and Asian countries, especially for the developing ones.

The aim of this paper is to examine the roots of poverty, the factors which directly condition its continuance and global spread and outlines prospective solutions to tackle the problem with recourse to the toolkits available under the paradigm of the catholic social teaching.

The Reasons of Poverty and Deprecation

Various international scholars, governmental and nongovernmental institutions have conducted numerous researches with the intent to find out the reasons which generate poverty-related issues and to work out the strategies and approaches which can be utilized to eradicate or partially reduce poverty and deprecation. With regard to the global statistics, join report of the World Bank and the Poverty Eradication committee of the United Nations Organization elucidated that about 1, 3 billion people worldwide are reported to live in the economic conditions of absolute poverty. This in-depth study of the problem explicitly revealed that the majority of the poor and hereby socially depraved people inhabit rural areas of India, China and Africa. The convergent opinion of the United Nations Organization, World Trade Organization and the European Union clearly encapsulated the major reasons of poverty worldwide.  These reasons include overpopulation, the way the natural resources are allocated, the increased living costs and the way the living standards are developed, the educational and employment related issues, the degradation and overall deterioration of the natural ambience and environment  and the state of national economies.


The density of population worldwide and the total number of the earth inhabitants is steadily and progressively increasing. While the means and resources which condition their physical existence are increasing arithmetically, the population growth is being reported to rise exponentially (Wagner, 2008).  Current numbers of the earth inhabitants is reported to be 6, 5 billion people, while materially our planet is capable of feeding no more than 20, provided that resource allocation is exercised accurately and justly, what nowadays is not being done. 

Wrongful Distribution and Misallocation of the Resources                                 

The cooperation of the above mentioned organizations and individual researchers helped to identify the major fundamental roots of the poverty. This list is non-exclusive in in its pith and provides only the most determinative factors of impoverishment.

The most fundamental contributor to the rising of poverty rates is the ???proportional allocation of the natural resources and capital accumulation. The Catholic Church fervently criticizes the  capitalistic economic model and this disapprobation indeed seems to be totally substantiated (Williams, 2006). The report of the United Nations organization sets forth that 80% of the entire supplies of natural resources are owned by 20% of the global population. Moreover, the resources, or to be more exacted their material equivalent are located disproportionally as well, since this 20% are either in the developed countries of the North America or civilized Western European countries. The fundamental reasons of this outspoken resource misalignment shall be sought in the development and thrive of capitalism and market. To be more exact, the natural resources are nowadays materialized in the financial funds, which are disproportionally allocated in the European and American countries, while the Africans and the Asians desperately need them to take control over the population growth and to feed the existing one.

The Low Standards of Education and Low Employment Rates

With the rapid growth and sophistication of the technology it becomes evident that the manual labor is replaced by the work of the machines and by the intellectual labor of the technological elite of the international community.  To become a technology worker requires substantial educational background, which can’t be afforded by the poor people, and therefore the circle is closed and vicious.  Education which is affordable for the poor is  not fully consistent with the necessities of the market, while the expertise which is really demanded by the market is a very expensive one.

Poor State of the National Economies

Considering the economic conquest waged by the Western Civilizations, the national economies of the targeted poor nations cannot develop effectively, leaving the citizens in decrepit financial stance.

Environmental Situation

The fact that the developing nations rely on the natural resources and sometime the only way to feed the nation is the domestic agricultural or fishing industries have always been recognized by the scholars and the economic practitioners (Williams, 2006).  However, although under the Kyoto protocol a highly complicated protective mechanism has been adopted, the situation continues to deteriorate and the impoverishment is directly dependent on these processes.

The Ways to Eradicate Poverty under the Catholic Teaching Concept

The entire Catholic Teaching Strategy is fully based on the set of fundamental and underlying principles which condition its effectiveness.  Provided that all anti-poverty strategies and programs launched by the diverse organizations are fully concordant with these principles, the poverty will be ultimately eradicated.

The Principle of Charity

The entire Christian doctrine (the Muslim one as well) professes charity as one the most important postulates which must govern the demeanor of a faith observant individual.  The one who possesses abundant material values which necessarily exceed his physical and mental needs shall share with those, who are in need of these values (Williams, 2006).  The main disadvantage of this principle is the fact that it is a voluntary recommendation, since the religious commandments are not regarded obligatory in the majority of the secular states.

If the food and financial surplus is forcibly confiscated by the state authorities in accordance with the prescriptions of the church and then justly and divinely divided among those who need them, the poverty can be eliminated eternally.

The Principle of Solidarity and Common Good                                                          

The most influential corporations, the national governments and the intergovernmental institutions unanimously proclaim that all they are fully socially responsible. The practice however indicates that the individual interests of their citizens and corporate members are always prioritized, while the interests of those who is distinguished by the insurmountable monetary and intellectual barrier are  neglected. In other words, traditional understanding of the humankind implicates the members of the civilized communities, while the citizens or other inhabitants of the undeveloped countries are forgotten and forsaken (Williams, 2006). Genuine solidarity implies that real, feasible help, but not shallow compassion or vague, superfluous preoccupation of the distresses and misfortunes of others is expressed. The connections between the corporation and the human being with the rest of the society is so deep, that posthumous life of the humans is solely dependent on the way we treat those who surround  us. Moreover, the social responsibility of either a company or a government can never be considered accomplished, unless someone under the blue sky is hungry or thirsty, or needs basic medical treatment or not accessed to potable water.


Having summarized the major points of this research, it becomes absolutely obvious that the roots of the global poverty are the growth and excessive expansion of capitalism, the preaching of its values instead of Christian and humane ones (Wagner, 2008). Provided that the principles of the Catholic Social Doctrine are practically implemented, it can be taken for granted that the impoverishment will be eradicated on the international level.

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