The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Social Justice Week 2020

Each year the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand set aside a week in September for Social Justice Week, inviting us to reflect and take action on a current social issue.

Social Justice Week 2020 takes place from 6-12 September. The theme of our Social Justice Week resources is "Easy as CST: Unlocking the Church's Potential" / "Māmā Noa, Pēnei i te CST: Te Tuku i ngā Pūmanawa o te Hāhi kia Whai Hua." They focus on Catholic social teaching (CST), which provides a moral framework to guide our decisions and actions.

Mā te whiriwhiri tahi ka puāwai ngā pūmanawa o te tangata

Together weaving the realisation of potential

In 1891, at the height of the industrial revolution in Europe, there was a great and growing gap between rich and poor. At this time, Pope Leo XIII wrote a letter, Rerum Novarum, that focused on the condition of workers and just wages. He emphasised the importance of working for the common good and the role of the state to ensure the wellbeing of all, especially the poorest.

Since that time, Church leaders including Popes and Bishops have written encyclicals (letters) and messages to the Church and wider community. These contain fundamental principles which the Church believes should underpin a healthy society, politics and economy which concern all people. They have addressed different social challenges that face our communities, including human life, rights and responsibilities; poverty; refugees, asylum seekers and migrants; environmental justice; indigenous peoples; and international development and peace.

This formal body of writing forms the basis of CST. It draws on the Scriptural traditions of the prophets who spoke out against injustice, and it follows the teachings and example of Christ and the tradition of the early Church leaders and saints. It provides us with key ethical principles and a lens through which we can interpret social issues around us and take action to seek justice. Following these CST principles is the key to unlocking the full potential of the Church.

Parish and community resources are available to download in the "Related Downloads" section at the bottom of this page.

Click the links below to learn about nine core principles of Catholic social teaching that guide our work, and how different communities are practicing them. 






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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust