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The foundation we build on – Basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching

 Five-year activity programme of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL from 2013 to 2017

We would like to focus our efforts on Catholic Social Teaching intensively over the period from 2013 to 2017 as it is one of foundations Kolping International is based on.

Each year one of the guiding principles of Catholic Social Teaching has to occupy the centre stage in our activity.

2013: Human dignity

Individual human beings are unique and enjoy inalienable dignity. They are the foundation, the cause and the end of every social institution and they are responsible for their own development in freedom. Man as a social being depends on others and is responsible for others.

2014: Solidarity

Man as a social being is interconnected with and dependent on several or many people. He can achieve his goals only when interacting with others. This interdependence must turn into solidarity based on the principle that the goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. 

2015: Subsidiarity

We shall not take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry. What lesser and subordinate organizations can do, shall not be taken over by higher associations. Higher associations are obliged to support subordinate organizations and individuals with the aim of providing help for self-help.

2016: Common good

The common good refers to the general well-being. It is the sum total of the conditions of social life which enable groups and individual members to undergo a spiritual and human development. However, the common good is more than the sum total of individual interests. A definition of the common good requires an admission of the individual’s human dignity, freedom, justice, peace and legal certainty irrespective of the societal level. All members of society are obliged to contribute to the common good.

2017: Sustainability

Humans must manage the goods and resources of the earth in a way that the life and development of future generations are guaranteed. This is why we must practice forms of economic activity that enable future generations to make a living and achieve prosperity. Sustainable behaviour of the individual requires participatory social structures that encourage and enable humans to show solidarity and assume responsibility for future generations and nature.