Does the Church’s Teaching have anything to say about politics and the policies of governments?

Yes it does!

Basic principles

We realise that the Church teaches about morals, about what is right and wrong etc. This is the Moral teaching of the Church which we call Life in Christ. It is one of the four pillars of the Church and therefore one of the four sections in the Catechism (Part 3 – Life in Christ). However what many Catholics either forget or do not realise is that this moral teaching is not just about personal conduct, but also about our life in human community.

The Church’s teaching about human community reflects the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is the perfect communion of divine Persons. Without going into the technical theological details, suffice to say, no divine Person (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) of the Trinity lives in isolation from the other Persons. Between each Person there is a constant, everlasting flow of life. And as human beings are made in the image of God, who is Trinity, so we human persons are made for communion.

The fraternity, which all human beings are called to, resembles the relationship of the Three Holy Persons of the Trinity. This is expressed in, amongst other ways, the intimate connection between the commandment to love God and the commandment to love one’s neighbour. Both are necessary and interconnected.

The human person needs to live in society. Society is not an added extra which one can partake of if one cares to; it is a requirement of human nature. Participation in society develops our potential as human beings, through interaction with others, through mutual service and through dialogue. So it is in society the person responds to his vocation.

Next blog: The human person is the principle, subject and end of all social institutions.

Fr Ian