What are the four key principles of Catholic Social Teaching?

Catholic Social Teaching is built on the life and dignity of the human person. Solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good flow immediately from this. As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church affirms: “The permanent principles of the Church's social doctrine constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching. These are the principles of: the dignity of the human person … which is the foundation of all the other principles and content of the Church's social doctrine; the common good; subsidiarity; and solidarity.”1 These permanent and universal principles enjoy “unity… reciprocity, complementarities, and interconnectedness” which must be understood and considered to use them correctly for “interpreting and evaluating social phenomena.”2


1 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 160.
2 Compendium, 161-62.